Integrity —noun: adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.

Integrity is a part of the embodiment of being a Spartan. Without it, we are nothing more than a bunch people striving to do better without actually holding ourselves accountable.

When it comes to finishing a Spartan Race there is an honor that comes with crossing that finish line and earning your piece of the Trifecta. We always say “You’ll know at the finish line” and that is more true then ever after you’ve given it your all. Maybe you fell off an obstacle and had to do 30 burpees before carrying yourself across that finish, but you did it. You EARNED it.

Finishing a Spartan Race means finishing every obstacle thrown in your path. It means completing the penalty burpees if you missed the obstacle. If you fall off the log hop, take pride in doing your thirty burpees. If you can’t handle the weight of the bucket carry, don’t just leave your bucket on the course. Take as long as you need to finish the challenge. If you fall off the rope, the traverse wall, or any other obstacle accept your fate and do your burpees. Your burpees are a way to strengthen yourself. A reminder that next time you won’t fail. Doing your burpees when you fail an obstacle is how you earn your medal.

Spartan Race does not just give medals out. Some races are okay with their participants skipping obstacles and still presenting them with the reward of “finishing.” Here at Spartan we hold ourselves and our participants to a higher standard. We, as a species, develop and grow through adversity. That’s why Spartans don’t skip obstacles or burpees. Spartans get back up after they’ve been knocked down. Spartans give it their all and earn their reward for doing so.

Spartan Races, in a lot of ways, mimic life. You’ll have successes and triumphs and you’ll have complete and utter failures. You might fall off one obstacle just to breeze through the next. You only get one chance at any obstacle in life. Only one chance to ace that exam. Only one chance to nail your dream job. You don’t get second chances at life and you don’t get second chances at obstacles. Most obstacles in a Spartan Race have the rule, one try to successfully complete the obstacle otherwise, it’s burpees.

If you think, “no one actually does their burpees” then you haven’t seen someone like Chris Davis, Amanda Sullivan, Danny Rodriguez, Ilen Boyar, or Earl Granville complete a Spartan Race. If you want to feel like you accomplished something and fully understand the meaning of “You’ll know at the finish line.” Sign up, show up, and never give up. Do your burpees and EARN your medal.

Remember, to finish a Spartan Race means you have earned that finisher medal and you earned that finisher shirt. That means finishing the course, the obstacles and any penalty burpees. These are not given out freely. They are earned through sweat, bruises, sometimes even blood and tears. If that means doing 90 burpees on top of the 8+ miles and 20+ obstacles at a Super Spartan, then so be it. These medals mean a lot to the people who come out and give it their all. Literally, everything they have got. To go through the course and respectfully finish, no one can take that honor away from you, because YOU are a Spartan.

If you come out to a race, make sure you have the integrity to hold yourself accountable. Don’t cheat yourself.

Spartan Up! Do your burpees. We’ll see you at the finish line.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Written by guest writer and Elite Pro Teamer Amelia Boone

For the third year, Spartan Race will be back at Haspin Acres in Laurel, Indiana, setting the stage for a Midwest showdown. Located an hour and half from Indianapolis and an hour and a half from Cincinnati, don’t let the remoteness of this race venue fool you – it’s anything but cows, pastures, and spotty cell phone service.

Three years ago, Indiana was the site of the first-ever Spartan “Founder’s Race” – a race stripped down to it’s bare essentials. While the race now has all the trappings of modern-day Sparta that we know and love, expect a test of grit true to its Founder’s Race origins. An off-road park when it’s not invaded by Spartans, Haspin Acres promises 4+ miles of muddy trails through woods and fields scattered with 15-20+ Spartan obstacles. And don’t call the Midwest no flat land – plenty of quick hill climbs and scrambles will keep you on your toes.

Amelia and Todd Sedlak discuss the course.

Indiana has proven to be one of the longest Sprints out there – last year, course director Todd Sedlak promised that no one would finish in under an hour, and only 12 athletes managed to prove him wrong. With a new race director this year, it remains to be seen whether this challenge will stand.

For the elite waves, both male and female winners from last year, Spartan pro team members Brakken Krakker and Amelia Boone, are expected to race. And if he doesn’t get lost in the Chicago airport finding deep dish pizza, Elliott Megquier will be joining them. On the women’s side, fresh off her two-podium weekend at Citi Field, Laura Messner will be looking to extend her streak. And as we’ve seen of late, expect plenty of elite challengers when you least expect it.

The good times never end in Indiana.

Also of note, Danny Rodriguez will be making his 2014 Spartan Race debut. You all remember Danny as the Chicagoan who packed up his life, moved to Vermont to live and train in Pittsfield with Joe, and lost over 100 pounds in the process – his transformation of his life and his health served as inspiration to thousands of Spartans worldwide. Last we checked in with Danny, he’s back in the Midwest, training hard, with his sights set on, among other things, the Chicago Marathon this fall. Welcome back to Sparta, Danny!

With team showings by the Chicago Spartans, Corn Fed, and even some rumors of the NE Spahtens making the road trip, expect a great turn-out and a festive atmosphere.

See you in Indiana!

Are you ready for your Spartan Race? Sign up now and we’ll see you at the finish line… 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,