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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by Jeremy Bongiovanni

I think I can officially call myself a Spartan after this weekend’s race in Tuxedo, NY… That was definitely a challenge, but so much fun! There is some odd joy that comes out of completing one of the most physically difficult tasks you’ve ever done, but I love that feeling! This obstacle course was about 5 miles, mostly uphills and downhills, with around 20-25 obstacles, most of them pretty difficult too!  I found myself struggling, but it was a good struggle. I felt challenged, and I immediately felt like I wanted to do that again so I signed up for the 8-mile Super Spartan! I can officially say I’m also addicted to the Spartan Race. It’s one of those experiences that you won’t get anywhere else—the camaraderie, even with people you don’t know, the challenges, the joy, the adrenaline rush, you can’t find all of that everywhere! Some may think you’re crazy, but when you come home with those cuts and bruises (and yes you will get a few), you have a reason to show off, and be proud of it! You have just completed something not many people can say they have. I highly suggest getting out there and trying this too. You will get to that starting corral and just feel so much more alive than you ever have! I also highly suggest bringing friends—it enhances the experience so much more to share it with others.

I have done two Spartan Races – the first one at Citi Field and the second in Tuxedo, NY, but the second time I was alone. It definitely is a lot more challenging to be alone, but you can go at your own pace, which some people enjoy. I enjoyed the camaraderie of the first time, so I would suggest bringing a few friends. Plus, if you’re 21, you can share a few beers afterward! The races themselves were very different—Tuxedo, NY was much more cardio based, with a lot more brute strength involved. I should warn you, if you sign up for any Spartan Race, no matter what distance, you will end up running a lot more.

In a stadium, the issue is that the space is smaller, so there is no mud and less running, but still a great experience! It’s not often that you can say you’ve run on the field that a big MLB team plays on! Spartan Race hosts their races on these fields from time to time, but more often than not, they will be in the middle of nowhere so everyone can experience a true Spartan Race, mud and all. I am planning on working my way up to a Spartan Beast to complete a Trifecta (all three levels in one year), so wish me luck! I hope I can finish with a good time at each, or even survive them! I’m excited though, and I know with a little training (well, a lot of training), I can do this, and I know all of you out there can too!

I recommend signing up for the Spartan WOD’s – www.spartanrace.com/wod.   These are very helpful training tools to add on or use as your workout for the day. And if you want a free race, you can always volunteer at a race and choose to race at any race you’d like for free! I’d highly suggest this, as I have done this as well. It’s also a good way to meet new racers if you ever want a racing buddy for the future! Anyways, good luck in future racers, and I hope you all get out there and race like a Spartan! Spartan Races – getting people off their couches and into Spartan shape since 431 B.C.

AROO!!!

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by Alexander Nicholas, Spartan Elite Athlete

The programs we do at EPIC are ideal for Spartan Race training, and I only found that out after I participated in my first Spartan! We jump, we crawl, we swing, we sweat, we suffer! As soon as I became hooked on the races (It only took one) I knew I had to bring my new found obsession to EPIC. It was not an easy feat convincing our members, ranging from investment bankers to biochemical engineers, to sign up for a race that is run by the same people over at “Youmaydie.com.”

 
 
One of the best aspects of the Spartan Race is that anyone with enough heart can complete a Spartan Race. Physical limitations are NOT an excuse for quitting a Spartan Race. You create your own challenges and your own goals. One person aspires to finish on the podium while another is simply aiming to cross the finish line, but both those people are on the same course and both people are in the SAME class at EPIC. That’s why I knew we needed to create a team for our gym. Once everyone was on board, we didn’t need to change our training regiment at all! But slowly the mentality in the training center changed, and that’s what made the difference.

The week before the race, I took a chance and emailed a list of members to run the Elite Heat with me at CitiField. The responses were amazing, “F%#K YES!” and “If you can catch up to me!” were among them. These were people who were nervous to jump into their first class only months ago. I think the real difference is that we always have fun in what we do. I had a real “Mr. Miyagi” moment days before the race. All the exercises and all the hell I put my members through was finally going to be justified at Citifield. No more “please stop the burpees!”, “anything but the bear crawl!” or “This giant jump rope is just unnecessary.” I was building them into Spartan assassins and they didn’t have a clue! After the race, the members realized that every extra burpee, Sandbell smash, and inverted plank mattered, and was worth it!

I was overly impressed and humbled by everyone’s dedication and performance at Citi Field. We ran at 11am with a 60 person strong team. If someone couldn’t get over the higher walls, everyone stopped and helped them over, it was an amazing experience to take part in and the energy in our gym has definitely changed for the better since. A greater sense of camaraderie is in the atmosphere here and new and old members alike are benefiting! Placing 1st out of 800 teams was no small feat and you can bet we are planning on defending that title in Tuexedo, NY on June 2nd!

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SNAP Infusion, one of Spartan Race’s newest partners, are the creators of SUPERCANDY and the official SUPERCANDY of Spartan Race for the 2013 season.  They made their debut at the Spartan Race at Citi Field. At 2013 U.S. events, SNAP Infusion will set up aid stations on the course providing SUPERCANDY to athletes to help get them through the race, and compete at their very best.

In addition, SNAP Infusion is a proud supporter of Vitamin Angels, a charity that brings health to millions of children throughout the world.  They recently launched a program, SUPER MOMS, that will be running through Mother’s Day and will feature special Spartan Race SUPER MOMS! We will be highlighting the SUPERMOMS of the Spartan Race Series, because we believe that every mom is super, and we are searching for the perfect pairing of the Super Spartan Moms whether it be for personal accomplishment, family or a cause. In a few weeks, we will also be launching a fundraiser page on vitaminangels.org where we will encourage SPARTANS to Compete For a Cause with a fundraiser to complete a spartan race and raise money for Vitamin Angels–info to come.

The first SUPER MOM selected is Katie Vescelus who is participating in the Indiana Spartan Race with her family. Mother to two sons, Magnus and Matthias she helped change the health habits of her whole family after her son Matthias was diagnosed with cancer. Now in recovery from cancer, Matthias, who we profiled earlier this week, is a St. Baldrick’s ambassador and will be taking on the Spartan kid’s race.

Lauren Formalarie, spokesperson for SNAP Infusion says, “Katie touched us in such a way that we are so excited to share her inspirational story as a part of our program SUPER MOMs of the Spartan Race. Her passion, drive and commitment to a healthy and active lifestyle are so close to the vision of SNAP Infusion SUPERCANDY. It takes a very special person to be a MOM and as every mom is truly SUPER, this is our way of sharing the stories of strong women across the country.”

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by Stephen Reid aka Steve-o Bones

Photos Courtesy of Kevin High Photography

awe·some /ˈôsəm/ Adjective
Extremely impressive or daunting; inspiring great admiration, apprehension, or fear.
Extremely good; excellent.

One word sums up the Spartan Sprint at Citifield that was held on Saturday, April 13th. AWESOME!! There was nothing that day that did not reach the level of awesomeness that I had anticipated. The weather was just right, the mood was infectious…everything was perfect.

The last time I had as much fun as I did today, I was at another Spartan Race. Today, I had the honor of running as a Team X-T.R.E.M.E. Community Athlete (TXCA) with TEAM X-T.R.E.M.E., a non-profit organization that honors wounded veterans. The vibe could not possibly have been any more positive. We set out together as a team and finished as a team. This race was not about my finish time, but rather about remembering, honoring and empowering the wounded warriors that have given so much to our grateful nation.

It was a stunning and beautiful thing to see everyone come together and see the mission through to the end. The energy was electrifying. All the TXCA’s fed off of each other’s energy and drive to finish.

I had the distinct honor of carrying TEAM X-T.R.E.M.E.’s American Flag. This same flag has been to every Spartan Race that TEAM X-T.R.E.M.E. has been represented at. At the end of the race, the team mustered up and formulated its plan of attack for the big finale. Once again, I had the flag and took point. We ran and pushed hard. The gladiators near the finish line looked ready to give us a fight but the momentum of the team driven on by the cheering crowd was so great that they did not even slow us down as we approached the finish line. The crowd went wild as our group and its mission was announced while we were crossing the finish line.

One spectator contacted me after the race to tell me how moving the finish was for him:
“I was headed towards the rope climb and saw you guys headed for the finish and stopped dead in my tracks to watch you guys finish. It was very cool. Thank you for representing those that have fallen and those that are still standing.”

Simply awesome.

Team X will be back in action at the Mid-Atlantic Spartan Race in August!  Join them!  Register HERE.

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Take me out to the ball game!  Citi Field is officially in the books!  With one of the biggest single day events in Spartan history, it was a spectacular weekend at the ballpark!  From push-ups in the locker room to scaling a cargo rope in the outfield, the Spartan Stadium races are quickly becoming fan favorites with the unique chance to take on a Spartan Race in beloved ballparks around the country.

The elite field found themselves navigating new terrain inside the ballpark, but it didn’t slow them down!  For the men’s side, Hunter McIntyre, Vegas’s third place photo finisher took the top spot with over two minutes between him and the next closest finisher.

Hunter McIntyre and Gretchen Krueger

Hunter McIntyre 26:56
Conrad Yaney 29:05
Daniel Armstrong 29:27
Alexander Nicholas 29:29
David Magida 30:27

On the ladies side, Shaun Provost, Fenway’s top female had a repeat at Citi Field finishing a minute and a half ahead of second place finisher Robin Ruiz.

Shaun Provost 36:53
Robin Ruiz 38:34
Gretchen Krueger 39:19
Jillian Kenney 39:48
Portia Lack 39:59

For a full listing of Citi Field Race Results, click HERE.

The Spartan Kid’s Race was one of the largest to date with the big screen capturing all the action as the junior Spartans ran, jumped, and climbed their way to Spartan glory!   We even  had a live feed from Kandahar, Afghanistan with Army troops sending off our start waves. Spartan Race teamed up with Pro vs GI Joe, a nonprofit organization connecting our troops in Afghanistan with their families and they set off the racers from the start line.

To see more pictures from Citi Field from the festival to the outfield, head over to our Spartan Race Facebook page and see how all the action went down.

Did you miss out on Citi Field this time around?  Don’t worry, you didn’t strike out yet!  We have more chances for you to take on a Spartan Sprint at one of our Stadium Series events in 2013.

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

It’s never too late to sign up for the event series that will change your life.  Sign up today!

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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 Racer

This weekend, Reebok Spartan Race kicks off the 2013 calendar year with the Super Spartan SoCal in Temecula.

This is the first race since the Reebok/Spartan Race partnership was announced last week in New York City.

Many of the top athletes from the 2012 Season will be racing in Temecula this weekend for their share of the $7,500 cash purse generously provided by our partners at Navy Federal Credit Union for the Saturday Elite wave. 

Cody Moat, 2012 Men’s Points Champion

These Top 10 Athletes from the 2012 Season are scheduled to appear
this weekend:

Men:                                      Women:

Cody Moat                                Jenny Tobin

Hobie Call                                 Leslie St Louis

Christopher Rutz                       Margaret Schlachter

Elliott Megquier                         Corinne Kohlen

Shawn Feiock                           Juliana Sproles

Dallas Bassette                         Leyla Ester Di Cori

In addition to these top performers from 2012, watch out for Hunter McIntyre, who has already made a name for himself at the NorCal Beast and the Malibu Sprint, with podium finishes at each.

On the women’s side, Midwest Super champion and Ultra Beast and Beast second place finisher Amelia Boone may also make an appearance. With prize money, Reebok, and the great group of top racers, it is shaping up to be an exciting weekend of obstacle course racing. 

Many of the top athletes are excited about the agreement between Reebok and Spartan Race. We asked a few of them what they think it means for the future of the sport of Obstacle Racing.

Some quotes on their initial reactions to the news: 

Spartan emerging elite male Hunter McIntyre noted, “It will bring greater attention to the sport, coupled with stronger competition.”

On the Spartan female side top, ten athlete Leyla Di Cori remarked, “I think this is a great opportunity to give more credibility to obstacle racing as a sport.” 

Jenny Tobin, 2012 Female Points Champion

Spartan champion Hobie Call, who was onsite in New York City last week for the ground-breaking announcement, was quoted as saying, “It will be nice to have a large company come out with some obstacle racing specific clothing/shoes, and help sponsor athletes, which will help get serious athletes to more races.”

Leslie St. Louis, Spartan female elite athlete commented, “…maybe I am not thinking big enough yet, but as far as Spartan specifically, I foresee more momentum for CrossFit inspired events and obstacles, such as the WODstock event in Temecula and the obstacles at Citi Field.”

To find out more about what these and other athletes are thinking, get out to the SoCal Spartan this weekend and ask them. They would welcome the opportunity to share their passion for obstacle course racing with you.

See you at the races!  

Not registered yet?  What are you waiting for?  Join the expected 500,000 Spartans that will cross one of our finish lines this year.  

Click HERE to find an event near you. 

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