By Brakken Kraker

Spartan Race returned to Hawaii this past weekend, arriving for the Aloha Stadium Sprint in Honolulu. As advertised, the weather was beautiful and the course was excellent! Navy Federal Credit Union continued to show their unbelievably generous support for our sport, providing a $7,500  purse for the top 3 men and women. They also had a wonderful tent set up with lots of free gifts and smiling employees! It was a great experience to have such a committed, supportive partner for Spartan Race. 

The big cash prizes, combined with sunny beaches, brought out some great competitors, both local and mainlanders. We even had some athletes from across the pond show up and compete. On the men’s side Brakken Kraker, Alexander Nicholas, Joey Patrolia, and Christopher Rutz made the trip, while Miguel Medina left his dungeon for a few hours to throw his hat into the ring.  Newcomer McCauley Kraker also showed up, ready to test his running and athleticism against the Spartan veterans on this exciting three mile course.  Several new obstacles made their appearance on this course, including a tire hoist and a bleacher squat series.

The relatively new but already universally despised football throw returned. Preliminary reports indicate that more than two people actually completed the obstacle this time. On the women’s side the pre-race favorites of KK Paul, Oahu’s own Lauren Ho and Karlee Whipple lived up to their hype, as all three finished within 21 seconds of each other. The battle for first came down to the final obstacle, where KK Paul edged out Lauren Ho for a two second victory. The men’s race stayed packed together for the first half of the race, until burpees ultimately broke it open. The Kraker brothers finished 1-2, with Joey Patrolia claiming the 3rd podium spot. 

We’d like to thank all of the sponsors, volunteers, and workers at Spartan Race Hawaii, as well as the people of Oahu! Every single person we met was so unbelievably kind and supportive. It made our trip and race fantastic. We can’t wait to head back for the next race!

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By: Tony Matesi

Welcome to Atlanta where the Spartans play, and we hang on them traverse walls like every day. Big Heats, fit Elites, see Spartans roamin’ and the festival starts at eight in the mornin’.

Kicking off another extraordinary Spartan weekend for the 2014 season we saw another grueling Hurricane Heat that pushed participants beyond their limits. Wasting no time getting down to business the event started with a 100+ burpee penalty in response to a collection of late arrivals.

This weekend we saw some familiar faces from the Spartan Pro Team ready to tackle the Spartan Sprint. In attendance for the men we saw David Magida, Christopher Rutz, Elliot Megquier and Georgia Native Alec Blenis. Alexander Nicholas was also in attendance but did not race competitively this weekend. For the women we saw TyAnn Clark, Juliana Sproles, and the Barbwire Queen Andi Hardy. Other Spartan Elites who made their way out for this incredible event included Cody Wright, John Henderson, Tony Matesi, Margaret Schlachter, Amanda Ricciardi, Kristine Iotte, Amie Meyer, Valerie Smith, and Sarah Pozdol.

Johnny Colt of Black Crowes and Lynyrd Skynyrd takes a moment with race director Mike Morrris

The men’s Elite saw tough competition for the top three spots resulting in podium finishes for David Magida, Alec Blenis, and Elliot Megquier (finishing first, second, and third respectively). As if that wasn’t enough for the trio they suited up for battle again on Sunday crossing the finish line once again in the same order as the day before.

The women’s Elite however saw both familiar, and new faces, take the podiums. On Saturday Pro-Team member TyAnn Clark came in first with close to a seven minute lead over second place SGX Coach Sarah Pozdol while Emily Fowler took third. Unlike the men the women’s Sunday podium looked different than Saturday. New comer Kristine Iotte took the lead in the first minute of the race on Sunday and never looked back. Like TyAnn the day before, Kristine held nearly a seven minute lead over second place finisher Amanda Ricciardi. The third place women’s Elite finisher went to Valerie Smith who on Saturday participated in the grueling and mentally tough Hurricane Heat.

Alicia Keys evaluates the next obstacle

Taking care of our racers with post race fuel was the Core Power Team with their delicious Core Power Protein drinks awaiting finishers after they battled the Gladiators. Mellow Mushroom kept everyone fed with exceptional discounts for all Spartan Racers. Eco Vessel was on site with their eco-friendly water bottles. Our friends from Obstacle Racing Media were on site providing coverage of the day’s events and SpartanUp! Graphix offered up their impressive wall graphics made straight from your favorite race photos.

Not only did we see familiar faces but there was even a celebrity on site as well. Alicia Keys came with a group of friends and tackled the course. Crossing the finish line in true Spartan fashion covered in Georgia clay, Ms. Keys was all smiles over becoming a true Spartan. Another music guest included Johnny Colt of Black Crowes and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

After a long and exciting weekend of Spartan-filled, fun, mud, sweat and maybe a little blood, we’re signing off. We’ll see you at the next one. The Spartan Team will be invading Charlotte, North Carolina in a couple weeks. If you haven’t signed up yet, what the heck are you waiting for? Sign up, show up, and never, ever give up! We’ll see you at the finish line. AROO!!!!

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One of the most gruelling and energy-zapping obstacles at any Spartan Race is the 8 foot wall. More often than not, these will appear after you have been beaten down with other obstacles that have made you already tired, or perhaps following an obstacle that has made full use of your arms. You see the wall ahead of you and curse the fact that it’s a stupid idea to have these obstacles in such close proximity. This is very deliberate. You didn’t think we placed them together like that by accident, did you?

 

Along with obstacles such as the Rope Climb, Inverted Walls and Spear Throw – all of which have been covered by the “How To” series – the 8 foot wall is something we get a lot of messages about. It would appear that this is one obstacle that is catching a few people out.

Hurdling the 8 foot wall is something that clearly requires a healthy mix of training and technique. As such, Pro Team member Christopher Rutz is here to explain what you will need to do in order to prepare and then what to do on the day.

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by Chris Rutz

The 2013 Points Season consists of races following the 2012 World Championship, beginning with the Carolinas Race October 13th, 2012 and culminating in the 2013 World Championship to be held in Vermont on September 21st, 2013. Over the course of the 2013 Spartan Race Season, we’re going to take your top 5 best races and use them to calculate your points ranking.

What are the rewards? Well in 2012 the top 20 male and female athletes split a $40,000 prize purse. The first place man and woman each received a check for $4,250. This weekend in Las Vegas we will be having an awards ceremony for the top 20 men and women to recognize their performance in 2012. Come and see some of the top Obstacle Racers pick up their prize at 11:00am in the festival area.

For the men:
1st Cody Moat
2nd Hobie Call
3rd Brakken Kraker
4th Christopher Rutz
5th Elliott Megquier
6th Walter Schmidt
7th Shawn Feiock
8th David Chandler
9th David Magida
10th Dallas Bessette
11th Joe Kauder
12th Rick Kraics
13th Shane McKay
14th John Hayter
15th Christopher Obertlik
16th Robert Coble
17th Kevin Donoghue
18th Isaiah Vidal
19th David Mick
20th Marko Vennerholm

For the women:
1st Jenny Tobin
2nd Leslie St Louis
3rd Rose Marie Jarry
4th Melinda Branch
5th Margaret Schlachter
6th Irene Call
7th Corinne Kohlen
8th Andi Hardy
9th Juliana Sproles
10th Lelya Di Cori
11th Angela Reynolds
12th Sue Luck
13th Ella Kociuba
14th Gretchen Krueger
15th Shaun Provost
16th Amanda Czapla
17th Ekaterina Solovieva
18th Raegan Chambers
19th Lauel Arnold
20th Angela Kalal

Note: Not all of the above athletes are scheduled to race in Las Vegas. Those not appearing will either get their “podium” check at their next scheduled race.

Are you ready to try to make the top 20 for the 2013 season? Here are the details.

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by Chris Rutz, Elite Spartan Athlete

Eric Matta

Reebok Spartan Racing is heading to the US National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, NC. This weekend’s Sprint race will take place both Saturday and Sunday. Over 10,000 athletes are scheduled to be there. The weather forecast is calling rain and cool temperatures but the Spartan’s will be ready.

On the men’s side look for Alec Blenis who finished second in Georgia two weeks ago. He has his that #1 position in his mind. Looking to battle him for it and a spot on the podium are other perennial top Spartan Racers David Magida and David Chandler. Also making their 2013 Spartan Race debut are Eric Matta and David Mick.

Speaking of David Mick. David has invited his running coach, Dennis Welch, to join him in the elite heat. They each just completed the Shamrock Marathon this past weekend. David ran a 3:03 and his coach, ran a 2:56. They met when David joined the Hampton Roads Runners, both started running as a way to lose some weight and get in shape. They are now lining up together on the Elite wave at the Spartan Race.

Dennis is excited about the Spartan Race “David extended the challenge of competing in a Spartan Race and I accepted. I

David Mick

really am eager to see not only how I can do, but I have been wanting to see David in action as well.” He went on to say, ”I am most excited to see how I can do in these types of races, how my running and strength combination will fare against some of the best athletes in the country. I know I can continue to improve as I go, but I am very eager to see how that first race is going to go.” Look for Dennis and David at the start line.

For the women, top Spartan Racers Ella Anne Kociuba and Hannah Orders, will be making a run for the top spot. These are two great runners with the strength, speed and determination to make it to the podium in Charlotte.

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 Christopher Rutz, Spartan elite athlete

Two years ago, I ran my first Spartan Race, the 2011 Arizona Super. I did not know it at the time but my life would never be the same again. I did not realize how unique Spartan Racing was until I tried out some other events. The competition and sense of accomplishment that comes from running a Spartan Race is unparalleled. Later in 2011, I returned to Spartan Racing at the Malibu Sprint and declared that 2012 would be my “Year of the Spartan”.  2012 was an adventure for me. I ran 24 Spartan Races and hit more than a dozen different race venues.


 

 
Along the way, a group of top athletes developed a camaraderie that is unlike anything I have experienced in my athletic career. We are competitors on the course but we encourage and help one another along the way. This takes on many facets including training advice, racing advice, sharing hotel rooms and/or coordinating travel. Often we refer to one another as our “Spartan Family.”

In my athletic past, I have always been involved in competitive endeavors. My level of success varied from activity to activity. Spartan Race has allowed me to showcase the consistent and dedicated training over my athletic career.

When asked “how has Spartan changed my life?”, I have two thoughts.

One is the external focus. I have been able to build and be a part of the Spartan community as an athlete, a mentor, and a coach. I have helped people accomplish their personal goals.

Second is the internal focus. Spartan Racing has allowed me to truly think of myself as an elite/professional athlete. I have won prize money, I have secured sponsors and I have fans.  I am near the top of a new sport that will grow exponentially over the next few years.

I am excited to be involved in the first chapters of the book that is being written on Obstacle Racing and plan to be involved in the sport as the story evolves.

Are you ready for your shot at Spartan glory?  Sign up HERE.

[Editor's Note: Chris Rutz is a regular on our Spartan Race series.  Follow him @ToughRutz on Twitter and Tough Training on Facebook]

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