Leading up to the Charlotte Spartan Sprint the entire festival and base camp was submerged under water. Rumors began floating around that the Charlotte Sprint would become the first ever Waterworld Spartan Race. Thankfully, as the weekend approached the sun helped dry things up just enough to ensure another excellent Spartan weekend.

We want to thank everyone who came out this weekend. As late as Tuesday, we were questioning amongst ourselves whether or not we would pull this off. At one point our base camp was over two feet under water. As race day approached we had to change our parking plans multiple times. Thank you for Spartan’ing up and helping us play host to another extraordinary event.

The infamous Hurricane Heat commenced the weekend’s events starting bright and early at 6:00AM. Without those extraordinary teamwork of the Hurricane Heaters, the festival would have remained a disaster; together they hoisted several enormous hay bales from the parking lot to registration and the festival area. Per usual an impressive smoke session (ie. lots of burpees, sit-ups, planks, etc) took place before setting out onto sections of the course. During the PT several participants were broken off from the group to assist in constructing a Spartan mudman sculpture. It’s kind of like a snowman but made with mud. To wrap things up, each team had to mummify a randomly selected member from each team with the required cassette tapes they brought. Abiding by the Warrior Ethos, their fallen comrades had to be carried over a half mile through the course from the Spearman obstacle to the finish. In the Hurricane Heat you start mostly as strangers but finish as a single unified team.

From the Spartan Pro Team we saw a return to the Spartan circuit from female World Champion, Amelia Boone. Joining her were fellow Spartan Pro teammates, Matt Novakovich, Juliana Sproles, Hannah Orders, Elliot Mcguier, and David Magida. Also in attendance were Spartan elites, Valerie Smith, John Henderson, Jeffrey Bent, and Spartan SGX Coach Sarah Pozdol.

It was a grueling competition on Saturday that had all the racers fighting through the extra muddy obstacles. Focus, concentration, everything was tested on this course. Our returning Spartan World Champion, Amelia Boone, took the first place spot on the podium for the women. Spartan Pro Team member, Matt Novakovich also clutched another first place finish. Rounding things out for the women, Ashley Keller took second, just five months after having a baby, and Spartan SGX Coach, Sarah Pozdol came in third. In the men’s competition, Yuri Force crossed the finish just over a minute behind Novakovich snagging second, followed closely by Matthew Taverner in third. Spartan Pro Team members Elliot and David came in fourth and fifth, respectively and Juliana Sproles took eighth.

On Sunday, Spartan Pro Team members Matt Novakovich, Juliana Sproles and Elliot Mcguier returned for some more fun in the mud. The course, which was already a muddy mess, took a turn for the worse (or better in our eyes) after almost 8,300 racers conquered the Saturday Charlotte Sprint. The competition was fierce and Matt Novakovich once again came out victorious. Spartan Pro, Elliot Meguier came in second and Dennis Welch snagged third. The top three women were each separated by nearly a two minute gap with Brittany Duckworth leading the pack taking first, Juliana Sproles returning to the podium in second, and Melanie Jones in third.

Throughout the day, warm ups were conducted near the starting line by Spartan SGX Coaches, Sarah Pozdol and Steve Manns. Nearly 13,000 racers discovered the sense of accomplishment that comes with finishing a Spartan Race. Among those Spartans were a few incredible adaptive athletes that tackled the course. Operation Enduring Warrior, Wounded Warrior and More Hearts than Scars showed us once again that anything is possible especially with the strong support from their amazing community ambassadors.

There was one particularly outstanding moment that represents the embodiment of what it means to be a Spartan. At every Spartan Race there is always a sweeper heat that ensures the entire course is cleared, making certain that everyone out there crosses the finish. Our final racer of the day on Saturday, a young lady by the name of Ana Silva, injured her ankle on the course. She came to the realization that she injured herself near the three mile mark just as she began a hill climb at The Gamble obstacle. Determined to cross that finish line she found herself a walking stick and trudged on. Medical asked her numerous times if she wanted to be taken off the course; she refused. Her response, “I’m finishing this race!” Kudos to her, because that’s just what she did, giving it her all and collapsing to the ground at the finish line. Ana, is a Spartan and we applaud her unrelenting pursuit to finish what she started. Thank you to the sweeper heat and staff who kept her company for the remainder of her race.

We can’t forget about the Spartan Kids Race, offering youngsters ages 4-13 an opportunity to conquer their own obstacles on the course built just for them. The smiles on those little ones faces as they climb the cargo net and tackle the mud are so refreshing. It’s a wonderful sight to see these little people doing what they should be doing, getting out there and playing in some mud. “Don’t worry mom, its okay, I’m a Spartan.” Keep your eyes out for these youngsters over the next few years, there are some next generation Spartan Pro Team members getting a jump start on their journey!

In the festival and at the finish our sponsor Core Power delivered some delicious protein drinks, keeping our participants and spectators properly fueled throughout the day. Our friends at Obstacle Racing Media were on site providing race day coverage of all the day’s activities and SpartanUp! Graphix presented their impressive wall graphics made straight from your favorite race photos. Be sure to check out your race photos and check out SpartanUp! Graphix for extra large prints and life-size cut-outs.

After a very long and exciting weekend here in Charlotte, North Carolina the Spartan Team is packing up and preparing to head west for the Vegas Spartan Super. You won’t want to miss out on the madness in Sin City, where we’ll be launching the first ever Hurricane Heat Twelve Hour!

If you haven’t signed up yet, SpartanUp! and make it happen today! Sign up, show up, and never, ever give up! We’ll see you at the finish line. AROO!!!

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By Jason Jaksetic

Charlotte 101

Enjoy the sunny, southern charm of Charlotte while on a Spartan weekend this March. The Charlotte area is a picturesque backdrop for adventures, both on and off the course at Porter Farms. From NASCAR to art Museums, Charlotte has a diverse landscape of leisure and strenuous activity for you to navigate the weekend of March 23-26.

 

Weather is normally great this time of year. But Charlotte has a way of messing with folk. While the average high does nudge towards the mid 60′s, especially as it accelerates towards April, be aware the the average low can turn around a give you a sharp slap across the face like a scorned lover and have you bear the brunt of chilly 39 – and that’s not even taking into account the wind chill, should there be any. This is why the Spartan Race is Charlotte is always so hotly anticipated. Not only do we not know what the course will have in store, but the weather always plays a part. So the questions remains if the elements are going to make you a little dirty Harry. Do you feel lucky, punk?

Here’s what to look forward to -

THE COURSE 

This course will be fat and fast, and most certainly muddy. This venue is a fully operational farm and we were given free reign with the land, so expect surprises in true Spartan fashion.

NASCAR EPICENTER

If you’re a NASCAR fan, there is no better place in the world to visit than Charlotte. Charlotte is home to the NASCAR Hall of Fame – a four-story, 150,000 square foot building operating seven days a week from 10am – 6pm.

There’s also Charlotte Motor Speedway. This is the only race venue where you can visit the team garages. The Speedway offers daily tours that include a trip down pit road and the ability to snap your photo at victory lane. Bonus: camping available.

NIGHTLIFE

Charlotte has dozens of bars and clubs for post race libations and celebrations. Big names include Black Finn American SaloonProhibition, and Bad Dogs Pub. Maybe you want the freshest brew that North Carolina has to offer. Enjoy a newly minted draft at one of the local breweries, such as NoDa Brewing, the Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, Birdsong Brewing Co, or Heist Brewery. More on breweries here.

Want to get a bit crazy? A listing of local night clubs can be found here.

 FAMILY DESTINATIONS

Expend your cultural, scientific, and athletic horizons at one of these amazing, education, and fun options for the entire family:

Bechtler Museum of Modern Art

Hours:
Mon, Wed-Sat: 10AM-5PM
Sun: 12-5PM

Discovery Place – Science Museum

Hours:
Mon-Fri: 9AM-4PM
Sat: 10AM-6PM
Sun: 12-5PM

Charlotte Bobcats NBA Game

They are home Saturday March 22, 24, and 26.

U.S. National Whitewater Center – Mountain biking, running trails, climbing center, kayaking, canoeing, and whitewater rafting

SHOPPING

Charlotte offers a full range of opportunities to get some shopping done if you so choose. Whether at the local South Park Mall or Concord Mills (the largest outlet and value retail shopping destination in North Carolina) there is something for everyone during your downtime before and after the race. Some of the shops you will find to choose from are Dillard’s, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus,  Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., Frontgate, Cole Haan, St. John, Hermes, Ralph Lauren, Kate Spade, Michael Kors, Tory Burch, Lilly Pulitzer and more.

sources: wiki, Nascar.

 

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