Look around any Spartan Race and you’ll often see groups that run together, wearing the same shirts and smiling for any nearby camera. They are there to not only beat the course, but to have a good time with their friends. Ranging in size from anything as little as 2 people to colossal numbers of into the hundreds, teams are now every bit a part of Spartan Race as the rope climbs and barbed wire crawls.

Dominating the West coast is The Weeple Army. Originating in Southern California, but now having “chapters” not only across the states, but worldwide as well, the familiar sight of swathes of green and black can be seen at many races. Boasting members that include Death Racers, Marathon runners and even Spartan Race staff, it’s a false assumption that they are an elite group of runners. All abilities – and indeed disabilities – are welcomed.

Also based in California are Team SISU, headed by Daren De Heras, regular Spartan Death racer and co-organizer of endurance events. Due to the appeal of the intense ferocity of the boot camps and events they put on, SISU has also expanded to the east coast, Midwest and now Texas. Team SISU teaches and coaches the team ethic whilst beasting trails and training hard.

“Team SISU was born a few years ago after my first Spartan Death Race. A few people searched me out to help them train for their first Death Race. When we started this it was long all day events meant to take people to their limits and beyond. It quickly grew as Spartan Races grew and we changed what SISU is. We have now merged with the Weeple Army and are the largest OCR team in the Nation. We have chapters on the West Coast, East Coast, Texas, and Midwest. We host Spartan Training events year long and modify every event so that all athletes of all levels can participate.”

Hailing out of Indiana, the might of the Cornfed Spartans, led by Jonathan Nolan, are instantly recognizable by virtue of their “wrap”-style shirts with the Spartan chewing on a corncob. Boasting over 1500 members, Cornfed members are rarely alone, something very useful as founder Jonathan Nolan explains, “Corn Fed uses the term “family” to describe our team. We use that because when one of us is down, the others pick him/her up, when one of us needs help, others are there, and that is what family does. No matter what, despite anything going on around us, we are there to help each other, whether they are teammates or not, and that is what makes us the Corn Fed Spartans. Next time you’re at a Spartan Race, yell out Corn Fed and see what happens!”

Out of Texas, the Lone Star Spartans follow a similar vein, as member Christopher Rayne explains, “Lone Star Spartans is a Texas based racing team dedicated to helping its members and others live an active lifestyle through the sports OCR, road racing, triathlons, and cycling. We strive to be team for people of all fitness levels that wish to challenge their mental fortitude and shatter their physical limitations. Currently we are at just over 400 strong and growing each day. One of the ways that we help new and current members get to know each other is that Paul Almanza (founder) is constantly looking for local races to join.”

In Canada, The Canadian Mudd Queens – with their team almost 300 strong – are an all-female group dedicated to staying together and helping one another. Pamela Kirk of the CMQ explains, “We just celebrated our first birthday in August. We came together as a group of about 4 online and later met in person. We’ve grown by word of mouth and indoctrinating our friends. We meet like-minded women at races and invite them to drink the kool aid. I believe my daughter is the youngest member [15] that runs adult Spartans and other OCRs. Our oldest member is in her 50s. We come from all walks and stations. No other joining criteria other than female.”

Hailing from Florida, self-confessed “goofy Asian dude”, JayTea Tran, a familiar face with the Spartan Race Street Team community, is a co-founder of Azn Armour which now has close to 500 members. “With our team being represented at most, if not all Spartan Races, it really brings home the close-knit community that we have formed. Our team runs together and we don’t leave any team member behind”, he explains. He continues, “with Azn Armour having teamed up with another east coast team, MudRunFun, it now means that the family is so large that no one person will ever have to run alone. We have a team page where we discuss training, diet, sport clothing among other things. We motivate each other by posting our daily workouts and training strategies.”

But these are just a few examples and barely scratch the surface of the multitude of teams out there. New England Spahtens, Team Braveheart, Chicago Spartans, WVVA Spartans, Team Ugly Fitness, Team Red White and Blue, Boot Camp Rhino, Warrior State Of Mind, Team Burgh all are familiar names across the country and are often seen destroying courses as a unit.

One team that stands out arguable more than any other is Operation Enduring Warrior. Made up of military veterans offering support to the nations wounded heroes, their trademark masks worn by each member signifies the struggles each military member goes through and are worn in a show of solidarity. Their member Todd Love’s picture now being an iconic shot of everything that not only they, but what all teams and Spartan Race stands for; pushing through adversity.

So, get yourself a group of friends, start a website or group page and see where it leads you! Spartan teams stick together!

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by Carrie Adams

Jay Tea, Georgia Spartan Sprint, 2012

When the Spartan Street Team started last year, we knew at HQ that we were onto something special.  Spartan fans and athletes from all over the world were telling our story and getting people to come out to race with Spartan and they were some of our most loyal racers.  When Jay Tea joined, he brought his Azn Armour crew with him and his dedication to Spartan Race and to getting people off their couches and into the muddy action has been inspired.  He wrote a blog about how his February 2011 Spartan Race ignited something in him and how he has taken that spark and turned it into a Spartan fire inspiring so many others along the way.

Here is his story in his own words:

Jaymes Tran, also known as Jay Tea, the co-founder of team Azn Armour.  It was founded by two goofy Asian dudes that ran a whole lotta 5Ks, 10Ks, 15Ks, half and full marathons, DUs and TRIs.  Then, the Florida Super Spartan came into town in 2011, and the rest is history.

Why you joined the Street Team? What Spartan Race means to you.

I had never run a mud/obstacle race before until the FL Super Spartan in 2011.  Once I completed it, I knew then, what I had accomplished when I crossed the Finish Line.  It was self-fulfillment and gratification knowing that I had conquered some challenges that I had never faced before.  I so was intrigue with the race and the family atmosphere that I wanted MORE!  So, I got in touch with the Street Team director, and he got me involved with spreading the word of Spartan Race and my experiences.  I believe I was one of the first Street Team member accepted by Travis Ketchum.  Every day I talk to someone about Spartan Race, be it at a grocery store, at work or simply via Facebook.  I always have my personalized business card handy with my team name and Facebook page on it for recruitment purposes.  Since joining the Street Team, my team of two EXPLODED into a team of 284 today, and it is still growing!  We have teams from Florida, up to Pennsylvania, across to Colorado and  Washington.  Going down the west coast, we also have teams formed in California and Nevada.  And to close it out, we have team coverage from Louisiana upwards to Tennessee and North Carolina.  So, as you can see, we have team in most majority areas, but those aren’t all.  We aim to not only represent at Spartan Races, but others as well to help spread the word on Sparta!

Being able to be part of the Spartan Race family means I am taken care of from the inside.  Knowing that, if I or any of my teammates have any issues, our concerns are heard and addressed.  Given that personal touch, really brings it to home for me.  You’re not just a number at Spartan Race, you are family.  I have yet to meet in person all of the good folks of Sparta, but one of these days, I will… along with all of the awesome racers I have met online as well.

Street Team Course Sweep experience & impact on people finishing a SR

AZN Armour

With our team Azn Armour being represented at most, if not all Spartan Races, really brings together the close knit community that we have formed.  Our team runs together and we don’t leave ANY team member behind.  Every member on the team will cross the Finish line, and we make sure of that.  We recruit true couch potatoes onto our team.  Most of our members are first time mud/obstacle racers.  We help make their race enjoyable, and keep them wanting more.

What it means to be a part of a community of motivating individuals & how you are leveraging it to train at a higher level.

As a team, we also have a team page that we discuss topics such as training, diet, sports clothing, among many other things.  We motivate each other by posting our daily workouts and health strategies.  Some of our team mates are near each other, and they have formed training sessions in their respective areas.  We are an open team, so everyone and anyone is welcomed.  We are a fun group, and if possible, we always tailgate at the races and enjoy the stories and memories that are created from the awesome experiences that Spartan Race give us.  To learn more about Azn Armour and our fun ninja ways, please hit our Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/groups/186550634790293/.

FL Super Spartan 2012

[Editor's Note: We'll be featuring stores from our incredible Street Team regularly on the blog.  Want to be a part of the Street Team action?  Find out how HERE. ]

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