Under sunny, blue skies in central Vermont, before an international crowd of 15,000, the Reebok Spartan Race World Championships crowned new male and female World Champions. Utah’s Hobie Call, 36, and Amelia Boone, 30, of Chicago, finished first and each earned a $15,000 payout. The hotly anticipated season finale with over $290,000 in cash and prizes, featured some of the world’s most talented professional obstacle course racers, Olympians, professional triathletes, and world champion trail runners. NBC Sports was on hand to capture all the action for a television special airing October 19, 2013.

The men’s competitive heat featured the winner, Hobie Call, emerged from the daunting 14 mile course with a time of 3:35:56. Finishing in second place was Australian Spartan Champion Matt Murphy, 28, in 3:44:15, and Spartan Pro Team member Hunter McIntyre, 24, now residing in Pittsfield, Vt., who finished a close third with a time of 3:44:42.

On the women’s side, Amelia Boone, who came in second last year, took the top spot this year with a time of 4:09:52, nearly 15 minutes ahead of the second place female finisher, Australian Spartan Champion Deanna Blegg, 44, who clocked in at 4:24:10. Rounding out the top three was Canadian National team biathlete, Olympic hopeful and 2012 Spartan Race World Champion Claude Godbout, 27, of Quebec City, with a time of 4:34:52.

At the finish line, still caked in mud, Hobie Call, of Erda, Utah, said, “The course is absolutely crazy. I had to do it carefully and pace myself. I’m still in denial that I won. I’m sure I’ll be crying in a corner in a couple of hours,” he jokes.

Female champion Amelia Boone, an attorney at Skadden Arps, says, “It really could have been anyone’s race. That’s what is great about these events. I went out not knowing what to expect. It was the toughest competition I’ve ever faced in a race.”

The Reebok Spartan Beast race, in Killington, Vt., which will attract over 9,000 competitors and 6,000 spectators this weekend, is infamous for a half marathon worth of steep inclines, technical terrain, and challenging obstacles such as carrying 65 pound sand bags, climbing walls, and crawling through mud under barbed wire.

“We continue to push athletes to new limits with our races,” said Spartan Race founder Joe De Sena of Pittsfield, Vt. “This is the toughest race we’ve designed to date, most definitely. We can’t wait to show the world what we have in store for 2014.”

In addition to the elite heat, the Reebok Spartan Race World Championships featured a charity challenge, an inaugural Vermont Spartan Sprint, and an Ultra Beast that began early Sunday morning on a cold, and windy morning.  More to come on an epic weekend of racing.  Congratulations to all our winners and all our Spartan World Championship weekend finishers!

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by Johnny Waite

Spartan Heads Down Under

This month changed the face of obstacle racing in Australia. While they’ve had a strong OCR culture building over the past few years, the arrival of Reebok Spartan Race has changed everything. Sprints were held in both Melbourne (March 2) and Sydney (March 16th), attracting nearly 10,000 racers, and the feedback has been loud and clear. The perception of Spartan summed up by Australia’s leading female obstacle racer, Deanna Blegg, “It’s the most grueling obstacle race I’ve ever completed!”

Melbourne

The Melbourne race was held at a motocross facility, taking advantage of both the twisting, rolling track and the surrounding

Melbourne

countryside. Participants traveled from all over the country to compete and enjoy the Spartan Race experience. They were not disappointed! Several stars quickly emerged; with Deanna Blegg dominating the women’s field (with many other strong female racers competing for the remaining podium steps) and Matt Murphy besting Shawn Phelps to be crowned Men’s Champion. There was some high drama on the men’s side, as Murphy came into the home stretch with a big lead only to see it evaporate with a missed spear throw and a fail on the monkey bars. It took sixty of the world’s fastest burpees, in full view of the crowd while Phelps sprinted towards the finish, to hold onto the win.

Sydney

Then Spartan Race outdid itself with their sophomore effort just outside Sydney. Bringing many of the same challenging obstacles, and introducing some new ones, they took over Razorback Ridge with its brutal hills and plentiful water. From the moment participants entered the grounds, passing under the overhead cargo net crawl between two 20 foot high stacks of shipping containers, they knew this was the real deal. Four deep water crossings and a tortuous sand bag carry up an endless hill were the signature trials of Sydney, and at the end the same two racers came out golden, with Matt Murphy and Deanna Blegg remaining undefeated in Spartan Race Australia competition.

What’s Next

And this is just the beginning. Spartan Race next heads to Brisbane, June 22, to host the first Super (14km), before returning to Melbourne for a Super, on October 6th, followed by the inaugural Beast (21km) in November back in Sydney. As one participant noted, “Spartan’s Kids Course is harder than most other obstacle races I have done!! I can’t wait to see what your next races will be like!!”

As is Spartan-like to say, “You’ll Know at The Finish Line”.

Want to learn more about Spartan Races down under?  Click HERE.

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