By Christopher Rutz

Spartan Race is returning to Reveille Ranch in Burnett Texas this weekend. This year brings two different races over the weekend.  We start off on Saturday with a Super and conclude on Sunday with a Sprint. This allows Texans, and other traveling Spartan’s to get 2/3 of the trifecta in course of two days. Reveille Ranch greets racers with a challenging rolling terrain across the Ranch. There are numerous rock out croppings, streams and tight single track to challenge all of the racers. Once the race is over, the festival area will be the place to hang out. In addition to the challenges, food and drinks, the ranch is just a relaxing place to chill after the race and take a dip in the clear waters of the lake. The weather is expected to be near perfect with lows around 60 and highs in the low 80s with mostly sunny skies. Hydrate, put on the sunblock and come out ready to race.

Ella Anne Kociuba will be aiming to podium.

This is a Navy Federal Credit Union cash prize sponsored race. The top 3 males and females winners of the Saturday Super elite heat will be awarded $2,000 for first, $1,000 for second and $750 for third. Expected to be lining up at the start line will be a number of racers on the Spartan Pro Team including some of Texas’ own like Shawn Feiock and Ella Anne Kociuba. Other flying in from out of state include Rose Wetzel, winner of last weekends Montana Sprint, and Brian Hoover and Christopher Rutz , two of our top masters racers. As always we expect other top racers to show up and prove their skills in the elite heat.

Regardless of what time you start and what time you finish, we are excited to see everyone this weekend and hang that finishers medal around your neck. Oh, and we will have a kids race, too. It is time to put all of your hard training to the test in the Spartan Race Austin. When you arrive on site please stop by and check out the SpartanSGX tent. You can find some of the top athletes hanging out there and more importantly you can get tips from them and the Spartan SGX coaches on warming up and cooling down before and after the race. Stay loose, eat well and stay calm. You are ready for this weekend. If you are not, it is probably too late to do anything about it now, so just STFU!

So get ready and we’ll see you at the finish line… 

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by Carrie Adams

At Spartan Race HQ we are lucky enough to receive inspiring stories from all over the world of athletes who have faced adversity only to come back stronger and more determined than ever.  I recently received this story about eighteen-year-old Ella Anne Kociuba and I knew her story would inspire.  After a horrific injury she has battled back and her story of triumph and success is one you won’t soon forget.  Here is her story in her own words. 

ella2My names Ella Anne Kociuba, I am eighteen years old and currently attending a community college in Austin, Texas. I have big plans for the future (I hope to one day be the image of Spartan Racing and become a professional athlete/writer).  I would like to explain my story to you so that those who are struggling can see the light in even the darkest of times.

Throughout my young life I have been faced with chronic pain that caused me to have a new outlook on everything.  It quickly challenged me with the worst, but slowly developed me into my best. For years doctors could not tell me what was wrong with me or why my body was failing me. I can not stress to you in a few words the pain I felt, the nights I did not rest, and the moments I missed out on due to an injury that nearly ended my athletic pursuits.

I’ve been a competitive horse-back rider since a little one, and when I was thirteenella1 years old I was seriously involved with endurance riding (25-50 Mile cross country horse races).  I trained hard but one day I suffered a horrible accident.  My horse spooked and threw me off its back and Ianded hard on the sharp rocks below knocking me unconscious.   I was broken and crippled.  Doctor’s informed me that I had broken the L4 and L5 vertebrae.  I was monumentally depressed at the bleak outlook.

It became an endless cycle of doctors, treatments, back braces, and medications.  Everything seemed hopeless. Nothing was helping and I knew I was progressively getting worse.  The pain was unbearable.  I couldn’t function.  But, finally, after six doctor’s a specialist informed me that it was possible I’d never walk again.  Performing an experimental surgery and nine hours later, six rods and four screws aligned in my spine I awoke a new person.

The journey from that wasn’t an easy one.  It took me a year to recover the precious strength I’d lost and be ready to think about competing in sports again; something I was told I’d never do.  This was a mere five years ago. 

Since that day, I’ve pushed hard always keeping my head forward, eyes up, and overcoming any challenge in front of me. Because I truly believe that you can do anything if you give it your everything.

ellaI recently did my first Super Spartan race in Glenn Rose, Texas.  I performed well and managed to come out as first female in my heat.  It was one of the happiest moments ever for me.  Not only had I completed the Super Spartan obstacle race, and won my heat, but I had fallen in love with the sport and proved myself worthy. I welcome all challenges and I will perform to the best of my ability to each and everyone of them.

The Spartan Race series has brought such happiness to my life, it’s such a demanding sport that I have become so passionate about spreading the joy it gives you at the finish line. I hope to one day have a sponsorship and compete state to state in obstacle racing and help inspire others to never give up. If I had given up, I wouldn’t be walking. If I had given up, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. If I had given up, I wouldn’t of found what I truly love to do. And that is, Spartan Races! AROO!

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