Margaret Schlachter, of Dirt in Your Skirt has been racing with Spartan since the beginning. She took on our first race in Vermont, was in the original Spartan Chicked network, and has since traveled the country racing with Spartan. The Vermont native, now living in Utah, talks about what makes her the woman she is today and how Spartan helped her find a new kind of happiness.

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by Hunter McIntyre, Spartan Elite Athlete

The second Spartan Race In Mexico is this weekend, May 17, 18, and 19th in Mexico City. The ante has been raised with $10,000 in prize money, and Elite heat and a Super distance. I have been looking forward to getting back down south to see some of the hardest working Spartan enthusiast I’ve met to date! This could be the toughest Spartan venue in the world, racing at an elevation of more than 9000 feet, 9 miles of rugged terrain to cover and 25 gnarly obstacles. If you want a hint to how that might feel try running with a bag over head while running on a treadmill plus a few burpees every mile!  (Just kidding don’t ever try that!)

Making this even more exciting and challenging, I will not be the only one crossing the border for this epic race. Joining me are few other of the top US Elite wave racers. We will be running the Elite heat on Saturday. Scheduled to race on the trails are Miguel Medina, David Magida and Christopher ‘Tough Training’ Rutz charging against me for the gold. On the women’s side look for Andi Hardy and Margaret “Dirt in Your Skirt” Schlachter. They are both taking their first trip to a Mexico Spartan Race in hopes of taking the podium places from the local competition.

So what does this does Mexico Super Spartan at Valle de Bravo have to offer!? Besides the extreme venue and competitors there is a whopping cash prize 3500$ for the first place finisher, 1000$ for 2nd and 500$ for third. This will truly make the race a cut throat battle for those who can push themselves to limit during this challenging high altitude race. In addition to the US racers, the Mexican athletes have been training hard and will literally give some of the US racers a run for their money. Watch out for Hector Hernandez, a Crossfit coach at WODBOX Cancun, a Spartan Race official training center and Yusef Chalita. Yusef finished just behind me in the Mexico City Spartan Sprint in February.

I have to say I am truly excited to be racing in the Mexico Spartan Race series again, but I am not the only one who is hot to trot for this race. This race sold out within 72 hours of the registration date opening. There are so many participants that the race will be spread across three days.

Just a week away from the starting line I have my bags packed and my game face on! If anyone out there is brave enough to challenge the elites for a podium place I wish you the best of luck, see you all at the finish line!

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by Margaret Schlachter, guest blogger

2010 may have been the start of my Spartan journey when I was one of the original Spartans racing in the first Spartan Race in early 2010. 2011 marked my first podium and an invitation to join Spartan Chicked from the beginning, but it’s 2012 that will forever go down in the history books.

2012 was an incredible year, little did I know that in June when I started my 2012 season I would race nineteen official times and a few laps to help out, amass seven podium finishes and never out of the top 15. Little did I know I would travel throughout the country, race countless miles, make lasting friendships, and change careers all because of Spartan Race. I could write novels about the year but instead condensed it down to my Top 10 Moments in Spartan for 2012.

Top 10 Moments in Spartan Race of 2012

10.       The Perfect Race – finishing my first race with a single penalty burpee in Amesbury, MA Sprint.

9.         Finishing 3rdboth days in the Mid-West Super Spartan. It was an incredible weekend where two great races happened.

Margaret Schlachter and Juliana Sproles

8.         Watching the Spartan Chicked movement grow over 9,000 members. We started with a dozen women brought together with an idea by Carrie Adams and today it’s grown beyond what any could have imagined a year and a half ago.

7.         A Book Deal – Because of OCR and Spartan Race I am working on my first book due out in Spring 2014, dedicated to getting more people into racing and getting over the hurdles that stand in the way.

6.         Racing in Fenway Park – I went to college in Boston and that’s when I first got into baseball. Racing in Fenway was a surreal experience, hugging the Green Monster, burpees on the warming track, and seeing parts of the park otherwise closed to the public was priceless!

5.         The People – The Spartan Community is unlike any other in sport. The bonds and friendships formed are closer than many friendships I have had for years. Some of my biggest competitors are my best friends. The conversations on the trails during races are what sometimes got me to the finish.

4.         DNF’ing the Death Race after 25 hours of racing – More was learned in about myself in that DNF than I could have ever known.

3.         Finishing the Ultra Beast – it was more than a race for me, a goodbye to Killington, Vermont where I started my fitness journey. My last time on “my” mountain before moving to Utah, it was a race that transcended the rest.

2.         Chris Davis – Meeting and helping Chris to train for the Vermont Beast was an experience that not only allowed me to help train another Spartan but more importantly I got a great friend out of it. The first time he got over the 8ft wall in my backyard is a treasured memory of 2012

1.         Turning “pro” – In July, I quit my day job and simultaneously became the first female professional obstacle course racer. My life is my website, Dirt in Your Skirt, racing and training.

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by Jason Rita

“Phenomenally Phenomenal Women”
SPARTAN RETURNS TO GLEN ROSE WHERE THE BIGGEST NAMES IN OBSTACLE RACING WILL BATTLE FOR THEIR SHARE OF SPARTAN’S $40,000 POINTS COMPETITION PURSE.

FOLLOW ONE EPIC WEEKEND OF LEGENDARY SPARTAN RACING AS THE SPARTAN300 POINTS LEADERS FACE OFF IN THE SEASON’S FINAL BEAST RACE IN ORDER TO SETTLE WHO WINS THE 2012 SPARTAN POINTS SERIES COMPETTION. YESTERDAY WE PREVIEWED THE MEN’S RACE; TODAY WE FOCUS ON THE WOMEN’S RACE.

Maya Angelou wrote her anthem to a woman’s strength, “Phenomenal Women,” in 1978, but she might have been describing our Spartan women athletes:  “It’s the fire in my eyes and the flash of my teeth, the swing in my waist, and the joy in my feet.  I’m a woman.  Phenomenally.  Phenomenal woman, that’s me.”  These women have the fire and flash, the swing and the joy.  They are phenomenally phenomenal.  But only one can be Spartan Points Champion.

Rose-Marie Jarry

While the Spartan men’s race in Glen Rose, Texas, on Saturday may feature two titans of the world of obstacle racing in Hobie Call and Cody Moat, who sit atop our sport like two colossal mythological figures, the Spartan women’s field features a constellation of competitors, a magnificent and impressive array of athletes/warriors/goddesses, a panoply of serious “playas” (I think that’s how the kids say it), all of whom are striving  this weekend to write their name into Spartan legend and the win the inaugural Points Competition title as the crowning achievement on the Spartan racing year.

This weekend, the field of Spartan women is like one of those ensemble comedies where everyone is an A-lister.  It is the Emmys, Grammies, Golden Globes and Oscars all rolled into one star-studded and mud-splattered extravaganza.  It is the All-Star game and the Pro Bowl except everyone is really competing from the first AROO to the final obstacle.

Rose-Marie Jarry is leading the women’s field in the Points Series heading into Texas, having won the most recent two Spartan Races, the Malibu Sprint last week and the Spartan Beast in Sacramento three weeks ago by an incredible 21 minutes ahead of 2011 Spartan Champion Jenny Tobin.  The fast, flat and dry Texas conditions will suit the Kronobar founder even more than the cool and muddy conditions from Sacramento, and the former 800m Canada national team track and field star will be fast away from the starting line.  An experienced and accomplished front-runner, Rose will force the pace and demand that everyone try to hang on to her raw speed.  She already has 15 Spartan races under her belt this year with a sweep of the Canadian sprint, super and beast races in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa, to which she added first place finishes south of the 49th parallel not just in Malibu and Sacramento, but also in the Mid-West Super, Tri-State NJ Super, and the New England Sprint.  Rose needs to win in Texas to make certain of the 21012 Points Series crown, and in the absence of the Vermont champion Claude Godbout, Rose enters Texas as the favorite.  Her recent wins prove she is the in-form racer but there have been many thoroughbreds who have been Triple Crown contenders after winning the Derby and the Preakness only to falter in the Belmont, and Rose will need to prove she has the character and mettle of a true champion to hold off the charging challengers. If she can, she will claim not only the $1,500 first prize being awarded by Navy Federal Credit Union to the top female finisher on the day, but she will also win the Spartan prize of $4,250 being awarded by Spartan Race to the 2012 Points Series champion.

Andi Hardy has done more Spartan races this year than Rose, a staggering 20, in her first full-year of obstacle racing, and is

Andi Hardy

in second place in the Points Series table.  Since Andi already has points from four Beast races that make up the points calculation, Andi can’t overtake Rose but can improve her tally to ensure she preserves her shot at the 2nd place $2,000 cash prize.  One of the most popular Spartan athletes with a large following at races and on her blog BarbWire4Breakfast, she is easily recognizable in her lime green racing kit and will have a lot of support to help her conclude the 2012 season on the podium as well maintain her AG lead over Juliana Sproles.

Numerous racers can overtake Rose in the points standings with strong showings on both days of racing including Melinda Branch, Ella Kociuba and Jenny Tobin.  Ella and Jenny come in to the weekend banged up from a season of obstacle racing that has pushed them to their physical limits.  If they can survive Saturday, their challenge will be to recover in order to thrive on Sunday.  Jenny will be drawing on a wealth of experience as a pro athlete in Xterra and Ironman competition for the mental tenacity to race on less than 2 legs.  While Ella is one the youngest racers in the field and lacks Jenny’s racing resume, her legendary workouts for sponsor Flag Nor Fail will give her the endurance edge to overcome her lack of recent training and finish the season with one last chance at fulfilling the promise that we glimpsed one year ago at Glen Rose, when she had the fastest time over the weekend in any wave. Melinda has quietly positioned herself with a chance at a high points series finish, and proved at the South Carolina Beast, she is a podium threat.

Podiums are not foreign to another of the most well-known and popular Spartan racers, Dirt in Your Skirt alter ego Margaret Schlachter, who despite having 17 races in her legs this year before coming to Texas, is aiming to have two of her best finishes all year in the Saturday/Sunday elite waves.  An experienced competitive skier, she knows what it is like to race hard multiple events over a two or three day competition.   If Rose falters, Margaret could find herself on the top spot of the Points Series table come Sunday afternoon.  Irrespective of finding her on the podium, you can always find Margaret supporting other Spartan racers, giving medals to racers all afternoon, doing sweep heats, setting up the “Meet the Racers” tent where beginner obstacle racers can get training and racing advice from the competitive Spartan300 athletes.

Despite the great camaraderie and friendship amongst all these Spartan women athletes, make no mistake that for two hours

Margaret Schlachter

on Saturday and Sunday morning this weekend, no quarter will be given nor asked. Too much is on the line – cash, pride, titles, glory.  Seriously, what more could a girl want?

Maya Angelou’s powerful words concluding her famous poem say it best as a celebration of spirit that our Spartan women athletes represent:

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels, 
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me. 

AROO AROO AROO!

See – even Ms. Angelou knew from Spartan Chicked.

 

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by Carrie Adams

Chris Davis trudged up the hill, already exhausted.  With more than 11 miles left in the Spartan World Championship Beast, he was facing one of the steepest ascents of the day, and it wasn’t even dawn yet.  The terrain surrounding the small group moving up the mountainside is technical and gnarly, making each step even more arduous.  One of those in the group was founder Joe Desena, who would carry a sandbag, another was Spartan HQ Facebook maven Rachel Stuppy, and even Davis’s boss from Comcast joined in the journey.  Yet another was Spartan Death Race finisher (two times over) Josh Zitomer, and finally there was Forest Call, and he carried a familiar tool – his camera – to capture every moment of the action.

Two Death Races, two Beasts, several supers, sprints, and everything in between all with a camera in hand and a tireless attitude to get the very best shots. He is best known as the brother of the most famous obstacle course racer, Hobie Call or more recently as the boyfriend of elite racer and Dirt in Your Skirt Blogger, Margaret Schlachter. Each race Forest Call has been there to document the action.

It all started in February of 2011 when Call followed his brother, Hobie, to his first ever Spartan Race in Temecula, California.  I actually met him there, it was my first Spartan Race as well.  Call went camera in hand to capture the action of Hobie’s first race. From that race on Call became a staple of Spartan Races, following Hobie’s progression to the legend he has become today. Along the way he captured other elite racers and memorable Spartan footage and each video he makes he shares with the world on his own YouTube channel.

When asked why Call, a general contractor by day, takes time off work to travel and film and edit races for other people, he always answers “it’s my passion.” In edition to shooting and editing hundreds of hours of video footage this former downhill mountain bike racer also has competed in the 2011 Tuxedo Sprint and 2011 Utah Super. Call is no slouch himself in Utah finishing top 10 in the elite heat, without the camera that time, but finds his true love is behind the camera.

In 2012, during the Summer Death Race while filming Schlachter for her Death Race experience that he met Chris Davis. It was during this race the two chatted about the Vermont Beast, Call asked if he would be able to document Davis’s race for him. Call knew this would be an amazing experience for Davis and wanted to ensure it was captured on video. Davis immediately said, “yes” and the two started planning.

On the morning of the race Call trudged out in the woods and followed Davis for his entire thirteen and a half hour Beast capturing all the footage along the way, some of which was used in the Spartan Race recap by Mad Motion. Once back in his home state of Utah, Call sifted through hours of footage and edited together an emotional video of Davis’s race.

So Spartan Race HQ would like to give a quick,  ”thank you” to Forest Call for capturing the conclusion of Chris Davis’s journey in Vermont at the Vermont Beast. We look forward to more videos in the future from Call.

Watch the full version of Chris Davis’s journey from Forest Call HERE.

To read the Chris Davis Project recap, go HERE.

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by Carrie AdamsBuilding the sport of obstacle racing has been a passion of Spartan Race since we began.  As the only event with world rankings, points, and chip times, not to mention all the cash and prizes, we rely on our timing to be the best in the business.   And we are getting even better!  Our friends at J-Chip, our fantastic timing company have been experimenting with some timing elements to capture how transitioning between obstacles can make all the difference at the finish!  We told you about the Amesbury sandbag carry bringing Andrew Hostetler a second place finish with his scorching fast 1:16 ascent in this recent blog post.  This week, it was all about the ladies!  The women’s competitive heat that saw some major action!  Today’s elite heat featured some familiar faces and it was an exciting finish in the female elite Spartan Race today - at the race’s halfway point (monkey bars), our timing mats picked up Dirt In Your Skirt‘s Margaret Schlachter in 5th Place, with Andi Hardy cruising through the monkey bars and catching  up in 6th. With less than 2 miles to go, our splits again picked Margaret up in 5th, with a 3-minute gap to the 2nd/3rd place women.  Margaret then FLEW through the last portion of the race, sticking the spear throw and moving into the last obstacle (rope climb) in 2nd place, with the 3rd place female (Regina Farinholt) just seconds behind. After a strong climb and run through the gladiators, she finished in 2nd (final results below):

FEMALE ELITES
1. Teresa Murphy 1:52:27.9
2. Margaret Schlachter 1:56:08.3
3. Regina Farinholt 1:56:34.3
MALE ELITES
1. Jason Hann 1:29:45.9
2. Adam Jurcisin 1:32:05.7
3. Chris Rutz 1:34:07.9
Now it’s your turn!  When are you signing up?  Find an event HERE.

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by Carrie Adams

Since he first burst onto the scene in February 2011,  Hobie Call has dominated the Spartan male competitive landscape.  While there have been a few notable exceptions and despite a very talented male field, Call has nearly single-handedly owned the top male Spartan spot unchallenged.

When it comes to the women, there is a very different story in play.  With a field of female athletes that is vast and varied, the Spartan women have been battling it out course after course with several names coming to the surface in a pool of talent that is growing daily.

In Pennsylvania, there will be a showdown of some of the biggest names in obstacle racing you should know by now and we want to introduce you them!

In Sparta, we like our women fast.  Let’s take a look at the line-up!

The Champ

Jenny Tobin, 2011 Spartan Female Champion

Jenny Tobin.  2011 Spartan Champion and 2012 PacNW 1st place female this professional Xterra triathlete and Ironman Champion took home the top spot in Texas’s World Championships also nabbing a $10,000 payday in Glen Rose, TX.   Jenny brings experience in racing to the table and two solid wins make her an obvious choice for the PA course champion.

The Spartan Challengers

The In-Form Racer:

Andi Hardy-Jory

Andi Hardy- Jory is the winner of 2012′s Tuxedo Race and the Indiana Founder’s race not to mention a second place finish in Georgia and Montreal.  Does this Spartan winner and high school prinicpal have what it takes to outclass the field?

The Familiar Face:

Blogger and familiar Spartan figure

Margaret Schlachter

Margaret Schlacther of Dirtinyourskirt.com is heading to PA and a race more suited to her trail background.  With a third place Beast finish in 2011 and a second place finish in New York behind Hardy-Jory, Schlachter is going to be toeing the line at several upcoming Spartan Races.

The Young Gun:

Ella Anne Kociuba

At 19, Ella Ann Kociuba is young, but this recent Death Race paticipant raced faster than Jenny Tobin in Glen Rose in 2011 but in an open heat not eligible for the cash prize.  We featured Kociuba in a story earlier this year and her battle back from a debilitating horseback riding injury to become a real Spartan competitor.  Will she be able to outpace Jenny in the same heat?

Gretchen Krueger

The Local:

36 year old Gretchen Krueger is coming back to PA.  Krueger took top spot in PA in 2011… can she hold her own in her backyard and defend her title?

The Up-and-Comer:

Alyssa Tokorcheck

Alyssa Tokorcheck’s first Spartan race was 2011′s Beast in Vermont.  Since then she’s been chipping away at the races she’s run.  Tokorcheck just took third place in Toronto and also took home a second place finish in the Carolinas in 2012.  She’s poised to be a competitor in this field of road and trail runners.

The Canadia Phenom

Rose-Marie Jarry, a 29 year old ex-Canadian national level 400 and 800 meter track and field athlete.

Rose-Marie Jarry

Jarry owns and runs her own all natural sports nutrition brand called Kronobar, all the while she keeps up her training for Spartan racing.  She has run 17 Spartan Races since 2010.  Jarry has won the Mont-Tremblant race 3 years in a row and Toronto 2 years in a row, she took the top spot in Malibu in 2010 and made podium every year after.  Jarry also ran the Beast in Ottawa last week and finished second with a time of 3:58. In Pennsylvania, she will be looking to have a great race and a good time.  Jarry has also joined Spartan Race in providing healthy recipes on our Spartan Blog!

The WildCards

Juliana "The Shark" Sproles

The Shark:

Juliana Sproles aka “The Shark” will be onhand in Pennsylvania for her first Spartan race.  Known as the World’s Toughest Mudder, she claimed top spot in the Tough Mudder World Championships last year but can she hang with the Spartans?

The CrossFitter:

Janice Marie Ferguson

Another new name to be watching is Janice Marie Ferguson, who qualified for the SouthCentral CrossFit Games Regional in San Antonio, TX this year.  An injury left her in a disappointing 30th place  and while she intends to return to compete in CrossFit again, she now has her sites set on Sparta.

Be at the Spartan Pennsylvania race and watch the drama unfold in a Spartan Chicked Battle of Champions and Challengers.  It all goes down Saturday, July 14th at 9 AM.  More challengers might even get added to the line up so stay tuned!

There are still a few slots open so GET REGISTERED and watch the ladies take on the PA course for top spot and bragging rights this round!

Click HERE to register!

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Originally posted in Dirt in Your Skirt

by Margaret Schlachter, Spartan Chick

It is not inertia alone that is responsible for human relationships repeating themselves from case to case, indescribably monotonous and unrenewed… But only someone who is ready for everything, who excludes nothing, not even the most enigmatical will live the relation to another as something alive.“ ~ Rilke

In life sometimes we are presented with opportunities. These opportunities may only present themselves once so when given the chance you can either continue along with your life or take the opportunity and see where it goes. A couple of months ago I was in a conversation about a new program starting through Spartan Race called the Certified Spartan Coach Program. I was lucky enough to make into the first certification weekend. This is how I found myself in Pittsfield this past weekend, experiencing a life changing two days surrounded by truly incredible people. But it all started with the application…

THE APPLICATION

Not just anyone can apply to be a Certified Spartan Coach, the mandates include training specific from one or the major organizations (ACSM, NSCA, NASM or ACE) or a four year degree in Exercise and Sports Science. Yes, this is a no joke certification. It was even asked for proof of this certification. All applicants were required to have five years working experience and a resume to back this up. We were each required to write two different essays the first of many more essays to come regarding our ideas on coaching and training.

To prove we weren’t just gym rats we were asked if we had completed in the last five years this short this: 30 Day Bikram Yoga Challenge, Marathon or longer, Century bike ride, or 50 mile mountain bike ride, 2 mile swim,  Super Spartan or greater. Again here we needed to include proof of results from races. A major part was do you live by the Spartan Code which included a list of several aspects of life.

Finally, the most rewarding part of the application was the letters of recommendations, eight from former or current athletes and an additional five character letters of recommendation. This was the most rewarding for me. I had letters of recommendation spanning from 10 year olds up through one of my former athletes who is now a Division 1 college athlete. It was wonderful to get to read what they all had to say about what they had learned from me. The most rewarding aspect was finding out the pieces that stuck with them the longest were the other pieces for many it was the emotional support I gave them and this struck home with me.

Dr. Jeff Godin who is in charge of the process I thanked as I submitted my 30+ page application for the exercise within itself was reward enough for me. However, I found out I would be making the initial cut and thus I found myself packing my bags on Friday and heading down the road.

THE PACKING LIST

Dr. Jeff is a veteran of the Death Race so when I got the packing list for the weekend I was not surprised at the randomness of some of the items. Our packing list included many basics; notebook, pens, pencils, snacks, workout attire, extra socks, calculator, copy of your consent form, jump rope, resistance band, and extra socks. None of these things stood out in my mind as strange items for a certification weekend.

The came the items that had the Death Race and Spartan Race flair to them; backpack, sleeping bag, headlamp, swim goggles, duct tape, first aid kit. But still being a Wilderness EMT and living in Vermont all of these items still seemed logical. Although this was the point where I was thinking we were going to be spending more time then they were letting on outside (sleeping bag).

Finally, the items that made you say WTF and scratch your head; “extra rope” no detail for what it was for, Aluminum foil, oven mitt (my thought cooking might be involved), and finally a copy of your favorite non-exercise book.  It was at this point I started to think carefully about what this weekend would actually entail. I sent Jeff an email:

Hi Jeff,

Not sure if your packing list is DR style or if you are actually going to give me a helpful answer. I spend far too much time around Joe. In the things you need list I had a question or two. 

1. Extra Rope – are we talking paracord like for rescue scenario or are we talking more like climbing rope or something like that. Also what lengths? I don’t need to begin to know what we are doing just want to have the right thing.

2. Aluminum Foil – For cooking or survival as in a foil wrap or heat blanket. I am assuming cooking but want to be sure.

3. Backpack, full on camping pack or light pack used for training.

His answer, DR style. So it was going to be one of those weekends. I packed with this thought in my head the whole time knowing it was a weekend which would most likely include very little sleep, high stress physically and mentally, and you would be judged at all stages of the weekend.

CERTIFICATION WEEKEND

Nothing with Spartan Race is easy nor is it ever a straight line. A weekend in Pittsfield is also never as it seems on paper. As I pulled into Trailside Lodge just 5 miles from my house armed with all I would need for the weekend I knew it was on. Quickly I got to meet my fellow candidates, an impressive group of people. We had trainers who work with college and professional athletes, CrossFit trainers, strength guys, MMA specialist, gymnastics backgrounds, Parkour Trainer, Movement Specialists, and many more. Over thirty people applied for the certification only seven were picked from this pool and an additional seven were invited based on experience and expertise. We had a highly knowledgeable and diverse group of individuals.

Friday

The weekend started off nice with some time to chat and get to know one another. At dinner we had a lively round table discussion regarding nutrition and supplements. This was the most relaxed the weekend would be. After our discussion the first of three tests began. We had two hours to answer over 350 multiple choice questions. Remember those scantron sheets you had in high school, yup it was one of those tests. The test was comprehensive to say the least, detailed questions regarding the all aspects of the body function and how it applies to fitness were asked. If you want this certification you better know all about ATP, the respiratory system, muscle development, how to train children, VO2Max and many more topics. The topics were diverse and at the end of two hours I found the questions blending together. I was also still about twenty short of the last one when we had to hand the test in. Yes, wish I had studied more for that one! Only two people in the room actually answered all the questions and one is a current doctoral student finishing his PhD in exercise science.

After the test we met as a group and were informed that Bikram Yoga would start at 6:00am and we had two options A) Run (5 miles) to yoga or B) Run back to breakfast after the yoga session. This was the easiest decision of the weekend. Yes it cut into sleep time but knowing Bikram running home was not the better option. Also the run there was all downhill. We were then told we could go to bed. Knowing Spartan Race I felt as if we were going to be messed with overnight. I slept in my yoga clothing with shoes and essentials less than a arms reach away.

(More to come from Margaret on Spartan Coaching weekend)

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by Carrie Adams

In 2010, Margaret Schlachter ran her first ever Spartan Race in Killington, VT and was hooked.  Also an original member of the Spartan Chicked movement, she’s been rocking the Chicked gear since the Beast in Vermont last August where she took home a third place finish.  Nearly two years after her maiden race, she’s risen to unseen heights by any female obstacle racers before her securing sponsorships with such names as CW-X compression gear, and Road ID and even winning an award for her blog Dirt in Your Skirt in 2012.  Her journey has taken her even further… she’s now an official Team Gaspari Athlete.

Spartan has been proudly partnering with Gaspari Nutrition in 2012, even featuring296910_584207022430_14900272_32382720_1878816575_n once weekly WOD posts from Gaspari Athlete James Villepigue.  Their supplements are game changing in the training game and we’re happy to have them on hand in custom bags at several of our 2012 races.  This new sponsorship of Schlachter marks a new turn in obstacle racing where female athletes are getting support and recognition for the emerging sport.  Step by muddy step, she’s blazing trails for other female athletes and writing about her experience. 

We congratulate Margaret, one of our own, and urge you to keep your eyes on this up and comer.  She has an ambitious race calendar in 2012 and we look forward to seeing her perform and compete!   Follow her blog Dirt in Your Skirt to hear all about her training and racing adventures!  We’ll be posting her blogs and her Team Gaspari updates on our wall too, so stay tuned!

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by Carrie Adams

margo2“I sit here and sip my coffee the sun has yet to rise over the Green Mountains. An electricity is in the air, a feeling in the house, it’s race day.” – Margaret Schlachter

It’s been a whirlwind of a year for Vermonter Margaret Schlachter.  Recent winner of the 12th Annual Bloggies award for Best Sports Blog with Dirt in Your Skirt, the 28 year old has been  writing, training, racing, and coaching in the backyard of the infamous Death Race she’s set to take on this summer. 

Says Schlachter, “The Death Race is in my backyard, why not try it. Several friendsmargo have finished the race in past years. I could write profound words but really I am doing it because, why not!”

Schlachter launched her own blog Dirt in Your Skirt to track her training heading to the Death Race in June and has accumlated both a following and a nice crop of sponsors along the way.  She has grown up with the burgeoning sport of Obstacle Racing.

Introduced to Obstacle racing and Spartan in the Spring of 2010, she raced and realized she’d found a fit!  The collegiate athlete in her was reignited and she began a vigorous training routine captured in her blog writing.  She’s traveled over the past two years and competed in over a dozen races across the U.S. including a 3rd place finish at the inaugural Vermont Beast and earning a spot in the cash prize heat in Texas at the end of 2011. 

margo1Schlachter boats a top ten finish in every race she completed in 2011.  No small feat!  Schlachter credits the community with keeping her coming back for more and she was one of the original members of Spartan Chicked, a women’s movement in obstacle racing geared towards inspiring women and girls to get outside and get active.

Schlachter also finished her first ultra marathon in 2011 and is running her first 50 mile race in May of 2012, the Peak 50. 

Says Margaret, “Peak Races and the Death Race in particular offer something most other races don’t the unknown. It is the unknown that is appealing and well like I said before, why not?” 

Having the Death Race in her back yard doesn’t hurt the appeal of the event, and Margaret trains regularly withmargo3 Joe Desena in between coaching and running admissions for Killington Mountain School.   Her training is intense and non-traditional, like many Death Racers.  She isn’t often found on a treadmill, more likely on a trail with a rock or a log or scaling the walls of her local rock climbing gym. 

Never a dull moment for Margaret, nicknamed Margo the Great by her close friends.  When she’s not on the mountain she volunteers as a firefighter and EMT in the community she loves.  She’s also a loving aunt and part-time graduate student. 

She’s looking forward to June and her Death Race challenge.  “I try to live life to the fullest each day and I thank all those who help support me in my endeavors both athletically and personally.”

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