By Carrie Adams
Even before the sun began to rise over 42nd and Broadway, the short course of the Reebok Spartan Race Times Square Challenge was fully illuminated and the grounds were buzzing with activity. Encased beneath a clear plastic tent were a dozen obstacles, signatures of the normally much longer course.
“It’s an urban experience!” exclaimed Joe De Sena, one of the Spartan Race founders and CEO. “Let’s see how fast our Spartans can move today!”
Before the event officially began at 11AM, various media outlets, Spartan staff, and some new faces settled into Heartland Brewery just around the corner from the downtown demonstration. The new faces belonged to Reebok staffers. Before long, Joe Desena addressed the crowd, joined by Yan Martin, Head of Global Brand Marketing from Reebok. Over the course of fifteen minutes, De Sena and Yan outlined the ground-breaking multi-year partnership of the company that first pioneered the sport of Obstacle Course Racing and the global fitness brand company that would help bring it the masses, both in the United States and Internationally. In addition to the global partnership, Spartan unveiled plans for an upcoming Spartan Sprint at Citi Field April 13, 2013. The event, previously released to a small internal Spartan community already boasts nearly 1,000 registrants already.
The agreement would bring with it apparel, footwear and accessories and the Reebok Spartan Race will be featured in the brand’s upcoming global marketing campaign – the first time obstacle racing has been featured in a major campaign. Reebok also plans to develop a range of products specifically created for the demands of Reebok Spartan Race athletes, which will be available in fall 2013.
By 11AM the course itself was in full swing. Spectators stopped and watched as Spartans of all ages navigated the short course in the early afternoon hours. Joined by familiar faces from Team X-T.R.E.M.E. the onlookers were treated to an inspirational sight of the team taking on the course together. Later, former professional football player Tiki Barber and actress Brooklyn Decker would take on the course. Barber, a ten-year veteran of the New York Giants loved his experience on the course telling ESPN, “I might start training for the real one to see if I can do it. This might be something I’ll gravitate toward.”
Resident Spartan champion Hobie Call, who was also announced as a new Reebok athlete went head-to-head with CrossFit Games athlete, Spencer Hendel with Hendel besting Call by a mere 11 seconds in the tight race. He looks forward to the upcoming Citi Field Sprint. As the day wound down and the last of the Spartan crossed the finish line, it was one of the most exciting day in Spartan’s history. With a new partner and the first race
of 2013 set to kick off January 26th and 27th in Temecula, it looks like the sport of Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) is on the rise. Lace up those Reebok kicks… it’s going to be an epic year of racing!
For more on our Reebok Spartan Race Times Square Challenge, you can visit our FB page. For additional photos taken on the day of the Challenge, click HERE. Our season kicks off this weekend in SoCal, stay tuned for all the exciting news coming out of HQ!