By Maurya Scanlon

Here in Spartan Nation, we consider each and every single racer to be spectacular simply for coming out and crossing the finish line. There are a few, however, that excel as Spartans such as Mandy Gill, Katy McCabe, Shannon Roche, Andy Andras, and others whom we’ve highlighted on this blog. One such person is Mathieu Morin from Montreal. He is a dedicated competitive swimmer, one of four brothers and all-around Spartan badass. And… he’s fifteen.

Mathieu with Spartan Champion, Hobie Call

Mathieu initially caught our attention, because he is the youngest person to have completed the Spartan trifecta: Sprint, Super and Beast. I had the pleasure of speaking with him earlier this week after what I presume was yet another swim practice. When he first told me he was a swimmer dedicating at least eighteen hours of training per week and going to high school (which means homework) my thought was “and you find time to do Spartan Races how?” I concluded that in addition to being an amazing teenage athlete, he also had magical time-traveling powers allowing him to do more in one day than we lame adults are able to do.

Anyway, one of Mathieu’s brothers first introduced him to Spartan Races with a video that he had found online. The moment Mathieu saw the video, he decided that he had to do at least one race. He registered for the Montreal Sprint to see what it was all about and then he was hooked. I jokingly said to him “You’ll know at the finish line, right?” and his response tickled me. “You’ll know at the finish line? You’ll know at the first obstacle!” He explained to me that his only goals for his first Spartan were to have fun and to finish. After that, however, he became determined to race them competitively. He registered for the Vermont Beast and the NY Super much to his thirteen year old brother’s delight. The youngster immediately informed Mathieu of his intent to do the trifecta as well when he was old enough. His goal would be beating all of Mathieu’s times. Apparently a competitive nature is in the Morin DNA. The whole family is Spartan!

Mathieu ran the Beast with his father and another brother,  and the Super Spartan in Staten Island, which he also ran with his brother. I asked him if he was concerned about injury during any of the races, because it could jeopardize his swimming regimen. His response was “I like it. I do the race. I don’t care.” Well, that settled that.  He recalled being stressed about the race before it, because he knew it would be difficult.  It ended up going well for him.  “It was really hard, especially when I arrived at the [sand bad part].  That was the hardest,” he shared.  I agreed COMPLETELY!  He went on, “Also, what killed me was when I thought I [had done] ten miles, [the volunteers] said to me, ‘You’ve only done half.’  I was so disappointed, so I said to myself that I would not go back to Montreal without the metal of a Spartan Beast Finisher.”  I asked him how he felt after having finished.  He laughed, “After the race I was tired, but I was feeling like a man, and I was proud of myself.  Also, I got three days of pain [afterwards].”  I informed him that the feeling he experienced was called the “it hurts so good.”

He sent us a video (below) of him crossing the finish line.  He edited it himself!  I asked him what his friends thought about the race, and he got excited.  Mathieu gloated, “When my friends saw the video, they were like ‘wow where was that?  It’s really cool.’”

Since the Staten Island Super was still fresh in both of our minds (and by that I mean we’re both recovering from cuts and bruises sustained at said race), we dove right into his experience. Mathieu recalled that “running on the beach and the nine foot walls were the hardest.” He and I could not have been more liked-minded about this race if we had shared a brain. He recalled the fatigue in his legs from running in the sand. As I sat there, my muscles began to ache with the memory as well. I wondered if he had narrowed his eyes at the sight of the tall-wall as I did. I asked. He laughed, and that was my answer. True to form, he brought all he could to the race and placed 5th in his heat.

I reiterated to him that completing the trifecta was no easy feat, and I was quite impressed with him. Because we encourage Spartans of every age to participate, I asked him if he had any advice for people within his age group (including his younger brother). He replied, “Start at the Sprint and work your way up.” He added, “I hoped to demonstrate that young people are definitely able to do these races with training.”

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