Spartan Race returns to Glen Rose, Texas, for the last race scheduled in the 2013 calendar year. Hosted by Rough Creek Lodge and Resort, a venue of 11,000 acres in the foothills of the Texas Hill Country, this Spartan Beast is sure to test newcomers and Elites alike with a minimum expected 10-12 mile distance of ruggedly formed Obstacle Racing arena from Hell.

With much attention on the recent 2013 Reebok Spartan Race World Championships appearing on NBC Sports, many will now find themselves ready to put Texas mud to the test on what is unquestionably the next toughest course Spartan Race has to offer. Although the venue does not offer the step-mountain slopes that can be found in Vermont; Texas soil is well-known for a harshness in terrain that will dishearten any of those that may take it for granted. This venue yet stands as the only previous location to have hosted another Spartan Race World Championship not long ago in 2011. It was also the location of one of the biggest showdowns in the following year as several Elite racers battled relentlessly to gain much needed points, officially ending the 2012 Spartan Race Elite Points Series.

Spartan Pro Team athlete Shawn Feiock.

Without any doubt, we can expect to find an element of the unknown to awaken from the plotting minds at Spartan Race. As a new twist, and perhaps a chilling testimony on what is to come, this year’s Texas Beast course has been designed by the mastermind of the 2013 Vermont Ultra Beast, Norm Koch. Most racers are expected to spend longer than 3 hours to complete this course, some up to 7 hours. And as if the terrain and monstrous obstacles that this Beast has to offer wasn’t enough to already weaken your spine, temperatures have plummeted in Texas over the last few weeks enough to offer a glimpse of what also put so many athletes’ determination and willpower to the ultimate test in the recent Reebok Spartan Race World Championships.

Many returning champions will attend this race that has been nothing less than a spectacle to behold over prior years. On the men’s side, no one has yet been able to defeat the champion of the Texas Beast, Hobie Call. Strong numbers and some of his most fierce competition including Cody Moat, Hunter McIntyre, Brakken Kraker, David Magida, Elliott Megquire, Christopher Rutz, Joseph Kauder, Anthony Matesi, and Matt Novakovich are expected to attend and threaten mercilessly his reign on the Texas podium. And just as impassioned on the female’s side, the previous years’ prowess of Jenny Tobin and April Luu will be challenged by expected competitors such as Rose Marie Jarry, TyAnn Clark, Jackie Rust, Tonya Stogsdill, Andi Hardy, and Daniell Ross. Texas is also home of some of the most resilient Spartan Elite talent including Isaiah Vidal and Ella Kociuba, as well as the infamous Spartan Race couple Shawn Feiock and the ‘Mini Beast’ Sue Luck.

Spartan Pro Team athlete Shawn Feiock will be in attendance with several local Texas Spartan Racers personally recruited and trained ready for the Texas Beast. New and returning racers such as Michael Mauk, Chris Rust, Jeremy Dinges, Kyle Lee, Evan Williams, Paul Drew, JB Gerhart, Ben Pelg, Bryan Thompson, Amanda Thompson, Christina Armstrong, Kristine Iotte, and Jessica King will be coming in after months of rigorous training for their shot at a victorious finish. Other big Texas teams including the Lone Star Spartans, Cowbell Spartans, and Team SISU Texas, will surely forge their own paths in the ruthless terrain and unforgiving hills that await in Glen Rose, Texas.

This race will prove you not only ‘Spartan Tough’, but also ‘Texas Tough’. This is the TEXAS SPARTAN BEAST… Step up and get out of your comfort zone, don’t miss your chance to push yourself to the limit!! Many will arrive, but few will leave! Are you ready for a Spartan Race? Look through our future events and sign up here.

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By guest blogger Alec Blenis

What a weekend! The 2013 South Carolina Beast pushed athletes to their limits with 12+ miles of rugged trails, frigid temperatures, and tough obstacles. Despite these challenges, top male finishers still managed to get through the course in under 2 hours with the women not far behind. There were great performances all around. 

On the men’s side, the race started with dozens of racers looking to make a statement during the relatively easy first mile, but it didn’t take long for front-runners to emerge. By mile 2, Hunter McIntyre, Isaiah Vidal, Alec Blenis, Matthew Taverner, and Elliott Megquier comprised the top 5. The first few miles of the race featured lots of ups and downs, technical footing, and extended running sections; the majority of the challenging obstacles were found on the second half of the course. Returning to the festival area around mile 5, Hunter led Alec by a minute, but failed the traverse wall with frozen hands; both made the spear throw and other festival area obstacles. Alec briefly gained the lead and would run neck and neck with Hunter for 6 more miles. Meanwhile, Isaiah and Matthew were battling for 3rd.

Although they began the obstacle together, Hunter gained an insurmountable lead on Alec during the mile 11 bucket carry and would win by a 1.5 minute margin. While Alec struggled with the bucket, Isaiah and Matthew were gaining quickly from behind. Always excellent at the strength obstacles, Isaiah made a push for 3rd at the bucket carry and maintained this position through the end of the race. The top 5 finishers in order were Hunter, Alec*, Isaiah, Matthew, and Elliott.

In the ladies Elites, the starting grid was bustling with faces that made it hard to pick a favorite. Melinda Branch and Jolene Wilkinson, a top twenty finisher in Vermont, were also ready to go on the attack. In the end, it was April Luu, fresh from a 2nd place in Mexico, who announced her return in emphatic style, coming in a full 10 minutes ahead of the pack. Rose-Marie Jarry fought hard to take second place with Jolene Wilkinson taking the last place on the podium.

Jamie Cooper and Angela Kalal kept up the pressure on the top of the points rankings – now in 6th and 8th place respectively – with the evergreen Andi Hardy still sat in second place just behind Laura Messner.

With competition fiercer than ever in the female Elite division, 2014 will be arguably the tightest and most hotly contested year for the Spartan Race ladies.

As everyone now looks towards Fenway – the last stadium series of 2013 – who will see victory there?

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Guest Blogger Alec Blenis

This weekend, racers will return to Carolina Adventure World for the second running of the South Carolina Spartan Beast. If you ran this race in 2012, surely you remember moving through sandy river beds, up and down ravines, the lake swim… and who can forget the brutal barbed wire crawl at mile 12? All that and more awaits you on Saturday. While it may be at the same venue, this year’s race will have a very different feel than before.

Last October, many running the Carolina Beast were still recovering from the Vermont Beast and Ultra Beast just weeks earlier. With the race now in November, the top racers are strong and ready to take advantage of some of the “runnable” trails that this course has to offer. Not that this race is any easy one; with the exception of the World Championships, the South Carolina Beast was the slowest race of 2012. Top racers are expected to take two hours or more to complete the 13+ mile course.

Spartan Race never releases course details in advance, but I do have the inside scoop about one obstacle new to Carolina Adventure World: the cold. Race morning temperature is forecasted to be a chilly 39 degrees. Overnight temps in the low 30s will mean very cold water and increased difficulty for obstacles like the traverse wall and spear throw. I hope you’ve been practicing! Rumor has it that Hunter McIntyre has been practicing his spear throw while fully submerged in an icy lake. Look for him at the front of the pack on Saturday. 

Also racing for the Spartan Pro Team are Elliott Megquier and Alec Blenis, each eager to start racking up points for the 2013 – 2014 season. Dennis Welch, distance runner and coach for the Endurance Project, will be there chasing his first Spartan podium after a strong finishes at Sprint distance races earlier this year.

On the women’s side, April Luu is looking to make a statement at her first race of the new season. Rose-Marie Jarry and Andi Hardy are also hoping to make the podium this weekend. Good luck everyone!

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Along with thousands of others, James Simpson, 27, is eagerly preparing for the London Beast set for November 9, 2013. The finish will earn the Leeds native his coveted Trifecta; he’s successfully completed his Super and Sprint already.

The London Spartan Beast finish will mark the end of several busy months of training and racing for the retired Lance Bombardier. What makes Simpson so unique is that he is the first UK double amputee to finish a Spartan Race, let alone earn a Trifecta.

His story is highlighted in this feature on his finish on his first finish earlier this year.

Good luck, James!

[Editor's Note: We first featured James in an earlier blog post. Read more about his inspired story HERE.  He is also raising money as part of Spartan Journey for the Armed Forces charity SSAFA. You can find his website HERE to learn more and donate.]

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by Mike Morris, Spartan Race Director

283422_10150251576106861_251061411860_8082902_6099537_nEarlier this year we announced the inclusion of the Ultra Beast.  A 26.2ish distance event to coincide with the Beast in Vermont in September.  IN addition to the new distance race, we announced that the race (both Ultra and regular Beast) would be mostly unsupported.  That means the athlete’s will have to provide for themselves their own nutrition, hydration, and fuel for the race.  To help athlete’s prepare, we have begun a series of posts designed to educate those taking part.

As a Race Director, I’m always trying to find new and creative ways to safely challenge our competitors.  Given the nature (and history?) of our Killington event its important this race continues to set the bar high.  Most of the Spartan Founders come from an Adventure Racing background; races lasting anywhere from 4 hours to 9 days with multiple disciplines, intensive navigation, and little to no support.  You could go days without seeing another person.  Proper planning of nutritional needs could mean a top ten finish versus needing to call in for an evacuation.  Even a “sprint” race required forethought on what to eat, when to eat, and how much to eat.  Thus we thought it fitting to add an unsupported element to the event.  As you prepare for the Killington Beast, I want you to start thinking about those three things:

1. What

2. When

3. How much

If you can’t answer them as you face the start columns then you are going to have a hell of a time.  Consider these tips as you start to create your plan.

Water/Hydration.  You need it.  If you don’t carry any on the course you risk cramping,216632_10150251576831861_251061411860_8082923_6114783_n nausea, heat stroke, and a 99% of not finishing the race.  Start with 20 oz per hour and adjust as needed.   If it’s a hot day as you climb a double black diamond with a sandbag then you will wish you had more.  Since everyone will be on course for more than three hours, you should consider adding an electrolyte supplement (especially if you don’t get enough through your calorie supplements) to help prevent muscle cramps and keep your body working most efficiently at many levels. 

Calories.  The longer your race, the more you need per hour.  The more intense the activity, the more you need per hour.  Stay away from high fat and protein dense items, your GI tract will thank you later.  Stick with relatively high glycemic index foods, and shoot for around 100 calories per hour.  Big Spartans will need more, little Spartans could work with less. 

My next blog will include some specific examples of what to eat/drink.  In the meantime, do some homework of your own (some Google searching can be very effective), you’ll learn 10x more than my few blog entries can accomplish which will empower you to have more effective training and successful racing moving forward.

Aroo!

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by Carrie Adams

trifecta-badgeThe Spartan Race schedule in 2011 was a brutal one.  From the mountains of Vermont to the flat grounds of Texas, the foothills of SoCal and the muddy, sticky Midwest all-terrain sites, we put Spartans all over the globe through their paces.  With our trademark colors and unique medals, Spartans traveled far and wide to claim Spartan glory and bring home the hardware and the unforgettable memories.

Out of our schedule that included the three Spartan distances:  Sprint (red), Super (blue), Beast (green) there was but one Beast in Killington, VT and there were fewer than 100 who earned the right to call themselves Trifecta Tribe when the year was said and done.

Spartan Trifecta Tribe members are a rare breed of Spartan Racer that, in just one calendar race year, they completed the short and fast Spartan Sprint, the longer tougher Super Spartan, and the toughest and longest of all… the Spartan Beast.

Check out our new page that highlights the Trifecta Tribe of 2011.  Then step up in 2012 and compete and finish at least one race in all three distances. Then, you will be worthy of being on this list and earn your official patch and tribe membership!  We have Season Passes still available so you can get your Spartan fix and your membership all year long.  Head over to www.spartanrace.com, check out the schedule and commit to make your 2012 memorable.

If you want to get inducted in the Spartan Trifecta Tribe you have to put in the work.  See you in 2012.

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Asparagus and Garlic Sauce

Beast – Level 3 Difficulty

by Rose Marie Jarry

The Facts
High Fiber, High Protein, High Vitamin
30 minutes
4 servings
262 calories per serving
Vegan, gluten-free

Ingredients:

2 cups of white beans (cooked)
2 cups of coconut beverage
5 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
1 teaspoon of vegetable broth concentrate
1/2 cup of fresh cilantro
2 pounds of asparagus
4 fresh endives

Directions

1. Steam the asparagus and endives for 8 minutes. Set aside in a warm spot.
2. Blend the white beans, coconut beverage, veggie broth concentrate, and garlic cloves, until you have a smooth texture. Heat in a pot on medium heat.
3. Once hot, add the fresh cilantro, and your steamed asparagus and endives. Heat to desired temperature and serve.

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