On the Las Vegas Strip, opulent waterfalls, sky scraping hotels and lush retreats abound.  On The Strip, you could almost forget that this bustling city began simply as a dream in a desert.

Yes, a desert.

This Saturday, thousands of Spartans will invade the infamous Sin City for the second-ever Las Vegas Super, which make no mistake, while conveniently located, is taking place on the outskirts of the metropolis, away from the ringing bells of casinos, the air conditioned biomes of pink clouds the billboards of lights, lights and more lights.

Spartan Racers should expect nearly nine miles and nearly two dozen obstacles in the dry, dusty plains of the Nevada desert.

With a new locale from last year aptly called the “Gravel Pit,” course designers are promising all the Spartan staples — spears, ropes, walls, pits, tires — amid both the natural, rocky topography and new, man-made terrain.  There will be muddy portions, but true to the setting, very little water, except for the planned three stations and one at the finish. If last year is any indication, participants should also expect some down and uphill climbs. At last check, the weather predictions called for sun with highs in the 70s and a slight wind.

The Racer Athlete Guide suggests everyone bringing an ID for check in (and any post-race drinks), arriving at least an hour before the wave start, carrying personal hydration and nutrition. If starting at 2:00pm or later, it’s also advised to carry a headlamp. Click here for the Las Vegas Athlete Guide.

Just like the desert itself, the elite heats will be scorching, with athletes from the around the nation all vying for spots on the podium and top ranking in the 2014 World Points Series, especially since this is a one-day event.

In the men’s elite, look for 2013 top-ranked Brian Hoover and the Spartan Pro Teamers Elliott Megquier, Chris Rutz, David Magida, current points leader, Hunter Mcintyre and Charlotte’s first place winner, Matt Novakovich.

Last year’s Vegas 2nd place winner TyAnn Clark and Spartan World Champion Amelia Boone are both expected to take the start line in the women’s heat, as are Leslie St. Louis, making her first 2014 return from injury, and Pro Teamers Andi Hardy, Juliana Sproles and Tiffanie Novakovich.

Beyond the Super Spartan, there are other events taking place on Saturday: the not-to-be-missed Kids’ Races, the 6:00 am Hurricane Heat and the 12-hour Hurricane Heat (HH12HR), which serves as one of the qualifying events for the Peak Death Race.

While all of the events promise to challenge racers, the festival area will offer some Spartan-Style entertainment and fun, including food and refreshments, an SGX Warm up every hour starting at 7:30am, an SGX tutorial on rope climbing every hour starting at 9:00 am and Pull-up, Traverse Wall, Slosh Pipe and Tire Flip challenges happening throughout at the day starting around 10:00 am.

Amid obstacles, sweeping desert views and rousing “Aroos!” racers at the Spartan Super this weekend will likely discover something new to remember about Las Vegas, a city founded on dreams and a desert.

Click here for more information.

 

Leslie St. Louis is a trail runner, obstacle racer and mom of two mud-loving girls in Morrison, Colorado. She is currently ranked 9th in the Spartan World Points Series and the founder of a local obstacle group, resource and blog, Colorado Obstacle Racers, http://coloradoobstacleracers.com/.

 

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We’ve all been there. You duck under that first length of barbed wire and after having moved what feels like 20 yards, you look up and realize it’s closer to 2 or 3 feet. You take a peek over the wire and it seems like this crawl spans all the way into the next state.

Pro Team member Chris Rutz knows how you feel and as such, has helped with another episode of Buck Furpees and will now give you some pointers regarding how to train for and then beat the barbed wire crawl.

Don’t forget to check out the previous episodes of Buck Furpees on our Youtube Channel (link) and brush up on other videos including the Traverse Wall, The Atlas Carry, Rope Climb and the dreaded Spearman Throw.

See you at the finish line!

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By guest writer and Spartan Pro Team member Elliott Megquier 

Arizona is a unique state, you can experience all four seasons in one day depending on where you are traveling throughout the state. Reebok Spartan Race comes back to the Phoenix area for the four year and each year they have out down themselves. This year Fort McDowell Rodeo Grounds will host a Sprint distance of 3+ miles on Saturday February 8th and Sunday February 9th.  For more info on the venue check out this link.

For the course expect a rocky dessert terrain, running up and down steep ridges and hills. Cacti will be out in full force and for those not careful, they will get a sharp, prickly surprise. The weather Saturday calls for a high of 65 degrees with 0% of rain. While Sunday warms up to a high of 73 degrees, again with no rain in sight. Locals might complain that is cold, but for people like me that live in upstate New York that is marvelous weather.

Matt Novakovich a hot favorite to podium again

For the men the hyped up Matt “The Bear” Novakovich headlines the Spartan’s aiming for victory. In his first Spartan Race ever Matt took down the Champion Hobie Call, but ever since he has been unable to find the top honor with just a third place at the Fenway Stadium Sprint. Elliott Megquier will be back to Arizona for the third year in a row and he will look to slay the bear. Miguel Medina is taking a break from building his cabin in Vermont and he will also try to use his new found Mountain Man training to secure his first victory. Other racers expected to challenge will be Shawn Feiock, Chris “Tough Training Guy” Rutz, possibly the Arizona native John Yatsko who burst onto the Spartan scene with two podium finishes in Temecula. If present, John becomes the top contender.

On the women’s side, look for K.K. Paul to be the favorite. Paul is coming off podium finishes in Temecula (1st Place Sunday Sprint) and Glen Rose where she beat the likes of Rose Wetzel, April Luu, and TyAnn Clark. Clark will look to revenge her defeat and looks to be the top challenger. Laura Messner is another name to watch, as she is coming off a Saturday Temecula Sprint victory. Another name you can’t count out is former Spartan Champion Jenny Tobin. Jenny is known to always challenge for victory wherever she races and whatever the distance, in Temecula she had her first burpee free race so watch out she is on her game. Other racers planning on toeing the line are Ang Reynolds, Juliana Sproles and Sue Luck.

Tyann Clark is gunning for victory in Arizona

Other cool things to look for are the Painted Warrior Team of Stephen Sinek and Aeni Domme who always create amazing body paint that Sinek races in for racers/spectators to admire. The kid’s race is always a highlight as it is so amazing to see kids active and excited to become the next great Spartan as they grow older. Lastly I’m calling out my cousin Erik Carlson to race with me. Last year he became a Spartan, but since he has fallen off the wagon exercise wise, I’m using peer pressure to get him to race with me again.

Click here for more information on forthcoming events.

Elliott Megquier is a member of the Spartan Team and a veteran of 69 Spartan Races. He has many podiums to his name, but is still looking for his first Saturday victory. Last season Megquier finish 4th in the points series, after finishing 5th the year before.

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It has been a week since the Vermont Championship Beast. Arguably the hardest Spartan Race this side of the Ultra Beast. We had a chance to catch up with some of the Pro Team to get their feedback on the race. Despite their toughness, training and experience, they suffer the same mental and physical challenges along the course. Here is some of what they shared with us.

Elliott Megquier, who has completed more Spartan Races this year than any other Pro Team athlete, shared his thoughts.

“It was about of mental and physical toughness. It was not about who was the fastest runner (a two time NYC Marathon Champion quit), not about hype. It was about determination and plugging away. I was discourage after doing 30 burpees for the spear and then for the Tarzan swing. But I brushed it aside and ran through cramping.”

Jenny Tobin, finished in 4th place and was the ProTeam’s top placing women.

“I had three goals: goal C was to finish, goal B be in the top 10 and goal A be in the top 5. I felt like I could at least accomplish my C goal but I had thought that in Vegas too and did not finish…Anyway, I lined up a few rows back and started very slowly not knowing how I would feel and knew it would be a long day so no sense in going anaerobic from the get go.” She went on to say, “The obstacles were tough but the mountain seemed like the biggest obstacle. I also felt like there were as not as many obstacles as the year before other than the mountain this year, however, the killer obstacle was the 60 lb sand bag carry straight up hill and down that seemed to go on forever!!! I would have liked to have seen Morgan Arritola carry that thing being that she probably doesn’t even weigh a 100 lbs.”

Ang Reynolds, one of the most experienced Spartan Pro Team women on the course had her own finishing doubts along the way.

“Coming back down that mountain I rolled my ankle on a rock under some grass. I went down, picked myself back up, and made the decision to walk off the course. At this point, I realized my will to finish could not supersede my lack of training. I was completely spent. I limped down the mountain and finally caught sight of my fiancé. I told him I
was going to quit. I told him that it was the smartest thing I could do at that time to avoid further injury. He looked at me and said, “Well, let’s make sure. Why don’t you pick up that sandbag and start climbing while you think?” I grabbed the sandbag and headed back up the mountain. I have since heard that those sandbags were between 65-75 pounds, more than my 7-year-old son, and well over half of my body weight. That wasn’t very fun.

Miguel Medina, who has seen the podium many times this year, most recently at the NorCal Beast had his own personal triumph on the race course.

“Dealing with an injury less than halfway through the race hampered my efforts and shattered any hopes of achieving a top finish, at this point the race was completely mental; finish…adapt or die. I refused to be beaten by this beast, regardless of my placement I was going to finish this race, and I reject the idea of quitting so almost 6 hours later, it was all over…beat up, tired, weak and weary…but not defeated.” and “Adversity tests our will and asks us to do more, so I’m answering the call…next year The Beast won’t know what hit it.

Cody Moat, last years winner and this years 4th place man almost DNF’d. Here is what went through his head at that point and how he came back to finish strong. After a failed attempt at the Tarzan swim

“Half way through my burpees my legs began to cramp. Instead of the burpees taking 2 minutes they took around 3 minutes. I knew at this point that it would be hard to regain the lead but I thought perhaps there was still a chance. So I took off again and only made it 200 meters and my leg really cramped. I sat there on the ground while Matt Murphy ran by. I didn’t know what to do, I’d never had a cramp that bad. So I began hobbling back to a DNF when I decided that I was going to find a way to make my cramped quad bend. So I pushed down on the ground as hard as I could to make my knee bend and it finally bent and released the cramp. By this time Matt had probably gained 5 minutes on me so I knew that it would be tough to catch up with anyone ahead of me. So off I went through the woods but I couldn’t really get going again because I knew any minute my cramp may return. After about 2 more miles of running I had worked out my cramped muscles but there was no catching anyone up ahead so I finished the race in 4th place.”

Christopher Rutz, the Tough Training guy and the oldest man on the Pro Team hit a huge obstacle at the Tyrolean Traverse.

“Coming into the Tyrolean Traverse I was in a good position in the course. So I aggressively decided to traverse under the rope. In hindsight, this was a big mistake for me at this point in the race. I should have been more conservative and used the ‘on the top’ approach. I attempt the traverse 3 times, and each time I failed. Once trying on the top, but without a shirt the impact of rope burn on my chest was unpalatable. Pumping out thirty burpees after each attempt really zapped my strength, but not my spirit. I was determined to finish the race despite the impact this would have on my time and placement. You can be sure I will have revenge on the Traverse and The Beast next year.”

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by Hunter McIntyre, Spartan Elite Athlete

The second Spartan Race In Mexico is this weekend, May 17, 18, and 19th in Mexico City. The ante has been raised with $10,000 in prize money, and Elite heat and a Super distance. I have been looking forward to getting back down south to see some of the hardest working Spartan enthusiast I’ve met to date! This could be the toughest Spartan venue in the world, racing at an elevation of more than 9000 feet, 9 miles of rugged terrain to cover and 25 gnarly obstacles. If you want a hint to how that might feel try running with a bag over head while running on a treadmill plus a few burpees every mile!  (Just kidding don’t ever try that!)

Making this even more exciting and challenging, I will not be the only one crossing the border for this epic race. Joining me are few other of the top US Elite wave racers. We will be running the Elite heat on Saturday. Scheduled to race on the trails are Miguel Medina, David Magida and Christopher ‘Tough Training’ Rutz charging against me for the gold. On the women’s side look for Andi Hardy and Margaret “Dirt in Your Skirt” Schlachter. They are both taking their first trip to a Mexico Spartan Race in hopes of taking the podium places from the local competition.

So what does this does Mexico Super Spartan at Valle de Bravo have to offer!? Besides the extreme venue and competitors there is a whopping cash prize 3500$ for the first place finisher, 1000$ for 2nd and 500$ for third. This will truly make the race a cut throat battle for those who can push themselves to limit during this challenging high altitude race. In addition to the US racers, the Mexican athletes have been training hard and will literally give some of the US racers a run for their money. Watch out for Hector Hernandez, a Crossfit coach at WODBOX Cancun, a Spartan Race official training center and Yusef Chalita. Yusef finished just behind me in the Mexico City Spartan Sprint in February.

I have to say I am truly excited to be racing in the Mexico Spartan Race series again, but I am not the only one who is hot to trot for this race. This race sold out within 72 hours of the registration date opening. There are so many participants that the race will be spread across three days.

Just a week away from the starting line I have my bags packed and my game face on! If anyone out there is brave enough to challenge the elites for a podium place I wish you the best of luck, see you all at the finish line!

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Spartan Race is headed to a brand new place this weekend for a Spartan Sprint – Montana! This is Spartan Race’s first time ever at this location and in Montana. This race will be located near Kalispell, the Gateway to the Glacier National Park! Our Race Director Todd Sedlak promises a brutal course but “worth it when you reach the summit.” Oh, and by the way you better be dressing in layers as the forecast is 34 degrees for race day! We have yet another race with the locals having an advantage of living at altitude.

On the men’s elite side we have Cody Moats, Chris Rutz, Elliot Megquier, Brad Fredricks, and Rob Michaud going. The Cody Moats vs Elliot Megquier match-up being the favorite. Let’s see what ya got boys!
On the woman’s side we have Juliana Sproles, Andi Hardy, Margret Schlacher, and Bev Watson. The woman’s side should prove to be a close race also. Good Luck to all stay safe and warm! Navy Federal Credit Union putting up some cash 1st $500, 2nd $300, 3rd $100!

Are you ready for a Spartan Race?  Click HERE to find one near you!

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by Chris Rutz
It is time for the second stadium race brought to you by Spartan Race!  Citi Field promises to deliver in a big way!  The stadium concept kicked off last year at Fenway and now we are coming to the city so nice, they named it twice, New York, New York. This is a sprint distance race with many familiar obstacles, however, the stadium will add an element of surprise and difficulty. This year we have four stadium races currently on the schedule with more on the horizon.  First up, is this weekend’s Citi Field Race!

4/13 – Citi Field
8/31 – Citizens Bank Park
9/7 – Miller Park
11/16 – Fenway

Spartan’s Elite racers are excited about coming to Citi Field this weekend to see how they transition from the varied terrain of a typical Reebok Spartan Race to the more controlled environment presented in the stadium.

Look for Alexander Nicholas, the winner of Fenway in 2012, to go for a repeat win in the stadium series. He will be challenged by Elliott Megquier, David Magida, Miguel Medina, Hunter McIntyre and Joey Patrolia. Joey is the only one of the five that has experienced a stadium race before, so he will certainly have the advantage. Hunter McIntyre is coming off of a photo finish third place in Vegas so this will be an exciting heat to watch.

The women’s side is wide open. Shaun Provost, the winner of Fenway will be defending her stadium title. Many of the top ladies that were in Las Vegas last weekend are sitting this one out. Look for new females faces to emerge and battle Shaun for the podium.

We’re getting all set-up and ready for the Spartans to descend on Citi Field.  Will you be on among them?

Maybe you have run a Spartan Race already, but have you run a Spartan Race in the stadium?  Time to sign up.

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by Chris Rutz, Elite Spartan Athlete

David Chandler

The Reebok Spartan Race Carolinas Sprint continues a new program with some of the best Spartan Racers in the sport of obstacle racing. It is called the Reebok Spartan Race Invite Series. We have asked our top racers to invite someone to run a Spartan Race with them. The top Spartan Racer will host someone they have been trying to get into Spartan Racing. It may be their best friend, their wife, their son, their coach or anyone who can coerce and invitation out of them. It just has to be someone that has never done a Spartan Race.

For the Carolinas Sprint, David Chandler has invited his mom, brother-in-law and sister to join him in a Spartan Race. They will be running together in one of the Open heats on Saturday afternoon. David competed in 10 Spartan Races in 2012. He finished 8th overall in the 2012 Series and won $1,000.

David told us “I will be running with my Mom, Sister, and Brother in law. They have seen me race before and see me train all the time. They think that I am crazy for doing it, but see how much fun I have. I decided to surprise them this Christmas with entry into the Reebok Spartan Sprint in Charlotte as their gift that I will run with them!”

We asked his family a few questions:

How do you know the Spartan racer?

Rhonda Chandler (Mom): David is my Spartan Crazed son, whom I watched train like a maniac last summer and who sparked my interest in strength training. Brian Alexander: I’m part of his entourage (Brother in law). Marissa Alexander (Sister): My brother, he is the one with the Mohawk.

What is your athletic background?

Rhonda Chandler: I’ve been casually running for the past 30 years. After being challenged by David this summer, I added a variety of strength training and interval training to my weekly workouts. I’m really enjoying all the variety and have gotten much stronger and improved my race times. Marissa Alexander: I like to run and swim for fun in my neighborhood.

Why did you say yes when you were asked?

Rhonda Chandler: I thought it would be neat to see the middle portion of a race as the beginning and end are so neat to watch. I also thought I could be a good sport and give it a try. Brian Alexander: Because it was a challenge. Marissa Alexander: I had no choice…….it was my Christmas present!

What are you most excited about?

Rhonda Chandler: I’m looking forward to jumping over the fire at the end of the race. I hope I haven’t used all my energy up on burpees! Brian Alexander: Having fun and competing with my family. Marissa Alexander: Getting the tee shirt and being able to say “I am a Spartan!”

What are you most worried about?

Rhonda Chandler: David knows this answer. I’m worried about the water events. I don’t like getting wet and cold. A little mud would be ok, but soaking wet and covered in mud is a different story. Brian Alexander: Potentially having to run with wet shoes. Marissa Alexander: The large number of burpees I will have to do.

Think you’re ready to take on a Reebok Spartan Race?  Get signed up today!

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by Chris Rutz, Elite Spartan Athlete

Reebok Spartan Racing is heading to Georgia. This weekend Spartan racing action will be in Conyers at the Georgia International Horse Park. This will be the first Sprint of the season on the East Coast. Look for some fast times from the top racers. They should rip through this course in a little over 30 minutes.

On the men’s side look for Alec Blenis at his 2013 debut at a Spartan Race. He is looking to return to the podium at his hometown race. Looking to challenge him will be Joey Patrolia and David Magida, both fresh of off top placing in Miami two weeks ago. If David stays on course he might just win the race. Another David, David Chandler will also be in the running. He was one of the top 10 Spartan’s from 2012 and is eager to prove himself again this year. Oh, and let us not forget Hobie Call. He will surely be the one to beat, as usual.  Elite disabled athlete Michael Mills will also be making his Spartan debut.  The T-12 paraplegic will be completing the course crawling on his hands and knees.  

For the women, Angela Cobb will be making a run for the top spot. She won the Saturday Elite heat in Miami and will be the one to watch in Georgia.

There is no money up for grabs this weekend, but that does keep the top athletes from competing in Georgia for points. Have you checked out the 2013 Elite Racers Points System?

Stay tuned to find out who makes it to the top!

Ready to take on your own Spartan Race? Find an event HERE!

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by Chris Rutz, Spartan Elite Athlete

The Reebok Spartan Race Georgia Sprint continues a new program with some of the best Spartan Racers in the sport of obstacle racing. It is called the Reebok Spartan Race Invite Series. We have asked our top racers to invite someone to run a Spartan Race with them. The top Spartan Racer will host someone they have been trying to get into Spartan Racing. It may be their best friend, their wife, their son, their coach or anyone who can coerce and invitation out of them. It just has to be someone that has never done a Spartan Race.

For the Georgia Sprint, Alec Blenis has asked one of his family friends Jeff McCuen to join him in a Spartan Race. They will be running together in one of the Open heats on Saturday afternoon.

Alec competed in seven Spartan Races in 2012. He finished on the podium in 4 of the seven races. He is kicking off the 2013 race year with the Reebok Spartan Race Georgia Sprint.

We asked Jeff a few questions about Alec and Spartan Racing:

How do you know the Spartan Racer?

I am friends with his father. Alec, his dad, mother, grandfather and three other friends are regular participants. I also work with the cousin of Hobie Call. So I have heard a lot about Spartan Racing. Alec is definitely an elite runner in this competition and I have followed his success over the past few years.

What is your athletic background? 

I was a high school football player and wrestler. I also wrestled collegiately from 1979 to 1982. I was ranked as high as third in the country when a knee injury ended my career.

Why did you say yes when you were invited to race?

Honestly, If an elite participant as Alec thought enough of me to invite me, how could I say no.

What are you most excited about?

Just seeing if I can complete the course and hoping to build upon that and improve and run future races.

What are you most worried about?

EVERYTYHING. I was fairly sedentary until age 45 (6 years ago). My only physical activity was 30 minutes on an exercise bike and weightlifting. I took up tennis 6 years ago and have been an avid participant ever since, playing two to three times a week. I also began CrossFit 9 months ago. What worries me most is I have been a smoker for 30 years. Hi intensity puts me in an anaerobic state and I have to slow down. So, while I believe I can complete the sprint, it will have to be slow going.

Ready for your shot at Spartan glory?  Sign up today!

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