by Chris Rutz, Elite Spartan Racer

Hobie Call

This weekend, Reebok Spartan Race arrives in the Arizona desert. The 2013 Arizona Spartan Sprint moves to a new venue that captures the beauty of the Sonoran Desert and ramps up the difficulty level of the course. McDowell Mountain Regional Park is located northeast of Phoenix and provides a rolling terrain with miles of tight single track for the elite racers to challenge one another.

This is the first Spartan Sprint distance race since the Reebok/Spartan Race partnership was announced in late January in New York City.  Two weeks ago the SoCal Super went off at Vail Creek Lodge in Temecula, CA.

Many of the top athletes from the 2012 Season will be racing in Arizona this weekend for their share of the $7,500 cash purse generously provided by our partners at Navy Federal Credit Union for the Saturday Elite wave. We asked a few of them how they feel the Navy Federal Credit Union prize money impacts the sport of Obstacle Course Racing?

Hobie Call, resident Spartan elite racer  said, “…I want NFCU to know that I truly appreciate their sponsorship. Every little bit helps, and this year is looking even better than last.” and “As cool as the helmets and swords are, elite athletes follow the money. End of story.” 

Female elite racer Corinne Kohlen noted how it’s drawing new talent to the field, “I think the money is great. It is luring in exceptional athletes and runners such as TyAnn Clark (and many others) who may not have been as interested in this kind of sport before.”  

That sentiment was also noted by elite female Andi Hardy when she was quoted as saying, “Money brings more elite competition.” 

Jenny Tobin

Last year’s female point’s winner Jenny Tobin also had something to say about the infusion of cash prizes, “I’m all about making money for my exercise habit, I’d still do it but it is nice to make a little money and see different parts of the country.” 

The field is ripe with talent.  Male elites Hobie Call and Hunter McIntyre, first and third respectfully in the SoCal Super are scheduled to be at the race. In addition, look for the 2013 debut of Christopher Rutz, Elliott Megquier and Nick Maynard. Christopher and Nick, along with Arizona native Chase Stewart have the home trail advantage and will be ready to tear up their desert. Beyond the Arizonans, watch out for 2012 Top 10 Spartan Racers Dallas Bessette and Shawn Feoick.

On the women’s side, SoCal winner TyAnn Clark, multiple 2012 Spartan race winner Rose-Marie Jarry and winner of the 2012 Texas Sprint Ella Kociuba are schedule to race. Those three alone will make the race for the podium very interesting. By no means do they have a lock on the top three places. Expect to see some of the top names in the sport including Juliana Sproles, Ang Reynolds, Andi Hardy, Corinne Kohlen, Sue Luck and Shaun Provost literally give them a run for their money. As usual, the women’s race will be exciting to watch.

Get out to the Arizona Spartan Sprint this weekend and watch these athletes smoke through the course. After the finish, they would welcome the opportunity to share their passion for obstacle course racing (OCR) with you in the festival area. 

2013 has Spartan stepping up the game considerable.  With prize money, Reebok, and an incredible crop of top racers, it is shaping up to be another exciting weekend of obstacle course racing.   See you at the races! 

Not registered yet?  What are you waiting for?  Join the expected 500,000 Spartans that will cross one of our finish lines this year.  Find an event near you HERE


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by Joe Desena, Spartan Race CEO

Todd Love, Leesburg, VA Super Spartan

A New Year is the chance for a New YOU.  It’s never been easier, and we can tell you why.  Spartan Race has been able to keep 82% of those committing to a new years resolution on track with their health goals. It is a simple technique that has been proven effective over the last three years at Spartan.

What is it?

It’s simple.  Don’t go it alone.  Committing to a race with friends will keep you on track each day training and eating healthy the same way the Spartans did knowing they WOULD go to battle.  We can help.  Get daily workouts – we can send them directly to your inbox, and your daily workout will be waiting for you each day.  No excuse not to train.  Getting daily food tips, and you’ll get healthy, delicious food ideas sent to you as well so you can fill your table and your stomach with the fuel you’ll need to stay on track, lose the weight, get stronger, faster, and better in 2013.

Sign up for a Spartan Race, even if it terrifies you.  Especially if it terrifies you!  Your fight or flight mechanisms kick into gear, and you’ll be sure to get moving. Once signed up, you and your friends will have a goal and a reason to start taking your health seriously and it works 82% of the time which is an amazing statistic.  We call it the Resolution Solution.

With the support of your community of friends and family, healthy recipes and food ideas, and workouts that will get your body in shape, you can accomplish more than you thought possible.  And you’ll never have to be alone in the process.  When you feel down, have a bad day, don’t want to eat healthy, you’ll have the reasons you need to stay on track, to get outside and run, to get to the store and buy something green instead of something fried.  It’s time for a change.

Once friends are involved they act like a vice grip, should you start to go back to your old ways. Not only are you training to get through the event you signed up for…but you are training for them and they are training for you.  In signing up, they aren’t just holding you accountable, they are depending on you for the same support.

Not enough?  How about some proof?

How is losing 430 pounds?  Spartan Chris Davis did just that and finished the Spartan Beast (and several other Spartan Races) in Vermont after five grueling months in Pittsfield, living, eating, and exercising with our team at HQ.  You should see him carry a sandbag now!  He sure couldn’t when he arrived.  Chris resolved to lose the weight and finish the race and he got it done.  It’s amazing that he began his journey at 696 pounds.

Spartan Chick Andi Hardy started following the Spartan WODs and is in the best shape of her life.  One of the Spartan elite athletes in our 300 group, with 21 races completed she had an incredible eight first place finishes in the 40 – 44 division in 2012, three of those first OVERALL female.  Not too shabby!

Todd Love, triple amputee from Georgia alongside his teammates from Team X-T.R.E.M.E. took on a Super Spartan and a Spartan Beast all while donning a blacked out gas mask.  Despite his injuries from an IED attack in Afghanistan while serving as a Recon Marine, he completed the races.  How is that for inspiration?

So, now what’s your excuse?

It’s all here waiting for you, you just have to decide it’s finally time to do it.   Get signed up for a race, get signed up for our FREE workouts and FREE food tips and you’ll join the 82%.

Sign up, show up, don’t give up!

[Editor's Note: Need extra motivation?  Spartan founders include Guinness World Record Holders, Triple Iron Man finishers, former professional Adventure Racers (AR).  Check out our Founding Few Bio Page to learn more of their incredible stories.]

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How a Spartan Champion Uses the Spartan WOD:  Part 1 of a WOD Series by Andi Hardy

We recently got to catch up with Andi Hardy, an elite obstacle racer whose has won three Spartan Events (Indiana & New York Sprint Saturday and Sunday), and has been a podium regular.  Chatting with her, it turned out that the Spartan WOD was at the root a personal transformation in her life that engendered a transition from a sedentary, uninspired existence into becoming a Spartan Champion.

So, of course, we asked her to write up her favorite WOD for you.  We also asked her to explain how to utilize the WOD to meet your needs as a specific athlete with your unique goals and aims.  When Andi started training she had to adjust the workouts OFTEN.  It’s a privilege to introduce her and her favorite WOD in which she will also help explain how this WOD can best be utilized by all, regardless of your fitness or goals. 

All Spartans are different, but the WOD can act as one grounding point to structure consistent fitness gains.  Do what you can, or do more.  Just get up and go, that’s what counts.

Hill Repeats!

by Andy Hardy

My favorite Spartan WOD has been hill repeats.  Get after them!

Warm-up: 15 minute jog

Main Set:  6-8 hill repeats on steepest gradient you can find.  Run 30-90 seconds HARD.  You can do a set time for interval or set distance.  Recover 2 – 3 minutes between sets.  If you are doing this right you should be exhausted after 2-3.  Stay strong to the end.

Cool down:  Walk then stretch

This workout was from April 28. Yes, I save all of them. You never know when you might need to repeat a workout, or need an extra, or even a replacement. I had just returned from a Spartan Sprint in Indiana and felt my hill running was weak. I knew the upcoming Sprint in New York, Tuxedo Park, would be quite hilly, so I was anxious to train on hills. Granted the hills of Georgia are not New York’s, but this workout would help my endurance throughout a race’s inclines.

 How I made it mine

I grabbed my cheap watch, an old towel, and a bottle of water and headed for a hilly running trail. I set down my towel and stretched, or was it procrastination? I dreaded the hill running, but looked forward to the burn I’d feel and the sense of accomplishment I’d have when I finished.  Getting started was more than half the battle.

I picked a goal; 3 sets of 8 hill repeats. I set the timer on my watch to zero, drew a starting line in the soil, stretched one last time, and gave myself the gun to go. “Push, push, push,” I’d tell myself, “dig in, go after it.” I listened to my own commands and reached the top in 58 seconds. I ran back down just as quickly, took a deep breath and turned up the hill for more punishment.

Finally, set one complete. I took a two minute rest, gulped some water and went back for more. I timed each hill interval keeping them consistent, around 60 seconds. What a great feeling after hill repeat number 24! My body was spent, my legs and gluts burned, my water gone, but I reached my goal, kept my intervals consistent, and felt a huge sense of accomplishment.

Did I really enjoy the actual running? Well, my legs hurt, but as athletes know, this hurt was a good hurt. A hurt that comes with knowing you are pushing your body in a healthy, seeking-improvements kind of way.

How this WOD benefited me

This WOD (and the ones similar with hill repeats) really help me when it comes to races with steep hills. I have found that Spartan Race is able to find steep inclines on even the flattest of terrain. When my body is prepared for hills, I feel I have an advantage over other racers who have not had the practice or experience; I know my body can push through. My mind is at ease as I approach even the steepest of hills during a race, I have the confidence to conquer.