Written By Pro Team member Glenn Racz

The Colorado Military Sprint at Fort Carson Army Base delivered another solid race weekend for over 8,000 participants.  This Military Sprint adds various different elements as compared to other Spartan races such as the increased amount of obstacles (25+) packed into the Sprint distance of about 4.5 miles and the nose-bleed elevation of over 6,000 feet.  These two aspects of the race proved to be a challenge to all competitors in the race.  The stakes were high on this race as this was one of the Navy Federal Credit Union $7,500 prize purse races – which helped to pull in some of the most hardcore obstacle racers from around the country.

The race conditions were ideal with moderate temperatures throughout the weekend.  However, the temperature was the only moderate feature in this race as once the racers took to the course, they all very quickly realized that this race would truly test how one could manage the extremely “obstacle dense” course along with the short, yet steep hills scattered throughout the course.

For the elite men on Saturday, Pro Team athletes Brakken Kraker and Glenn Racz took an early lead by mile 1, but Glenn Racz soon fell back behind Matt Novakovich and Chad Trammell after the Atlas Carry.  Half way through the race, recent Boston Marathon finisher, Brian Gowiski joined the lead pack.  Then after the ruck sack carry, Chad Trammell powered by Matt Novakovich to take and hold the lead to emerge the victor and take his first 1st place finish for a Saturday race.  But just 14 seconds behind Chad was Brakken Kraker and Matt Novakovich “The Bear” as they battled it out though the final 7 obstacles all stacked up before the finish line to give the spectators a great show with only 3 seconds separating them.  Athletes Brian Gowiski and Isaiah Vidal came in a noteworthy fourth and fifth place.  Then on Sunday, Matt Novakovich wasn’t allowed an easy victory with Isaiah Vidal just 3 seconds behind him for another exciting finish.  Pro Team athlete Elliott Megquier held off Brian Hoover in the final obstacles to take a 3rd place podium finish.

With so many close finishes happening now, it’s clear that the courses on the circuit are highlighting the need for good, all-round training. While some may blitz obstacles and others build leads with running, regular podium placings and good times are now reflected in the fact that working all aspects of the body are clearly yielding better results. The days in which relying on running would see you through are starting to disappear.

The women’s elite Saturday race proved to be just as much of a nail-biter since race came down to the spear throw – which was missed by front runner and returning champion April Dee which allowed competitors KK Paul and Orla Walsh to overtake her for 1st and 2nd place.  April Dee took 3rd place for the Saturday race but then came back Sunday to take 1st among elite women. These 3 women were the only female competitors to complete the course in under 1 hour – a reflection of just how difficult the course was this year. With each year that passes, it seems Fort Carson ups the ante a little more. Looking forward, it makes for a brutal prospect in 2015.

As ever, Spartan Race would like to thank Reebok, Core PowerClif Builder BarsEco VesselSpartanUP! Graphix and Spartan SGX.

Of course huge thanks go out to all the staff at Fort Carson for their help and support for making the Colorado Sprint as epic as ever.

Sign up for the next Spartan Race here and you’ll understand what it means to “know at the finish line”.

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by Steffen Cook

Spartan Race first met Zack Askins at the Colorado Sprint in May 2013. Nonchalantly strolling across the finish line after having the gladiators bounce off of him, he finished like the race was no big deal. Cheerfully accepting a cup of water and proudly accepting his finisher’s medal like all the others, he paused only to so that we could take his photo, then he left in order to take of the full bomb disposal suit he’d been wearing for the previous couple of hours.  We saw him come back for a full serving of the Beast in Utah where he finished the race again in the full bomb disposal suit.

“Originally I got the idea off of a fellow EOD tech namds Eric Johnson. He holds the record for the bomb suit mile at 8:05. He did it as charity, I was looking at it and my thought was I’m not faster than him, but I bet I could out last him. So I came up with the idea of running the Spartan in the suit.”

He continued, “Eric at the same time was thinking of one upping himself and was training to run the a race in Philly in the suit. Rather than compete against each other we just piggy backed I went first to try and get some attention for him and more money for the EOD wounded warrior charity.”

And he was pleased with the attention he got in Colorado.  ”Y’all did great considering I surprised a lot of people by coming out that day and gave me more headlines than Eric got.”

It’s well documented how strongly Spartan Race feels about the military and the ties that there are between the two, evident by our races at Colorado Fort Carson and in Tampa Bay, Florida. So when Zack goes on to explain where the drive comes from, it makes perfect sense; “Our purpose was simple, the military as a whole makes up a small portion of the population, and of the whole Army the EOD community makes up less than .01%. We have endured a larger portion of the wounded and killed than our numbers tell but we’re a very close community. We take care of our own, and we wanted to help take care of those who remain behind.”

“For where Eric and myself are trying to go is push ourselves and get some headlines and more money flowing into the EOD wounded warrior to help all those who made it back broke and missing pieces. We want to make sure that we help get all of our wounded taken care of, and this is the best way we can think of to do it.”

For more information about their team, please contact: https://www.facebook.com/bombsuitmudder.org?fref=ts

See you at the finish line…  Sign up today!

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