The first Beast of the season did not disappoint.  The hills at Toro Regional Park in Monterey seemed to get a little higher over the past year. Racers returning for the second year were remarking about how the course difficulty had increased from 2013.  The nearly 5,000 athletes that turned out on a perfect Monterey morning were greeted with new challenges and just the right amount of water and mud.

The rugged terrain was fully utilized in this Beast. The course included all types of running surfaces, from fire roads, to single track and off trail bushwhacking. Many racers site this as being the toughest Beast course this side of Vermont and this race has only amplified that claim by somehow making it even harder than it was last year. New obstacles making their California debut included the new Monkey Net and the Laguna Seca inspired Tire Rope Swing.  In addition to the terrain the course layout ramped up the difficulty. What made this course especially demanding was the obstacle cluster at the end of the race. These included the Tire Flips and Atlas Stone Carry, which can take a toll on already taxed hamstrings, quads and calves. Despite this obstacle, the challenges were not going to prevent many racers from finishing their third race of the season and getting their Trifecta. The Trifecta is completing a Sprint, Super and Beast in one calendar year.  

Starting the day was the second ever 12 hour Hurricane Heat. With all manner of testing challenges, both mental and physical, the team was put through it’s paces and brought about a new record. The team contained Daren De Heras who is now the only person in the world to have successfully completed every race and challenge that Spartan Race has to offer, from the touring workout right through to the Death Race.

The elite heat racers started promptly at 8AM and charged up the first mountain at a fast pace. The fastest men completed the course in about 2 hours and the women in 2 ½ hours. For the men, the top three spots went to Chad Trammell, 30 from Yakima, WA, Brian Gowiski, 24, from San Diego, CA and in third place James Appleton, 27, from London, who again appeared from nowhere to quietly come in and assert some British bulldog spirit onto the field. Look out for more from the reigning UK Tough Guy champion, as the rumors are that he’s moving to the states. With his impressive record and stats that speak for themselves, could we have another heavy hitter in the men’s elites soon? Stay tuned!

On the women’s side Spartan Pro Team athlete, Jenny Tobin 45 from Boise ID finished first, followed by Lesley Moser, 30 from Menlo Park, CA and Monica Jo Nicholson, 32 from Aromas, CA. Our other Spartan Pro Team athlete on hand, Christopher Rutz, won the men’s masters (40+) race.

Veteran Earl Granville deals with a wall with ease.

As wave after wave went out, Spartan SGX coaches Andi Hardy and Michael Ainis were on hand to talk participants through some warm ups, cool downs and helped with general advice and instructions.

On the course, the story of the day went to a Team made up of Amanda Sullivan, Earl Granville of Operation Enduring Warrior, Matt Pevoto and Misty Diaz. Aided along the way by Slosh Pipe Champion, Kevin Kierce, a staff member and many members of the Weeple Army – who again took the biggest team title for a record 12th time – the team known as “The Avengers” took on the course and battled their own demons in order to achieve, in some cases, their Trifectas. Look out for a feature in the future from Spartan Race covering the day that these amazing competitors had.

The next race on the Spartan Race calendar is also a Beast, only this time in Utah. Don’t be surprised if Spartan Race tries to outdo the challenge they presented for you in Monterey. The hills are there for a reason. Get out of your comfort zone!

For those of you on the East Coast, the Connecticut Sprint will also be making its debut the same day, Saturday June 28th. Come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough.

See you at the finish line!

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Written by Pro Team member Christopher Rutz

This is it.

It is what Spartan’s across the US have been waiting for all year long, the first Beast of 2014. This means an opportunity to finally earn that 2014 Trifecta and get the green ‘piece of the pie’.  Spartan Race will return to Monterey, California this weekend at Toro Park for it second year. Look for new obstacles, like the Monkey Net, and challenges like a couple of Rope Climbs, as if the terrain were not challenging enough.

The course starts and ends on a beautiful lawn in the midst of Monterey’s inland wine country. Once out of the gate, however, you are almost immediately met by some of the nastiest, steepest hills we have seen-3,500ft elevation gain and loss. Over the course of 13 miles you will wind your way through dense forest and wide open plateaus, gnarly single track and large fire roads, ponds and creeks.  The trails are all made of hard packed clay, which can be a dream when dry, but a nightmare when wet. No rain is in the forecast, but who knows; maybe the Spartan gods will wet the trails. Look for an early morning temperature of 50 warming to the low 80s as the later waves kick off. There is plenty of sun in the forecast.

Many of our best racers will be at the Tri-State Sprint on the East Coast this same weekend, but that does not mean the competition in the Elite Heat will not be fierce. Expected to come from the Pro Team are some of our Top Masters racers, Jenny Tobin from Boise, ID and Christopher Rutz from Scottsdale, AZ. Also slated to appear is UK Tough Guy, James Appleton.

If you are a Spartan in California you are likely aware of the Weeple Army. Back in 2012 the Weeple Army had the largest team at any Spartan Race, Malibu. The army has continued to grow in size and geography. In Monterey there will be a group of Weeples, “Weeples Overcoming Challenges”. This team combined with the team of Amanda Sullivan, Steffen “Cookie” Cook , Misty Diaz, and Matt Pevoto will be completing the course with some Wounded Warriors in the shape of Eddy Lychik and Earl Granville. Spartan Pro, Alexander Nicholas will crew/help along the course. Rumor has it that Joe DeSena will also be making an appearance. If you see him at the venue he will want to see your Spartan Up book. If you do not have it, the penalty will be 30 burpees.

Rest well Spartans and come prepared for glory!

Sign up here for your next Spartan Race and we’ll see you at the finish line!

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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: , , , , , , , ,