by Alec Blenis
(Editors note: Alec Blennis was 4th in our Miami Super Spartan and this weekend he will being doing our Georgia Spartan Sprint with his entire family. Thank you for submitting this, Alec!)
Start From Now
Crossing the finish line of the Georgia Spartan Sprint, exhausted, Bob Blenis glances at his medal, downs a cup of water, and hugs his family. “That reminded me of Quantico”, he exclaims, recalling his military training, “…just tougher”. After driving 400 miles directly to the race, finishing was the easy part. Bob drives over 100 mile to work every day, typically working 60 hour weeks. He would get home at 5:00 or 6:00pm, but night time workouts often keep him out much later. Impressive?
Bob is 67 years old.
Since the Georgia event in March 2011, Bob has finished three Super Spartans and the Vermont Spartan Beast. He has even signed up for at least eight races this year. So, what made Bob sign up for his very first obstacle race? “Family,” he says, and that’s what keeps him coming back. Bob believes Spartan Race is a great opportunity for families to have fun together. “I would never travel across the country just to run,” he says, “ but Spartan Races are different. You get to see new places, spend time with family, and meet some really great people.” Bob is pretty great too, and at 67 years old, he has been the oldest finisher at every race. He doesn’t take his age to seriously though. “I have lived nearly 68 years so far, and feel like I’ll live 68 more… [Spartan Race] is saving my life.”
Along with a desire to live a long and healthy life, Spartan Race has motivated Bob to train harder. He takes fitness classes at his local gym, goes to “boot camp” every Saturday morning, and runs after work, weather permitting. He takes no medication, just a multi-vitamin. “I exercise so I can eat what I want. I do eat mostly vegetables, but I exercise so I don’t have to watch what I eat.” Whatever Bob is doing, it’s working. Not only has he been the oldest finisher at each of his Spartan Races, he’s finished respectably, outperforming more than half of his competition. In fact, he placed in the top 40% of all finishers in last weekend’s Super Spartan in Miami, Florida. He’s not trying to beat anyone though. Well, except for his daughter-in-law.
“A lot of people my age just sit around,” Bob says, “but I’m running Spartan Races and don’t plan on stopping any time soon.” Bob thinks too many people don’t participate because of age and that they’re really missing out on the fun. “Being able to associate with guys like Hobie Call is awesome… and spending time with my family is just great.”
With three generations of the Blenis family competing in Spartan Races, we’ll be seeing a lot of Bob and his family this year.