By Pro Team member Miguel Medina

Last weekend over 12,000 Spartans scurried over and under shock cord, flew over walls and ascended an onslaught of stairs at the second Stadium Sprint in Citi Field. The weather was absolutely pristine as wave after wave of participants tested their strength and fortitude to overcome the obstacles in their path. In just over three miles racers were faced with over 20 obstacles at a blistering pace, mixing some old favorites such as the Traverse Wall and Spear throw in addition to the stadium themed obstacles like Farmer Carries and Ball Slams. The Monkey Bars had a challenging twist, as they were widened and elevated in addition the Hawaiian Squats making their debut on the mainland. 

Both the men’s and women’s elite waves were stacked with competition as some of Sparta’s best came out to battle for a spot on the Podium. Among the men Spartan ProTeam members Hunter McIntyre, Miguel Medina, and Elliot Meqcuier lined up with an impressive array of elites such as Dennis Smith, Brandon Dupont, William Ferullo and many others. The women’s elite shared an impressive throng of athletes as well such as Shaun Provost, Karlee Whipple, Laura Messner, and Elise Fugowski to name a few.  On Saturday, Hunter McIntyre held a strong lead throughout the stadium finishing first for a second year in a row. With two spots left on the podium Miguel Medina, Brandon Dupont and William Ferullo battled for the lead until the very end.  Ultimately it came down to who moved down the cargo net fastest and sprinted to the finish. Medina took 2nd place with William Ferullo seconds behind in 3rd and Brandon Dupont finished 4th. Among the women, last year’s winner Shaun Provost finished 1st as well with Karlee Whipple and Laura Messner rounding out the women’s podium.

Sunday the men’s elite went out with break neck speed as Spartan Pro, Miguel Medina finished in 1st , followed by Brandon Dupont in 2nd and Dennis Smith in 3rd. Among the women, Laura Messner set a swift pace, meeting an emotional sprint to the end and finishing in 1st with Elise Fugowski in 2nd and Julia Falamas in 3rd.

Citi Field also hosted the first Special Needs Spartan Race within a stadium for Spartans with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities (IDD).  These athletes along with their guardians and volunteers met adversity head on. Blazing a trail for increased awareness and collaboration within the Spartan community and shattering the status quo once again, showing the world that Spartans from all walks of life can overcome obstacles to be more active, fit and healthy. The course was a 1/2 mile long and took into consideration athletes sensory profiles, physical and cognitive restraints associated with IDD. However, they rose to the occasion and overcame the challenges of the race triumphantly. Spartan Race looks forward to holding many more IDD courses in the future.

Sign up for your next Spartan Race and we’ll see you at the finish line… 

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By Miguel Medina

Reebok Spartan Race Preview:  Citi Field the modern day Coliseum

The time has come Spartans! On April 12th and 13thSpartan Race is stepping off the trails and storming the gates at Citi Field, home of the Mets in beautiful New York City, not to mention that the weather for the weekend is looking great, with a slight chance of showers on Saturday. This year’s Stadium Sprint will include a vast array of obstacles that we’ve seen both on and off the trails, with a few surprises tossed in courtesy of Race Director Dann LG, racers will be able to run through the team locker rooms, among the bleachers and dug outs attacking obstacle after obstacle. Spectators and participants alike will be able to get a full scope of the action via Jumbotron throughout the entire weekend along with enjoying the battles to ensue within the men’s and women’s elite heats.

Miguel Medina is no stranger to rocking it.

Hunter “The Sheriff” McIntyre will be returning to the big apple after a phenomenal 3rd place finish in the Las Vegas Super Spartan and to continue his winning streak in stadiums. He won’t be met unchallenged as several of the Spartan Pro’s and elites are looking to end that streak. Fort Drum’s favorite Elliot Megquier is looking to get a shot at the Sheriff, along with Colorado’s Cody Wright. Tossing his trooper hat aside and leaving the mountains of Vermont is Miguel Medina along with a new addition to the Pony Barn and Boston Native, Dennis Smith.  The women’s elite heat is shaping up to be fierce in Competition as Karlee Whipple is looking to best her last performance, an impressive 3rd place finish at Aloha Stadium but she won’t be alone as Shaun Provost, Laura Messner and several other of Sparta’s finest are looking to conquer Citi Field as well. 

In addition to the Elite and Open waves, Citi Field will hold the first Special Needs Spartan Race course within a stadium. This course is designed for Spartans with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities (IDD).  In paving new ground for increased collaboration and awareness within the Spartan community, these racers along with their guardians will test their strength, stamina and resilience in overcoming adversity and continuing to encourage people from all walks of life to be more active, fit, and healthy. Also throughout the day there will be food and refreshments, festival challenges for prizes and bragging rights as well as The Jr. Varsity Spartan and Varsity Spartan races for children 4-13 years of age.

All Spectators and Participants are encouraged to arrive at least an hour before their start time and to bring their ID for registration. If necessary you may carry personal hydration and nutrition but there will be 1-2 aid stations along the way. Waves start at 7am Saturday and 8am on Sunday, and every 15 minutes after commencing with the Elites, Confirmed, Morning, Afternoon, and Late Afternoon. Don’t forget to enjoy the sights, sounds, and entertainment that New York City has to offer.

Will you know at the finish line?

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By: Tony Matesi

CITI FIELD

Welcome to the most ethnically diverse urban area in the world, the Queens borough of New York City. With a population of over 2.2 million people in Queens alone, the borough represents over 100 nations and speaks over 138 different languages. Don’t worry you won’t need a translator, English is still the most commonly spoken language.

Citi Field is the home to Major League Baseball’s New York Mets and is located in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, adjacent to the previous team home, Shea Stadium, which is now the Citi Field parking lot. Citi Field has the capacity for 41,922 Spartans! This stadium is no stranger to hosting events other than baseball either, on July 17, 18 and 21, 2009, Paul McCartney performed a series of three sold-out concerts at Citi Field. On top of that, Citi Field hosted its first soccer game between the national teams of Ecuador and Greece on June 7, 2011. They tied, 1-1. Now, Citi Field will be invaded by Spartans. You will conquer the course while spectators watch you fight through the modern day colosseum. Become part of Citi Field’s history.

What’s the weather like?

Normally the weather is quite perfect for a Spartan Stadium Sprint with an average low of 41° and high of 60°. Don’t let those comfortable temperatures fool you though, New York has a way of playing tricks. You’ll want to bring clothes for any situation. With a record low of 25° and a record high of 88° and all this talk of the Polar Vortex, we suggest coming prepared for anything. You know how it is, shorts weather one day and the next you are bundled up like an eskimo. Pack accordingly.

The Course:

The Stadium Race series provides a unique look at stadiums. Come to Citi Field to experience the standard Spartan Race obstacles along with some unique Stadium Only obstacles as you tear through the stands. Run across the baseline, climb into the dugout, navigate in and out of the bleachers, and catch a quick glimpse of the locker rooms. Conquer the Citi Field Stadium. Become a Spartan.

Where to sleep?

With Citi Field being so close to LaGuardia Airport the options for a place to crash are plentiful. There’s the Comfort Inn, Holiday Inn LaGuardia, Corona Hotel, Sheraton LaGaurdia East Hotel, the Flushing Grand Hotel, and the Fairfield Inn New York LaGuardia Airport/Flushing all within a very close radius to the ballpark. Book one of these nearby locations before they fill up! Trust us this is a race you won’t want to miss.

Tonight we dine in

After doing some extensive research there were a few select spots that kept popping up as must see spots in Queens, NY where Cit Field is located. First up is the Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden. As you’d guess its a beer garden, they offer up barbecue and Czech recipes. If you’re feeling up to something a little more fancy there’s the Water’s Edge Restaurant. Yes it’s located on the water’s edge and provides a magnificent view of the Manhattan skyline. No matter where you decide to dine the one place you must go to is the Lemon Ice King of Corona. Delicious flavored ice to celebrate a Spartan victory sounds delightful.

Nightlife:

If you’re looking to get out and shake your tail feathers after conquering the course – be smart, don’t get toasted the night before – we found some killer spots to check out while you spend your weekend in Queens. Soak in  some live entertainment, craft beers, burgers, sausages, and soulvaki at the German beer garden, Studio Square. Alternatively you have an opportunity to  transport yourself back to the 1890s with the speakeasy feel of Dutch Kills. Stop in and enjoy live jazz and ragtime music and the impressive hand-cut ice that is served in all their signature drinks. Are the European nightclubs more your scene? Check out the Central Lounge where the DJs spin hip-hop and dance music while you’re served sushi under the twinkling candlelight.

Family Destinations:

If you plan on bringing the whole family and want to offer them some options that expand their cultural knowledge be sure to check out the Unisphere at Flushing Meadows Park. This giant globe is the symbol of Queens and is an excellent place for outdoor activities. Nearby, you can check out the Queens Museum of of Art where you can view the Panorama of New York City, an extremely detailed scaled model of the city.

Dabble in a little theater action and catch some improv by checking out the Secret Theatre. During the weekend of April 11-13 you can catch the following shows, A Full-ish Deck, Pirate Pete’s Parrot, and A Sunday Smile.

There will also be a few events happening in Queens that area including the Myrtle Avenue Festival taking place on April 13, 2014 on Myrtle Avenue between Forest Avenue and Wyckoff Avenue. Young kids can take part in an egg hunt at the Barnyard East Egg Hunt on April 14, 2014 between 12pm-4pm at the Queens County Farm Museum.

New York, the Big Apple. There’s a lot of opportunity for a Spartan. It’s a massive city with more to do than we can write about, so go fourth and explore! We’ll see you on the course, Spartans. AROO!!!

Credit: sheratonjfk

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by Carrie Adams

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”-John Fitzgerald Kennedy

ground-zero-by-photosthatchangedtheworlddotcom

Today is September 11, 2013.  So many of us can remember where we were 12 years ago, what we felt when the towers crumbled and smoke rose in the sky darkening the landscape and leaving the world stunned in the shadow.  We recall the images as the Pentagon shook and we heard the final calls home from the brave passengers who fought back on United Flight 93 and crashed in a quiet field in Pennsylvania rather than let another building or target succumb.  The skyline of New York will never be the same, we will never be the same, yet the statue of liberty still rises proudly from her home on Ellis Island, the fortitude of a country etched proudly in her arms, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

We battled on.

Stephen Reid, right

After September 11, 2001 and as a country we mourned those lost, we shed tears of sorrow for the public service men and women who risked and lost their lives trying to protect the innocent, and for all those lost on that day in the violence unleashed on our unsuspecting nation.

One of our own Spartans, Stephen Reid was a detective in the New York City Police Department on 9/11. In Chinatown at the time of the first plane crash, he called his department, telling them he was there to suit up.

The losses were severe. Reid lost 23 police brothers and sisters that day. A heavy loss for the seasoned detective, “I joined the NYPD at age 21. I felt it was my calling and enjoyed police work. By the time I was 28, I was promoted to Detective. September 11… my life was changed forever.”

Reid ran his first Spartan last year in Boston. Following that experience, he began to run every day carrying the American Flag and a piece of steel from the Trade Center, they accompany him at every race. Known for his long beard, quick wit, and infectious smile, Reid draws inspiration from those he runs alongside, just as they are inspired by him.

Reid has finished several Spartan Races since Boston, including the Tri-State Spartan Super, the Virginia Spartan Super with Operation Enduring Warrior’s Community Athletes, the Tuxedo Spartan Sprint, and the CitiField Spartan Sprint. He also has a connection to the military in his family, “I hail from a family of veterans. My father served in the US Navy on the USS Croaker during Vietnam. His father was a decorated MP in the US Army during WWII who saw action in Germany. My mother’s father was an Army Captain who was killed in action in Germany during WWII.”

Stephen Reid

That left an impression on Reid, “Since that day our military has ceaselessly fought a War on Terror. So many young men and women have since gone off to fight this war and defend our country from those that do not appreciate our way of life. Many have come back forever changed. They have given so much of themselves. I honor them all.”

The flag and the steel are just a reminder, something to carry as he runs. Says Reid, “We carry the burdens for them that day,” Stephen explains, “because after the race, we can get rid of our burdens, and they can’t.”

We remember this day from 12 years ago with somber reflection and a commitment to looking forward to what lies ahead. In life there are obstacles to overcome, some seem insurmountable. Stephen Reid is a reminder of how to move forward again day after day with grace, kindness, humility, generosity, and most of all, with hope.

We salute him. We thank him.  He is a Spartan.

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