It was a tale of two halves as the 2013 calendar came to a close in Glen Rose at the Spartan Beast. Saturday saw competitors challenged by not only the evil genius of Norm Koch’s 14.8 mile course, but the freezing temperatures not helped by the relentless bone-chilling wind. Sunday saw frost at first, but quickly became an altogether different day as the warm Texas sun smiled upon all those who wanted to challenge themselves.

April Luu saw back to back wins over the weekend.

Familiar faces littered the elite podiums, with April Luu being clearly the happiest of the weekend with back-to-back wins in the female elites. In the males on Saturday, Hunter McIntyre kept up his impressive form by strolling to victory a good 6 minutes ahead of second placed Cody Moat. Isiah Vidal would come in third, but he quickly righted his own personal wrongs by romping to victory the following day. Kioyake KK Paul took the female second place with Rose-Marie Jarry claiming third. On the Sunday, Elliot Megquier gave himself the gamble of competing and forcing a fast time in order to catch a plane home. Spurred by this pressure, he took second place with another Pro Team favorite Shawn Feiock taking 3rd place. Debbie Moreau and Jolene Wilkinson both had impressive runs to take 2nd and 3rdrespectively. With many correctly seeing Glen Rose as their last opportunity to earn some coveted Spartan Race “bling”, the race was awash with people that had challenged themselves to rise above their own personal situation. Social media favorite Amanda Sullivan, accompanied by Pro Team Elite athlete Alex Nicholas, beat her own personal demons by taking the course on in her own inimitable style. With her backpack, knee and wrist braces literally duct-taped to her and her trusty crutches, she battled through taking nearly 9 hours to complete the race to find her boyfriend and friend of Spartan Race, Todd Love, waiting for her at the finish line. As she collapsed at his wheelchair the cheers and applause were deafening.

Waiting for Amanda at the finish line was her boyfriend Todd Love.

All of this after only 3 years ago having been in 2 horrific accidents separated by a matter of weeks that saw her break, “pretty much everything from my skull to my toes”,  Amanda continues build, grow and inspire everyone she meets with her lust for life and the smile she wears that simply refuses to stop shining.
Completing the course only moments before, Louisiana’s own Matt Pevoto had completed his battle against the course.  Despite suffering from Spina Bifida, Matt’s appetite for Spartan Race was tweaked when he completed the Sprint in Burnet earlier in the year. Deciding to go all guns blazing at the Beast, Matt trained rigorously and it showed. His shoulders, arms and chest now visibly bigger and more defined than they were when he finished the Sprint, he waltzed through many upper body obstacles with derisory ease. With his sights now to crash through 2014 like a wrecking ball, his states matter-of-factly that by 2015, he will race at the elite level.

Matt Pevoto refused to let Spina Bifida get in the way of completing the Beast.

 

Other racers of note included Californian Dave Huckle who finally managed to achieve his dream of nine Trifectas. There was the familiar sight of “Thing 1 and Thing 2” – The Unbreakable Joneses -, albeit this time not tethered, blindfolded or carrying sledgehammers. Must have been a rest day!

And in true Spartan Race tradition, staff, runners and spectators saw a marriage proposal by the finish line. Jenna Dalton (completeing her Trifecta) accepted Collin Witte’s hand amongst cheers of support and applause.

One notable finisher was that of James Simpson, the UK military veteran who, after having been forcibly removed from the London Beast after 6 miles due to horrendous weather conditions, made the flight to Texas from England purely in order to complete the Trifecta. In doing so, he is now the first double amputee in the world to have completed this achievement. Helping him along the way, amongst others, were his expat friend Steff Crawford, now living in Texas and military veteran Michael Smith, a right arm amputee from Fort Sam, Houston who, in his parting words as he walked towards the starting line was simply, “be motivated. Realize your potential.” Perhaps wise words we could all carry in the holiday season and into the New Year.

And so, as we go full circle and end another year with a trail of medals, bucket carries, rope climbs and oh-so many thousands of feet of barbed wire crawling behind us, we wish every single runner, competitor, volunteer, spectator, staff member, contractor, security guard and everyone in-between a healthy and prosperous happy holidays and hope that the new year brings in whatever it is you’ve chosen to dream and aim for.

See you in Temecula in January. AROO!

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by Jason Rita

“THE BOYS ARE BACK IN TOWN”  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 SPARTAN 300 POINTS LEADERS FACE OFF IN THE SEASON’S FINAL BEAST RACE IN ORDER TO SETTLE WHO WINS THE 2012 SPARTAN POINTS SERIES COMPETITION  TOMORROW WE WILL PREVIEW THE WOMEN’S RACE.

At nearly every Spartan Race from our inception to today, one man has had the target on his back. One man was the standard of excellence in obstacle racing. One man stood on the brink last year of achieving an unfathomable athletic feat, and only the Spartan Death Race stopped him from taking $100,000 of Joe Desena’s money. From January 2011 to today, that man has won 24 Spartan Races at all distances – from Sprints to Supers to beasts. He inspired many a start-line bounty declaration, Joe Desena grabbing a megaphone and dangling amounts increasing from $1,000 to $10,000 to anyone who could beat him. He vanquished all comers. He raced everybody and everywhere, and won. He went to other off-brand obstacle races, and won. He raced with a weight-vest, and won. He raced with one arm tied behind his back, and won. He raced blindfolded, and won. He proved he was not a robot sent from the future but was in fact a human when he actually lost a race after a nutrition bonk. Such was the legend of Hobie Call.

One year ago, Hobie Call came to Glen Rose, Texas, as the undisputed best obstacle racer in the world, and went home with $10,000 as he held off the USA national Xterra champion Josiah Middaugh at the 2011 Spartan Championship race. But this year, Hobie Call’s dream of retaining his Spartan championship title and winning the 2012 crown in Killington, Vermont, was extinguished when Cody Moat raced away from him in the last mile down the Killington mountain to claim the Spartan 2012 Championship.

For nearly two years, it seemed that Hobie Call was racing only against himself. But this year, after a shock defeat in Vermont at the 2012 Championships, he arrives in Glen Rose as not the hunted, but the hunter. Now it is Cody Moat’s turn in Texas where he has the opportunity to cement his status as the world’s pre-eminent obstacle racer. How will Hobie and the other Spartan 300 obstacle racers handle Cody’s emergence as the new sheriff in town? Can someone race forward to pick up the gauntlet thrown down by Cody?

And what a gauntlet! After putting his stamp on the Spartan racing world in Vermont and claiming the Beast Championship and UltraBeast victories, Cody went on to win Spartan South Carolina where Hobie did not race due to an injury. On November 3, Cody went and showed trail runners how Spartans roll, winning the USA Trail Marathon Championships in Moab, Utah, and then being subsequently named as USA Track & Field’s Athlete of the Week. But Hobie sent a resounding signal that he was ready to race again, when he returned to form at Spartan Sacramento with a victory, albeit in Cody’s absence.

Now Hobie and Cody will toe the line in Glen Rose, their first battle since Vermont. Like two gunslingers in an old Hollywood western, high noon will be observed in Texas this weekend – except that it won’t be at 12 o’clock, it will be at 8:00 am on Saturday when the attention of the obstacle racing world will be focused on The Great Race at Glen Rose. Cage/Travolta have nothing on the Moat/Call Face/Off to see who is fastest.

As the deciding race of their head-to-head rivalry this year, a lot is on the line for these two Spartan obstacle racing champions. Each has one victory over the other, and one victory when the other is absent:

Spartan Utah Hobie 1st, Cody 2nd

Spartan Vermont Beast Cody 1st, Hobie 2nd

Spartan South Carolina Cody 1st, Hobie did not race

Spartan Sacramento Beast Hobie 1st, Cody did not race.

For the Spartan Race Points Series, a 1-2 finish for the Cody/Hobie-monster will mean that the Points Competition will come to decimal points to separate them at the top of the table. If Hobie and Cody do finish in the top spots in Texas, they will leapfrog over current Points leader, Christopher Rutz, from Team Juwi, who has already done an incredible 22 Spartan Races in calendar year 2012, the most of any Spartan athlete worldwide. Chris’s strategy was to stake his spot at the top of the points table early and force others to overtake him. Any mistakes by Hobie and Cody will see Chris claim the title of 2012 Points Champion. Assuming he does both days at Texas, as expected, Chris will be the only Spartan racer who will have done every US-based Beast race possible: Utah, both days at Vermont, Carolina, Sacramento, and Texas. He will be henceforth known in these pages as Chris “SuperBeast” Rutz.

There are several Spartan racers who are expected to have a say in the proceedings, including Brakken Kraker, Elliott Megquier and Alec Blenis, each of whom have the talent and tenacity to potentially crash the Cody vs Hobie party, and upset the expected Cody-Hobie two-man race to the top of the Points table. Alec has a lot to prove after his experience in Vermont where he went off course early and destroyed his chances at a high finish, ending his year-long quest to be challenging for the points crown. Brakken proved he can not only hang with the leaders, as when he finished 3rd to Cody and Hobie in Vermont, and 2nd to Cody in South Carolina, but can also win races, as when he won the Indiana Sprint and the Mid-West Super. A strong showing in Texas will give Brakken a shot at the Points top 3 places, as well as an age group win in M25-29. Elliott has been balancing his Army training with his passion for obstacle racing, and is on top of the M20-24 Age Group.

All the Spartans racing at Glen Rose this weekend have a lot to race for as detailed in our recent Points Series Prize Update. Stay tuned as the 2012 Spartan Points Series reaches its exciting conclusion in Glen Rose and the top male and female rankings are finalized to determine how $40,000 in cash will be given away to the best Spartan obstacle racers. Tomorrow we will post our preview of the women’s race which is headed towards a similar dramatic conclusion and count down the final hours to race morning when all the Spartans atheltes will race for glory.

AROO AROO AROO!

 

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