Teamwork. The word is drilled into our heads in a number of areas within our lives, from playing sports to working with others in either our professional or academic life. There are very few sports where the individual is more important than their team. Yet how often do we see organizations stack their team in order to win games (Lakers or Yankees anyone)? This isn’t always the answer though, and more often than not, it takes some of the fun out of being a spectator. It’s kind of like watching a movie that you already know the ending to. So how does a sport without any kind of team event start team racing without allowing stacked teams? In the words of Charlie Kelly from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia “WILD CARD…”.

In true Spartan fashion team racing was introduced at the Tememcula California race, with a twist. Instead of allowing Spartan Elites the opportunity to team up with the individual of their choice Tom McCormack, Spartan’s Director of Product Management, came to the line with a deck of playing cards.  When asked about it Tom provided an interesting explanation.

 “Everyone got a card which they wrote their name on and then gave back. The Elites were then matched up by their card, three people to a team. This way no one knew who was on their team and the teams were completely randomized making it way more competitive than say having Hunter team with Hobie and Amelia or April. This means a team with one of those guys on it could still be beaten by a team with three people that finish middle of the pack. It really makes the team aspect fun, interesting, and competitive in a whole new way.”

The idea had received a great deal of positive response from spectators as racers coming across the line in 15th place had a huge impact on the outcome of the team event. Changes to timing on the course coming up will help to make things even more interesting according to McCormack.

“We are updating our timing a little bit. There are some things in the works that will allow us to track people along the course and make updates in the festival area as to where people are. Spartan feels that it will really make the Wild Card team aspect even more entertaining to spectators as we continue to work on making the whole event more spectator friendly.”

Tom and the team have been working to make the Wild Card aspect a well oiled, and entertaining, machine within the race. Testing it in Temecula the organization didn’t do it again in subsequent races but Tom states that they are ready to roll it out again in Georgia and in Vegas with more to be announced soon.

What about the Open Heats you say? Tom has something there as well.

“The Open waves already see people showing up as part of teams. Groups such as NE Spahtens, CornFed Spartans, Weeple Army and others will be entered into the Open Team racing automatically. The four fastest racers will be what determines their teams time and ranking. We’ve seen some fast times from groups such as Camp Rhino and Gut Check Fitness out of Southern California. We expect to see even more of the same through out the rest of the year.”

2014 promises to be a year of new things from Spartan HQ. Each one designed to give racers, and spectators, even more of what they want. Sign up now, either as an individual or as a team, and as always…

We’ll see you at the finish line!

 

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Look around any Spartan Race and you’ll often see groups that run together, wearing the same shirts and smiling for any nearby camera. They are there to not only beat the course, but to have a good time with their friends. Ranging in size from anything as little as 2 people to colossal numbers of into the hundreds, teams are now every bit a part of Spartan Race as the rope climbs and barbed wire crawls.

Dominating the West coast is The Weeple Army. Originating in Southern California, but now having “chapters” not only across the states, but worldwide as well, the familiar sight of swathes of green and black can be seen at many races. Boasting members that include Death Racers, Marathon runners and even Spartan Race staff, it’s a false assumption that they are an elite group of runners. All abilities – and indeed disabilities – are welcomed.

Also based in California are Team SISU, headed by Daren De Heras, regular Spartan Death racer and co-organizer of endurance events. Due to the appeal of the intense ferocity of the boot camps and events they put on, SISU has also expanded to the east coast, Midwest and now Texas. Team SISU teaches and coaches the team ethic whilst beasting trails and training hard.

“Team SISU was born a few years ago after my first Spartan Death Race. A few people searched me out to help them train for their first Death Race. When we started this it was long all day events meant to take people to their limits and beyond. It quickly grew as Spartan Races grew and we changed what SISU is. We have now merged with the Weeple Army and are the largest OCR team in the Nation. We have chapters on the West Coast, East Coast, Texas, and Midwest. We host Spartan Training events year long and modify every event so that all athletes of all levels can participate.”

Hailing out of Indiana, the might of the Cornfed Spartans, led by Jonathan Nolan, are instantly recognizable by virtue of their “wrap”-style shirts with the Spartan chewing on a corncob. Boasting over 1500 members, Cornfed members are rarely alone, something very useful as founder Jonathan Nolan explains, “Corn Fed uses the term “family” to describe our team. We use that because when one of us is down, the others pick him/her up, when one of us needs help, others are there, and that is what family does. No matter what, despite anything going on around us, we are there to help each other, whether they are teammates or not, and that is what makes us the Corn Fed Spartans. Next time you’re at a Spartan Race, yell out Corn Fed and see what happens!”

Out of Texas, the Lone Star Spartans follow a similar vein, as member Christopher Rayne explains, “Lone Star Spartans is a Texas based racing team dedicated to helping its members and others live an active lifestyle through the sports OCR, road racing, triathlons, and cycling. We strive to be team for people of all fitness levels that wish to challenge their mental fortitude and shatter their physical limitations. Currently we are at just over 400 strong and growing each day. One of the ways that we help new and current members get to know each other is that Paul Almanza (founder) is constantly looking for local races to join.”

In Canada, The Canadian Mudd Queens – with their team almost 300 strong – are an all-female group dedicated to staying together and helping one another. Pamela Kirk of the CMQ explains, “We just celebrated our first birthday in August. We came together as a group of about 4 online and later met in person. We’ve grown by word of mouth and indoctrinating our friends. We meet like-minded women at races and invite them to drink the kool aid. I believe my daughter is the youngest member [15] that runs adult Spartans and other OCRs. Our oldest member is in her 50s. We come from all walks and stations. No other joining criteria other than female.”

Hailing from Florida, self-confessed “goofy Asian dude”, JayTea Tran, a familiar face with the Spartan Race Street Team community, is a co-founder of Azn Armour which now has close to 500 members. “With our team being represented at most, if not all Spartan Races, it really brings home the close-knit community that we have formed. Our team runs together and we don’t leave any team member behind”, he explains. He continues, “with Azn Armour having teamed up with another east coast team, MudRunFun, it now means that the family is so large that no one person will ever have to run alone. We have a team page where we discuss training, diet, sport clothing among other things. We motivate each other by posting our daily workouts and training strategies.”

But these are just a few examples and barely scratch the surface of the multitude of teams out there. New England Spahtens, Team Braveheart, Chicago Spartans, WVVA Spartans, Team Ugly Fitness, Team Red White and Blue, Boot Camp Rhino, Warrior State Of Mind, Team Burgh all are familiar names across the country and are often seen destroying courses as a unit.

One team that stands out arguable more than any other is Operation Enduring Warrior. Made up of military veterans offering support to the nations wounded heroes, their trademark masks worn by each member signifies the struggles each military member goes through and are worn in a show of solidarity. Their member Todd Love’s picture now being an iconic shot of everything that not only they, but what all teams and Spartan Race stands for; pushing through adversity.

So, get yourself a group of friends, start a website or group page and see where it leads you! Spartan teams stick together!

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by Michael Bacon

I returned home from Afghanistan on the first weekend in June, 2013. I had planned to do the races for my Trifecta in as little calendar time as possible because I would have the leave days from deployment to use up. All the dates, time and money lined up. Well, even they hadn’t, I would still have done it anyway…..that’s just me, The Baconator.

The week after I got back (Father’s Day weekend) and the following weekend I ran two other OCRs as a tune up for the Utah Beast. This resulted in five OCRs in six weeks. That is not really a tough schedule compared to many of my fellow OCR athletes, but it was quite adventurous with all the travel, training and racing.

My goal was to knock out punch the Spartan Trifecta in the shortest amount of days possible. And….stay healthy in the process. The plan worked well: 22 days, lots of travel time, lots of bad road munchies and food, great times with family and friends, and putting it all out there on each course, and leaving nothing in the tank.

All my tough training (4-6 days a week for about 6 months and sometimes two-a-days) preparing for Spartan glory while deployed to Tarin Kowt, Afghanistan was about to become the real deal. The Utah Beast was first, and good thing, because it was the toughest and it had me a little reserved and worried. Family and friends noticed that I wasn’t my typical, over-the-hedge squirrel, energizer bunny self on the drive out and just before the race. The UT Beast pushed me to my never-before-reached limit. Halfway through at the rope climb, I contemplated the thing I said I would never do…..quitting. My friends and teammates, Jason Reed and David Tatham, responded to my waning resolve by joining me back on the course to give me some motivation. Success! The PA Sprint proved to be what many call the “Mini Beast.”  According to some who ran the previous year’s PA Sprint, this one was a little shorter, but arguably more difficult. The terrain, again, was the real challenge. Obstacles are just obstacles. You approach each one on its own turf and do it or don’t do it. The part of the planet that Spartan decides to put them is what kicks your butt!

The Midwest Spartan was FUN! I think what made it the most fun was the festival atmosphere with all my friends from many teams and the new people I met throughout the race and the rest of the weekend. The course start was nice because it wasn’t a vertical ascent to Mars. I actually had time to warm up and get in a pace groove before the hills and obstacles.

This is my 50th year of life on the planet. “Go and torture yourself, Mike….over 25+ miles of unforgiving terrain and obstacles….for your birthday celebration.” Thats what my brain said and my body replied with “bring it on!”

The Spartan Race Utah Beast
June 29th, 2013:
Seymour, Indiana to Cheyenne and Evanston, Wyoming and Midway, Utah 1600 miles, 26 hrs travel time.
Departure: June 26th, 2013
Round trip total: 3200 +/- miles, 50 hrs travel time
Corn Fed Spartans on the road trip: Michael Bacon, Kathy Bacon, Jason Reed, Jessy Reed, David Tatham.
Friends in Wyoming: Lisa Todd (thank you for letting us stay at your house!), Liz Roper and Valerie Cuecuecha.

Utah Beast: 12.2 miles in the Utah Wasatch Mountains
Elite Heat
Time 4:56:16

The Spartan Race Pennsylvania Sprint
July 13th, 2013
Seymour, Indiana to Carrolton, Kentucky, DeGraff, Ohio, Reading and Palmerton, Pennsylvania 780 miles, 14 hrs travel time.
Departure: July 11th, 2013
Round trip total: 1570 +/- miles, 27 hrs
Corn Fed Spartans on the road trip: Michael Bacon, Jason Reed, Jordan Hill, Dan Bacon
Friends in Pennsylvania: Dann Pitkapaasi and his wife, Mia (thanks for letting us crash out at your house!), Brian Tumelty (Team Limitless)
Extra: Sweeper Heat with Ron Zastocki and his wife, Kelly, Gary Belanger, and Kelli Parady
Pennsylvania Sprint: 4 +/- miles at Blue Mountain
Elite Heat
Time: 2:23:43

Spartan Midwest Super: 8.2 +/- miles at The Cliffs Insane Terrain
July 20th, 2013
Seymour, Indiana to Marseilles, Illinois 320 +/- miles, 5 1/2 hrs travel time. Departure: July 19th, 2013
Round trip total 610 +/- miles, 16 hours (slept at a truck stop on the return trip….exhausted!)
Corn Fed Spartans on the road trip: The Baconator, solo.
Friends in Marseilles at the race and campground: The Corn Fed Spartans, Chicago Spartan, Team Ninja, Midwest Vikings, and all the amazing Spartan Racers! AROOO!
Extra: Sweeper/Pull Heat Team with Missy Morris, Stefanie McKenna and Emily Brandstatter (All Corn Fed Spartans!)
Time: 3:14:27

Trifecta Completion Stats
Days to completion: 22 days
Distance traveled: 5380 miles
Time Travel: 93 hrs

To say Todd Sedlak is evil, but a really nice guy, creates an oxymoron. Like he said at my finish of the Midwest, “You hate me out on the course, but like me when you’re done, right?” Mike Morris – thanks for the Midwest. See you in Amesbury, MA!

Thanks to LegendBorne Sportswear for the great race jerseys and tech t-shirts. They fit like a glove and make me feel like a superhero. The gear made the race! Thanks to Inov8 for my Roclite 315s. They gave my feet the performance of a mountain goat!

Special thanks to my wife Kathy for being there. Special thanks to Jason Reed and David Tatham at the Utah Beast. In my 50 years of life and 23 years in the US Army, I have never done any event so tough, ever. Thank you two AWESOME Corn Fed Spartans for jumping back into the Beast and giving me the sometimes silent, reassuring coaching and motivation to “Just keep going!”

What’s stopping you?  Get registered TODAY.

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I do not talk about myself when it comes to the Corn Fed Spartans because all of its success has been due to the dedication of everyone on the team and the family atmosphere each person provides. Through this family of racers, and a big help from Spartan Race, something was accomplished on April 21st, 2012 that had not been done before. A team, that was created to bring a Spartan Race to Indiana, turned into a family from different walks of life for one thing…each other.

Here is a brief history of the team. Nate and I ran the Midwest Spartan Sprint in Illinois in 2011. A few weeks later, during a phone call which we talked about bringing one to Indiana, he threw out the name, Corn Fed Spartans, and we knew that was the name. After volleying, spamming, and emailing people to death, the race happened and became the first ever “Founders Race.” After that race, restructuring of the team created a more family feel and unity driven team. Several road trips, races, and members later, Corn Fed has grown into a powerful family of racers all willing to trade time and speed in order to help each and every one on the team to cross the finish line.

Writing about the Indiana Spartan Race always touches my heart and fills me with so much emotion and tears. Imagine back when you did your very first obstacle race. You didn’t know what it was like, unsure if you could finish, and when you did, the emotion that you felt for the few minutes following. Indiana is that for me because of what it stands for. If it were not for Spartan Race, the Corn Fed Spartans would not be here….wow…. to me, and several others, that cannot even be imagined. When Nate and I thought of this and started the team, it was simply a place to gather to get the race, but after being on this ride for the past 17 months, it has and will continue to be a staple in the OCR community along with teams like the Weeple Army, Team SISU, and NE Spahtens to name a few. We will gladly share the battlefield with them as we all become the best families we can be.

An excerpt from someone that ran his first Spartan Race: “I “joined” this group with desire to spend more time with Rick Bosley. I ran my first OCR (CerebRun in Wrightsville PA) just to spend time with him, and do the things he does…to show interest in his life; I also did it because this OCR was based upon intelligence, and the two of us tend to strive in that area. I never planned on making a lifestyle change…but little did I know. Rick made me a part of the group and from the minute I started looking at posts on FB, I began to realize something big was taking place. I started mulling over the affordability of Indiana…and without hesitation Jonathan Nolan stepped up big for me. From the minute I stepped onto the grounds at Indiana, I knew something was happening…something awesome. I saw hugs and love; I saw strength and support. I regret that I didn’t meet most of you because home commitments limited my time there. When the race started, I found myself in an entire heat that embodied the Corn Fed motto “If you want to know…run with us” I saw an entire heat of runners helping out any and everybody in their path, and I followed suit. I apologize if I didn’t help all of you, because it became my intention to do so, I simply could not find myself staying on course for that long. After I finished, and after over an hour on the slippery wall, I couldn’t find Rick and Maribel, so knowing my time constraints I went to clean up. Post clean-up I put Rick’s bib number in the computer to look for his time, and 4 hours later he still hadn’t crossed. I stood by the slippery wall and shortly after I saw the tip of a flag come across followed by the signature red Mohawk…AWESOME! It was at this point that I felt the true love and determination that Corn Fed had…or so I thought. Then I started seeing pictures, and videos of that group carrying a Biggest Loser member across the traverse wall. This made me more proud then the comments about me helping people…this made me proud to be Corn Fed. You all, each and every one of you are an inspiration and you are ALL BEASTS!

In the words of Ricky Booby, you carried your feet to the start line, and you carried them over the finish. You got up the nerve to do this, and you completed it all on your own. It is for reasons like that, that I am proud to embody the Corn Fed name, and I wear it with pride. Thank you Rick for steering me away from sedentary behavior, and thank you Corn Fed for all you do. AROO!” -Adam Joseph Witmer-Bosley

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Indiana is a venue that is familiar with firsts. This was the first Indiana event and the first Founder’s Race in 2012. It was the first on-demand race we held in that season as well. 2013 brought another first, Todd Sedlak’s turn at the helm of the race course direction. Says Sedlak, “Having completed dozens of Spartan Races myself, I wanted to bring something different to the racers in Indiana. The Indiana Spartan Sprint was designed to truly be an obstacle racer’s course, averaging one obstacle every 300 yards over five miles. Haspin Acres offered some incredibly rugged terrain, allowing for tremendous natural obstacles like chasms, ravines, mud holes, river beds and steep, muddy climbs. The Rolling Mud into Barbed Wire was the muddiest, slipperiest one I have ever seen, and all uphill.”
Sedlak promised that no one would finish in under an hour. He was wrong, but not by much. “Though 13 men did break the one hour challenge I had set, I still feel I accomplished my goal of making an incredibly challenging Sprint that would rival much longer courses. We had great weather and a great time, I’m really proud of everything we accomplished together, Spartan Race and Corn Fed Spartans.”

Results were tight on the men’s side with familiar faces Brakken Kraker and Elliot Megquier battling for first and second, separated by 9 seconds.
1. Brakken Kraker 48:01
2. Elliot Megquier 48:10
3. Alexander Nicholas 54:10

The women saw Amelia Boone atop another podium with an impressive finish ten minutes ahead of the rest of the field.
1. Amelia Boone 1:01:27
2. Jillian Kenney 1:11:08
3. Tonya Stogsdill 1:12:30

The Cornfed Spartans came with a vengeance, topping the team results and boasting over 200 participants on the day. Said one participant, “By far, the toughest Sprint course and one that people will compare other sprints to. With many of us on the course for several hours, all there to help make sure everyone got over 1 more obstacle and 1 step closer to the finish line, family was the term used by many.”

Looking good, Indiana! And now we head farther West towards Colorado and our Military Spartan Sprint! Stay tuned for more to come!

Find your Spartan finish line.  Sign up today. 

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by Carrie Adams

555556_10150665851861861_251061411860_9829389_460044765_nFor the first time ever, Spartan Race offered a primal version of our race in Indiana coined the Founder’s Race and featuring a stripped down, raw encounter with Spartan elements.  Kicked off with a cannon blast, it was anything but typical even by Spartan standards.  Designed by Spartan Founders and engaging the athlete’s in the primal terrain, it proved to be one of our toughest courses to date.  70% of the participants can call themselves finishers.  Here is what people are saying about the Founder’s Race Indiana.

It was my 3rd Spartan Sprint. Will be doing more!!! This was by far the most “Raw”580295_10150665851906861_251061411860_9829390_417070038_n course out there. No fancy obstacles mainly what was already out there in nature or modified with a tractor/backhoe etc……AROO!!!!

Second Spartan Race and Third Obstacle Course race.  This made all others seem like the teacup ride at Disney.

After this, I can’t wait to see what waits in Colorado! 

This was my first race of any type and I am so glad I did it. Butterflies in my stomach leading up to this race almost made me back out. So very glad I didn’t. I will definitely be doing more of these types of races and every SR that comes to the area! 

First race. Will do more. Race was a blast but all the people involved made it. All around friendliness and support was amazing.

538561_10150665851966861_251061411860_9829392_1575634716_nAtmosphere was great, the staff was extremely supportive, hilarious, and downright insane at times. I liked how a lot of obstacles forced you to work as a team, the cannon for a starting gun was a plus, and I liked how their were not a huge amount of bottlenecks during the race.

My third this year by far the hardest you guys did great!

First race, the feeling of family, helping, cheering made the race, of course I hated the barb wire part I now know I wasn’t as ready as I thought I was, doing the Chicago super now!

This is what I say when I encourage people to come to Spartan Race: You train and578929_10150665854986861_251061411860_9829469_1617895391_n run and lift and put yourself through workouts that no couch potato would ever attempt. Now what have you done to set YOUR STANDARD? What is your benchmark of your achievement? Mine is Spartan Race. Those of you posting above, the rookies, newbs, whatever you call yourselves, have set your mark HIGH. As I shouted out to the Spartans in my heat when I went through the first barbed wire crawl, a paraphrase quote from 300 “To this challenge, give NOTHING, but take from it EVERYTHING!”

My first of any sort also, and not only am I doing another (Palmerton in July) I’m taking the better half along with me for her very first also.

My 16-year old ran her first race yesterday and by the time we were headed to the car she had changed from “I don’t think I will ever do one again” to “I will do another one, but will wear something different.” It’s contagious!

My daughter can’t wait to be old enough to do the “real” race. She ran her first junior and did the entire mile, but most of it was with one shoe! She said she could do without it and the course could keep it.

536398_10150665855526861_251061411860_9829480_1612557632_nThroughout the entire race (and I was on the course more than 4 hours) everyone worked together and encouraged each other and I do mean EVERYONE. I can’t tell you the number of times that other Spartan racers made the difference in whether or not I got through an obstacle. I am simply in awe of how great this race was!

I know that my group sacrificed our finish time in order to spend time holding the nets for people and to chat along the way. I don’t care how long I was out there. I was just happy to be doing it with my family and friends!

My husband and four of our friends were with me too and we helped others out along the way but there were a couple obstacles that I needed additional assistance. Example: the 2nd cargo net, a woman stayed at the top encouraging me until I crossed over. Another was on a steep hill climb, I was near the top but struggling and two young Spartans each took a hand and basically pulled me to the top. This was just way too cool and a great lesson for me in learning to accept help too! This is why I will do another Spartan and believe me there were times I asked myself, “What the hell am I doing our here?” I knew when I crossed the finish line!

148918_10150665856461861_251061411860_9829499_859343158_nIt was my first, had a great time and not in too much pain today. I’m already signed up for the Midwest in Oct. Can’t wait!

So many people have mentioned the teamwork and the willingness of so many to sacrifice individual times to help others…I spent my fair share of time holding nets and pulling people up hills or out of the mud pits too and I think that was my absolute favorite part. It was awesome to see how people who were otherwise complete strangers in most cases were so ready and willing to extend that hand and help someone out. I’m already signed up for next years and so are a couple of my friends with more planning to do so tonight or tomorrow. We’re hooked!

This was my first OCR / mud run ever, plus I did the HH the night before, and I thought it was totally bad ass. Signing up for Midwest Super and Indiana 2013 tonight!

564319_10150665855991861_251061411860_9829491_1102842321_nI’m signed up for the Midwest Super on October 27th!

Yesterday was my first. June 2, 2007 my platoon was ambushed in Afghanistan and my legs were severally mangled. I have never had them tested in this capacity since that day. I absolutely loved it. I couldn’t have been tested any better and I’ll be back!

It was my first and far from last! Already signed up for next years with my girlfriend. Also going to sign up for the mid west super sprint. It was a great event well put on and run. The HH was a blast they did a great job pushing us. If this was a “bare bones” Spartan, I can’t wait to see the full on event! Maybe then they will have the spear throw and the gauntlet to run through.

Well, I’ve ran a couple of Spartan Races in my days, and I have got to say that this was a great race, especially considering the lack of some of the more traditional obstacles. The terrain was absolutely awesome, and you did a great job of putting it to use. I liked how there were two rope climbs and log carries. Kept it challenging, but don’t think it felt the least bit redundant. The barbed wire crawl was awesome. Breaking it up like you did made it much more challenging mentally and physically than it would have been if you would have just made it one long stretch. Personally, I think the race had all it needed to be a great event, and would rank it in the top three of hardest “Sprints” to date.

My first and it was awesome. I loved the barbed wire. I need to perfect my rope climb. I533446_10150665856981861_251061411860_9829511_894262425_n think the terrain was the best character in this obstacle course. Some of those ravines and gullies were brutal. I feel like there was a really important mental part of it to, just when you thought you were thinking you were in the last leg, there was another hill to climb stepper than the last. Aroo!

If you made it from start to finish, I don’t care how long it took you, if you stayed in the game and came out the other side. There is not any Spartan Race you can not do! I know I’ve done sprints, supers and the Beast. If you got through the founders race you can do them all!

For the distance…one of the toughest.

This was my first Spartan Race but not my first Obstacle Course Race I have done 2 Warrior Dash’s and a Farmathalon and this was by far harder than the 3 of those put together. One of those was on a ski resort so it was literally on the side of a mountain. The total distance was about 10.1 miles for all 3 and total time of about 127 minutes. My time Saturday was 123 minutes for the 4.3 miles!!! That’s pretty crazy. Definitely feel a little pride for completing this one.

This was my 3rd Spartan Sprint and by far the hardest! It didn’t have all the staple obstacles but I liked the change up. It was challenging and ultimately that’s what most people want, no matter what the challenge is. I LOVED the extra three feet of barbed wire around the corner, it was such a mind screw lol. And the team spirit was everywhere!! great to see strangers working together. And will I do another??? I’m doing 5 more this year AROOOOOOO!!!

The barbed wire was great! My group was fortunately narrow enough in the hips and shoulders to roll through parts of it – work smarter not harder, right? I loved all of the mud pits but my favorite was the pond swim because it caught people off guard.

I was going to hold back my two cents but I’ll toss it in. This course was a monster! I really love Spartan Race and can comfortably say I have an idea of what obstacles I will encounter. This course destroyed any other I have been to! You may not have climbed a wall, balanced a board, moved over the ninja wall or even thrown a spear, and I hear that. Let me tell you, no one but you who showed on Saturday will ever do what you did. Anybody can do the standard Spartan obstacles anywhere, some people have them in you back yard to train. No you guys had the most grueling, spirit draining, ego deflating, humility building course I have ever done or even seen. And on top of it all it was freezing! I personally say to each and every one of you who completed the course to register for the Beast in VT! If you did this four miles you can do the Beast. If this course didn’t break your spirit right in the beginning at the Devil’s Backbone, or that barbed wire, or those damn hay bails that just seemed to keep coming with water on either side. If you dragged your self out of those mud pits and climbed those cargo nets. Nothing can stop you!

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[Editor’s Note: In December, Spartan Jason Jaksetic is off to compete in one of the world’s most elite races, the EpicMan Triple Ironman (http://www.active.com/triathlon/honolulu-hi/epicman-challenge-2011).  In this blog he writes about how Spartan Race is the ideal platform to take yourself from couch potato to bad-ass athlete.  Here is his story of going from utter newb to aspiring Triple Ironman.]

jjSpartan Race offers something to racers that no other obstacle race does:  a systemic approach to go from your couch to the world’s most extreme race.

Seven years ago, I started with a 5k St. Patty’s Day Run.  (Spartan Race wasn’t around.  If it was, I would have been there for sure.)  This 5k run was all about the free beer for me.  I didn’t even have athletic socks or shoes – I went out and covered the course in ratty Converse and plaid socks.

Tomorrow, I’m leaving for Hawaii to compete in the prestigious EpicMan Triple Ironman (http://www.active.com/triathlon/honolulu-hi/epicman-challenge-2011).  It’s invitation only.  7.2 mile swim, 336 mile bike, and 78.6 mile run – without stopping

Between the 5k and Triple Ironman I did my first marathon and then first Ironman.  Then I tacked on my first Ironman World Championship and Ironman 70.3 World Championship qualifications.

jj2Last month I took fifth overall in my first Double Ironman.

It’s all about progression.  You don’t just go from beer runs to triple Ironman without some bumps in the road.

Like DNF’ing my first 150 mile run (Peak Races) and dropping out of the Death Race.  Yes, I failed on the Death Race.  (I can attest to The Death Race being more difficult than a double Ironman, and will let you know about how it compares to EpicMan in January.)

You need to visualize realistic goals and put it on the line to get there.

Spartan Raceis probably the best race series in the planet because it has built into its structure a step by step goals to becoming a legitimate badass.

Working with Spartan Race and going to events I’m amazed at the people achieving things they never thought possible.  They get hooked by doing theirfirst Spartan Sprint.  It’s like a gateway drug.  From there they can build fitness and confidence as they tackle a Super Spartan and then Spartan Beast.  And, hell, maybe step up to the Death Race.  It’s all there for the taking.  Spartan Race is just asking for people to step up.

As an elite athlete I have the following to say:  there is nothing elite about me.  I’m just like you.  I’m the guy in Converse and plaid socks still.  I just took endurance racing for a ride.  I really wish I had Spartan Race to help me along the way – it would have helped!

I encourage everyone to push themselves by signing up for what might seem beyond their capabilities.  You will get there.  I invite you to join me in this.  Hell, I invite you to come on out and race the EpicMan with me.  If you think you are qualified to race there are still spots for eligible athletes.  Just contact them.  Sign up for a Spartan Sprint or sign up for the Death Race.  Either way, push yourself and rise up in the structure of bad-ass that Spartan Race embraces.

Jason Jaksetic is a professional endurance athlete, fitness coach, and consultant for Spartan Race.  He can be contacted at JasonJ@SpartanRace.com.  While in Hawaii he will be working with Hawaii Spartans to bring them a race.  Speak up if you want a race!  We are serious about bringing them to you.  Home grown efforts have already brought a race to Indiana!

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