Written by Pro Team member Elliott Megquier

Spartan Race really outdid themselves again, serving up the best course Tuxedo Ridge Ski Center has hosted in 4 years. The course was relentless with constant climbs of the mountain, carries of heavy obstacles, and crawling up a never ending hill under the barbed wire. Over 11,000 people completed the race over the course of Saturday and Sunday. You couldn’t ask for better weather, both days it was sunny, no rain, with a mild breeze. Not too hot and not too cold. Racers were also treated with a new obstacle. This obstacle entailed climbing a vertical wall out of the water without foot holds until you got out of the water and halfway up the wall. The monkey bars were also modified to provide racers with more of a challenge. They went up and down throughout the obstacle, even some elite racers were falling off. Another fairly new obstacle that debuted in the Northeast for the first time was the Monkey Cargo Net, which is all about grip strength as you traverse over a pit of water to ring the bell on the other side.

In the elite heats Saturday Matthew Kempson ran away to victory winning by over two minutes in impressive fashion for his first ever Spartan podium. He was followed by Elliott Megquier and Miguel Medina. For the women New York City resident Karlee Whipple claimed the win, with Laura Messner taking second, and Helene Dumais rounding out the podium in third.

Sunday Matthew Kempson repeated his winning ways, with Elliott Megquier closing the gap just one minute and nine seconds behind, and Dennis Smith rebounding from a fourth place finish Saturday to finish third. For the women Laura Lunardi rebounded from a fourth place finish to win Sunday’s race, with Debbie Moreau – hailing from the great state of Maine – placing second, and Helene Dumais of Canada placing third again.

Other great stories were Ilene Boyer who battles from brittle bones marking her one year anniversary doing a Spartan Race, over a thousand plus children who completed the Kids Race, and countless other untold stories of people overcoming tough times in life to kick butt at a brutally demanding Spartan course. The best part, is Spartan is serving up another round, on June 7th and 8th Tuxedo willing be rocking again with over 10,000 Spartans preparing for glory. Don’t miss out! NBC will also be there on Saturday to film and share all this amazingness with the world.

Till Saturday live a Spartan life, Spartan Up, and prepare for greatness.

Sign up now and we’ll see you at the finish line! 

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For the fourth time, Spartan Race brought the Spartans to the sunny, hot, ever scenic Oleta River State Park for the Miami Super Spartan.

It wasn’t just about surviving the heat in Miami. Competitors were thrown for a loop, encountering our newest iteration of the Monkey Bars obstacle, or should we say “Monkey Net”? That’s right – Miami introduced a version of the monkey bars obstacle which fashioned cargo webbing that began with an incline and ended with a decline traverse. The rule of the obstacle was no feet, just hands, and was meant to be performed in the same manner as you would the traditional Monkey Bars. All this, but over three feet of water. Fall off, and you know the drill. Burpees.

As per usual, the Hurricane Heat launched the weekend’s activities. Tony Matesi and John Ziegler took over 100 participants through demanding and sometimes seemingly impossible challenges that were developed to build camaraderie and teamwork. From team carries through the obstacles to being the first to test the new obstacle, this group of early morning Hurricane Heaters came together to figure out what it means to be a Spartan.

At first glance, the course may have appeared to be simple and flat given the nature of the Florida region. Assuming the lack of hills equated to an easier course would have been a massive faux pas. The course had unique terrain that acted as the ultimate obstacle in itself. Hard rocks, switchbacks and open waters delivered an exciting and exhilarating course which amplified the difficulty and created a course that was not to be taken for granted.

On Saturday the intense heat made for a very interesting day – never forget that hydration is key in these conditions. Drinking plenty of water the night before, the morning of and during a race with over eight miles and more than 20 obstacles, it is crucial to preventing yourself from cramping while out on the course.

Spartan SGX Coaches were on site leading warm-ups and cool downs. These highly educated coaches are there to assist racers in race prep and recovery of the taxing course. Joe Di Stefano, Co-Founder of the SGX lead the charge along with Coaches Sarah Pozdol and Casey Eischen. The Spartan SGX team will be traveling the Spartan Race circuit, so be on the lookout for the warm-up and cool down area near the start line.

In our elite heat, Spartan Pro Team members, April Dee, Isaiah Vidal, Brakken Kraker, also Founding Pro Team members Chris Rutz, Shawn Feiock and Hannah Orders were all in attendance. Other elite competitors included Arizona native and 2nd Male at the Vegas Super, John Yatsko, Chris McCorkle, Debbie Moreau, Valerie Smith, Sue Luck, Amanda Ricciardi and Sarah Pozdol.

Saturday’s men’s elite heat came down to the difference between making the Spearman Toss and having to complete a set of 30 burpees. Brakken Krakker successfully nailed the spear throw taking the top spot over John Yatsko. Coming in third for the men was recent Spartan Pro Team addition, Isaiah Vidal. April Dee of the Spartan Pro Team dominated the women’s division taking first place over Debbie Moreau and Founding Pro Team member, Hannah Orders.

On Sunday April Dee returned to once again take the top spot on the podium with a demanding lead over Debbie Moreau taking the number two spot and Geishel Valverde grasping a third place finish. In the men’s division, John Yatsko returned with determination after practicing his spear toss and captured a first place finish. An extremely friendly second and third place finish was taken by Isaiah Vidal who showed a tremendous amount of sportsmanship as he waited to cross the line with Joey Patriola after running a majority of the Sunday Super Spartan together.

Close to 10,000 Spartans came and conquered the course this weekend at the Super Spartan in Miami, but there was one very special set of finishing scenes that played out under the relentless Florida sun. Remembering that being a Spartan is about overcoming adversity, finishing what you start, and never giving up no matter the circumstance, it was a joy to behold the newest member of the Spartan family – a young man called Sean. His “Best Buddy”, Tripp Prevatt, has been running races for some time now, making sure to always do one lap for himself and one additional one so that he can give that medal to Sean. You see, Sean has Cerebral Palsy. After telling Sean countless stories about the races he conquered, he wanted to find a way to give Sean the opportunity to join him on the course so they could both earn Spartan Finisher medals, together.

Naturally, the Spartan Kids course again showed that same fighting resilience. Climbing over walls, crawling under neon green “barbed wire” and zig-zagging through a web of bungee cord providing a glimpse of the future Spartans of the world. Be on the lookout; one day these young ones will be standing atop the podium. Just you wait and see!

All of these incredible experiences are made possible with the support of our incredible sponsors, Reebok, ZICO Coconut Water, CorePower, Clif Bar Builders Bars, the U.S. Navy, Eco Vessel, Air Force Reserves, Nestle Water, and DeliverLean. With their support Spartan Race showed Miami once again what we mean by “you’ll know at the finish line.”

Congrats to everyone who Spartan’d UP in Miami. Next up, Spartan Race is headed to the Midwest for the Indiana Sprint. What started as a Founders Race has become a staple of the Spartan tour, it you’re not signed up yet, what are you waiting for?

Go ahead, sign up. We’ll be waiting for you at the finish line.

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