The sun rose slowly over the hills of Southern California Saturday morning. Blue shirts swarmed the hills of Vail Lake in order to bring the Spartan Race to life. Saturday marked the first time that Spartan Race had done both a Super and a Sprint in the same day and the weekend promised to be epic.

Tony Matesi launched the days activities off with the morning Hurricane Heat. The HH is a different kind of event. Not so much a race as a challenge to be taken on. It forces people to work together as a team to overcome obstacles together. Tony took the participants that signed up through his various tortures starting at 6am for a full four hours. For a complete rundown on the HH look for Tony’s report coming later in the week.

Cars filled the parking lot as the Elites began warming up for what promised to be an epic battle. The men’s elite had high-octane racers in Spartan Pro Team members Hunter McIntyre, Matt Novakovich, Miguel Medina, and Chistopher Rutz. The women’s Pro Team showed up in the likes of April Luu, TyAnn Clark, Juliana Sproles, Jenny Tobin and Tiffany Novakovich. The rest of the field outside of the Pro Team was stacked. Rose Wetzel who stormed through Malibu was in attendance as was Laura Messner, and as was expected the legendary Hobie Call came to push the men to their limits and beyond.

The weather on Saturday was sunny, warm, and not a cloud in the sky. It promised to make the course fast, but dangerous as was seen through the day where people cramped up from a lack of sufficient hydration. The Amphib Medics crew, as well as Spartan Race Staff, was there to help those injured on course to safety or to help get them back into the fray.

The Elites took off early for the Super where money was on the line for that event. With the men first out of the gate it was a tight bunch until coming to the first gamble where racers could choose to either take the shorter harder route or the longer faster half of the course. Hobie and Matt “The Bear” Novakovich veered to the right while Hunter took the left shorter route. As Hobie and The Bear came out of their gamble they caught sight of Hunter and the group that went left far up ahead.

Ever the fierce competitor Hobie caught Hunter making it another epic showdown between the two friends. Newcomer John Yatsko form Arizona was right on the heels of the two titans for the men. At the end of the day it was Hobie first, Hunter tacking second, and John in third.

It was universally considered to be one of the toughest women’s fields people had seen in awhile. It seemed to be that only reigning World Champion Amelia Boone, still recovering from a hamstring injury, wasn’t on course. Rose Wetzel and April Luu promised to make this women’s race one to remember trading back and forth on the course until April missed the spear thrown and Rose stuck hers resulting in just the break she needed to take the win. April cruised into the finish line in second place with TyAnn Clark placing third. 

The Saturday Sprint was not a money heat but still saw Laura Messner dominate as she warmed up for the Sunday Elite Sprint. Saturday also introduced the first time Spartan Race recognized the top age group finishers from the open heats. 14 year old Josh Novakovich dominated the Under 20 open taking first place overall while placing fourth overall on Saturday in the open.

Sunday the money heats for the Sprint were run and the podiums didn’t look too different. Hunter took first for the men with newcomer John Yatsko in second and Glen Racz in third. For the women it was a tight race. Kk Paul came through the finish line ahead of Rose Wetzel to take first place. A battle between April Luu and TyAnn Clark decided third place. The epic finish came down to the wire as April barely edged out TyAnn for the last podium spot.

The weekend wasn’t just about the Elite’s however. Families spread out on Saturday to cheer on their loved ones as well as soak up some of the beautiful weather that graced the event. New sponsors Core Power Protein delivered much needed post-race beverages to racers at the finish line. 

Spartan Race began the year trying some new things with team results and rankings. Each team that signed up were ranked according to the average time of the top 4 finishers on their team. P4L Fitness took top in the team standings with an average time of 53:05 with the mighty Weeple Army (who had 269 racers in attendance) in second and Warrior Showdown placing third. Looks like it’s time to get serious about team racing.

Lastly the great medal question of 2014 came to an end with Spartans receiving the new medal and being told they would need to perform an additional round of burpees for their second medal. The second medal being of course the one everyone had come to expect from previous events. No one walked away disappointed, and the beach by the lake was a swarming mass of muddy bodies flying through burpees in order to collect not one, but two medals. Some even wandered around with four.

As mentioned earlier the 2014 SoCal Spartan was the first time racers could take part in not just one race but had the option to run two distances in one weekend. There were those brave souls taking up the gauntlet thrown down by Spartan Race and running both courses in the same day while others chose to run the Super on Saturday and the Sprint on Sunday. Either way these brave Spartans are two thirds to their Trifecta with only one weekend of racing under their belt in 2014. As we talked to some that had done both they made it abundantly clear that they would be finishing out their Trifecta before the year is out.

The kids races were amazing to behold, especially the Special Needs kids race. Seeing the families going around the course together made it hard to not feel that pull on your heartstrings. Spectators dried their eyes as these amazing families came rolling through the mud together with smiles a mile wide.

All in all the weekend was a huge success with tons of muddy smiling faces, a few cuts, some bruises, but a huge sense of accomplishment and satisfaction by those who raced. Next sop on the Spartan Race calendar, Arizona. Will we see John Yatsko make another appearance and if so will Hunter and Hobie be there to take him to the limit? The best way to find out is to be there. Sign up for the Arizona Sprint and we will see you at the finish line.

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Under sunny, blue skies in central Vermont, before an international crowd of 15,000, the Reebok Spartan Race World Championships crowned new male and female World Champions. Utah’s Hobie Call, 36, and Amelia Boone, 30, of Chicago, finished first and each earned a $15,000 payout. The hotly anticipated season finale with over $290,000 in cash and prizes, featured some of the world’s most talented professional obstacle course racers, Olympians, professional triathletes, and world champion trail runners. NBC Sports was on hand to capture all the action for a television special airing October 19, 2013.

The men’s competitive heat featured the winner, Hobie Call, emerged from the daunting 14 mile course with a time of 3:35:56. Finishing in second place was Australian Spartan Champion Matt Murphy, 28, in 3:44:15, and Spartan Pro Team member Hunter McIntyre, 24, now residing in Pittsfield, Vt., who finished a close third with a time of 3:44:42.

On the women’s side, Amelia Boone, who came in second last year, took the top spot this year with a time of 4:09:52, nearly 15 minutes ahead of the second place female finisher, Australian Spartan Champion Deanna Blegg, 44, who clocked in at 4:24:10. Rounding out the top three was Canadian National team biathlete, Olympic hopeful and 2012 Spartan Race World Champion Claude Godbout, 27, of Quebec City, with a time of 4:34:52.

At the finish line, still caked in mud, Hobie Call, of Erda, Utah, said, “The course is absolutely crazy. I had to do it carefully and pace myself. I’m still in denial that I won. I’m sure I’ll be crying in a corner in a couple of hours,” he jokes.

Female champion Amelia Boone, an attorney at Skadden Arps, says, “It really could have been anyone’s race. That’s what is great about these events. I went out not knowing what to expect. It was the toughest competition I’ve ever faced in a race.”

The Reebok Spartan Beast race, in Killington, Vt., which will attract over 9,000 competitors and 6,000 spectators this weekend, is infamous for a half marathon worth of steep inclines, technical terrain, and challenging obstacles such as carrying 65 pound sand bags, climbing walls, and crawling through mud under barbed wire.

“We continue to push athletes to new limits with our races,” said Spartan Race founder Joe De Sena of Pittsfield, Vt. “This is the toughest race we’ve designed to date, most definitely. We can’t wait to show the world what we have in store for 2014.”

In addition to the elite heat, the Reebok Spartan Race World Championships featured a charity challenge, an inaugural Vermont Spartan Sprint, and an Ultra Beast that began early Sunday morning on a cold, and windy morning.  More to come on an epic weekend of racing.  Congratulations to all our winners and all our Spartan World Championship weekend finishers!

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by Cody Moat, Spartan Pro Team

Cody Moat

Reebok Spartan race is coming to the mountains of Utah for the first Beast of the 2013 season. The venue comes to Soldier Hollow near Midway, Utah, located at the base of the Wasatch mountains. In 2002, Soldier Hollow was home to the Winter Olympics. And now is home to one of the toughest races you’ll find in the United States, The Utah Spartan Beast. Spartan racers be ready for a tough 13 + mile course with 30+ obstacles at an elevation of over 5,000 feet. This course is not for the faint of heart.

On the men’s side we have last years champion Hobie Call returning and looking to repeat as champion. I (Cody Moat) placed 2nd last year behind Hobie and am looking to better last years performance with a 1st place finish. But this is not all on the men’s side. Rumor has it Hunter McIntyre with be in Utah hungry for blood. Also looking for gold are the following Spartan elite athletes- Elliot Meguier, Rob Michaud, Joey Patrolia, Christopher Rutz, Rick Kraics, Paul Buijs, Joseph Kauder, Kevin Donoghue, Larry Jannotti, David Tathum

The women’s field should also be very interesting with favorite April Luu who has looked strong all year.  Also strong women elites who are looking to win gold are Utah’s very own Tyann Clark and Margaret Schlachter. Other elite women coming to this year’s beast are: Ang Young Reynolds and Andi Hardy.

Winter Vinecki

Joining the women is Winter Vinecki, the youngest person to complete a marathon on Antartica and seasoned distance athlete by the age of 13. Also an ambitious young triathlete, Vinecki has been racing since the age of five, and by the age of nine, she found herself competing in an Olympic Distance triathlon; a distance usually reserved for adult triathletes. She runs in support of her foundation, Team Winter, an organization committed to fighting the aggressive prostate cancer that took her father from her when she was just nine.  To date, Team Winter has raised over $400,000 in support of prostate cancer awareness.

If you are looking for some excitement this weekend come and participate or volunteer at the clash of the Spartans Utah Beast. You will not be disappointed.  Who will be standing at the finish line?  Come to Utah and see for yourself!

Not registered yet?  No problem!  Click HERE to find an event near you.
[Editor's Note: Author Cody Moat from Fillmore, Utah, began his Spartan journey here at the Utah Beast in 2012. Some highlights of his 2012 season were World Spartan points winner and Spartan World Champion. He is looking to build upon these performances in 2013 and is excited to complete one full year of Spartan racing.]

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by Chris Rutz

The 2013 Points Season consists of races following the 2012 World Championship, beginning with the Carolinas Race October 13th, 2012 and culminating in the 2013 World Championship to be held in Vermont on September 21st, 2013. Over the course of the 2013 Spartan Race Season, we’re going to take your top 5 best races and use them to calculate your points ranking.

What are the rewards? Well in 2012 the top 20 male and female athletes split a $40,000 prize purse. The first place man and woman each received a check for $4,250. This weekend in Las Vegas we will be having an awards ceremony for the top 20 men and women to recognize their performance in 2012. Come and see some of the top Obstacle Racers pick up their prize at 11:00am in the festival area.

For the men:
1st Cody Moat
2nd Hobie Call
3rd Brakken Kraker
4th Christopher Rutz
5th Elliott Megquier
6th Walter Schmidt
7th Shawn Feiock
8th David Chandler
9th David Magida
10th Dallas Bessette
11th Joe Kauder
12th Rick Kraics
13th Shane McKay
14th John Hayter
15th Christopher Obertlik
16th Robert Coble
17th Kevin Donoghue
18th Isaiah Vidal
19th David Mick
20th Marko Vennerholm

For the women:
1st Jenny Tobin
2nd Leslie St Louis
3rd Rose Marie Jarry
4th Melinda Branch
5th Margaret Schlachter
6th Irene Call
7th Corinne Kohlen
8th Andi Hardy
9th Juliana Sproles
10th Lelya Di Cori
11th Angela Reynolds
12th Sue Luck
13th Ella Kociuba
14th Gretchen Krueger
15th Shaun Provost
16th Amanda Czapla
17th Ekaterina Solovieva
18th Raegan Chambers
19th Lauel Arnold
20th Angela Kalal

Note: Not all of the above athletes are scheduled to race in Las Vegas. Those not appearing will either get their “podium” check at their next scheduled race.

Are you ready to try to make the top 20 for the 2013 season? Here are the details.

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by Chris Rutz, Elite Spartan Athlete

Reebok Spartan Racing is heading to Georgia. This weekend Spartan racing action will be in Conyers at the Georgia International Horse Park. This will be the first Sprint of the season on the East Coast. Look for some fast times from the top racers. They should rip through this course in a little over 30 minutes.

On the men’s side look for Alec Blenis at his 2013 debut at a Spartan Race. He is looking to return to the podium at his hometown race. Looking to challenge him will be Joey Patrolia and David Magida, both fresh of off top placing in Miami two weeks ago. If David stays on course he might just win the race. Another David, David Chandler will also be in the running. He was one of the top 10 Spartan’s from 2012 and is eager to prove himself again this year. Oh, and let us not forget Hobie Call. He will surely be the one to beat, as usual.  Elite disabled athlete Michael Mills will also be making his Spartan debut.  The T-12 paraplegic will be completing the course crawling on his hands and knees.  

For the women, Angela Cobb will be making a run for the top spot. She won the Saturday Elite heat in Miami and will be the one to watch in Georgia.

There is no money up for grabs this weekend, but that does keep the top athletes from competing in Georgia for points. Have you checked out the 2013 Elite Racers Points System?

Stay tuned to find out who makes it to the top!

Ready to take on your own Spartan Race? Find an event HERE!

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by Steffan “Cookie” Cook

The Reebok Spartan Race descended on the Arizona desert this weekend and while runners found a shorter course than 2012, it was far more rugged and technical than previous years. Cacti anyone? The weather also made the hot weather a factor in Sunday’s races.

In Saturday’s elite heat, Hobie Call held off yet another attack from Hunter McIntyre, finishing 1st and 2nd respectively, while Chad Trammell took third. The women’s Elites saw one of the closest finishes to date. Winner Ella Kociuba finishing a mere five seconds in front of April Luu to take 1st place. Tuann Clark picked up third place. April made sure she made up for this agonizing loss by taking first place on Sunday.

Women:

Ella Kociuba

1. Ella Kociuba (20 F) – 0:52:03.6
2. April Luu (34 F) – 0:52:08.6
3. Tuann Clark (32 F) – 0:55:19.7
4. Rose Marie Jarry (29 F) – 0:57:13.9
5. Corinne Hieatt (26 F) – 0:57:14.6

Men:

1. Hobie Call (34 M) – 0:39:11.7
2. Hunter McIntyre (24 M) – 0:40:19.0
3. Chad Trammell (29 M) – 0:43:35.7

Hobie Call

4. Elliott Megquier (25 M) – 0:44:07.3
5. Yury Shtankov (25 M) – 0:45:57.2

For full results, click HERE.  What does it look like at a Spartan finish line?  Click HERE for finish line photos!

Team “Intel” brought the largest crew but The Biggest Loser had another fantastic presence in the event village and on the course.  A notable story of the day was of Miguel Medina, member of the Weeple Army.  Medina was cleared to start training again in April 2012 after surgery to correct severe stenosis and two herniated discs. He managed yet another impressive run with a third consecutive top 10 finish Saturday. Brian Hoover had to stop racing at the beginning of the Saturday elite heat in order to find his lost timing chip on the course and after miraculously finding it, still placed 8th overall. He would finish in second place on Sunday.

Spartan would also like to thank local sponsors and charity partners in Arizona. While 98KUPD played some rocking tracks, booths from MBAA, Prankration, Team in Training and Biggest Loser all made new friends on the Spartan Festival grounds. Spartan would also like to thank Navy Federal Credit Union for their continued support. We’d also like to thank our Spartan volunteers and onsite medical teams for their support in helping make this a memorable and fun event in the Arizona desert!

Next up we head East for The Reebok Florida Super, The Reebok Georgia Sprint, and the Reebok Carolina Sprint before returning West for the Reebok Nevada Super.   Where will you find your Spartan finish line?  Sign up today. 

Miss your chance at Arizona in 2013?  Don’t worry!  We’re coming back February 8th and 9th in 2014.  Get registered TODAY!

For a few event photos, check out our Facebook album HERE.   Check out our Twitter page for more updates.

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by Hunter McIntyre, Spartan Elite Athete

Hunter McIntyre and Hobie Call

I am a Spartan.  I am not a mountain man born and raised for the tough harsh elements of this Earth.  I was born on the upper east side of Manhattan, raised in Connecticut where the biggest hill around was my in my backyard, which was used for sledding.  Growing up I spent my time in the woods running around with a BB gun and a pocket full of fire crackers looking to stir up a good time.

I began my sports career with wrestling and picked up cross-country along the way in my Junior year of high school (because my dad told me to.)  I never had much love for either sport.  I would have rather spent my time planning an adventure with my friends. As my high school years came and went my sports career became a thing of the past.

Fast forward five years.   I moved across America to live in the star-studded hills of Malibu in a bro mansion with seven of my buddies from school. I decided to put my adventure pants back on and begin exploring my surroundings, quickly falling in love with my new habitat. I began working out in the mountains all day everyday, running, climbing and lifting anything that got in my path. Around September one of my roommates charged into my bedroom screaming something about Spartans.  I was intrigued by the race and signed up myself.  So in November I was lined up at the starting line at Calamigos Ranch in my underpants and bandana, ready to show the world how to win a race in style.  Thirty five minutes later I was covered in mud and filled with an amazing sense of accomplishment.

 

I was hooked.  It was time to test the competition by taking a run for the gold. I did my research and quickly saw that Spartan Race was full of talented athletes.  Especially one man named Hobie Call. Training became more intense, I focused on a CrossFit style and logging the miles in the hills of Malibu. By the time November rolled around, I had raced four times taking first place at each so I decided that I would take my chance against the best in Sacramento.  After running the longest race of my life, I took an honorable third against Hobie but I walked away with much more than a smile from ear to ear and a pocket full of mud.

I was quickly adopted into the world of Spartan warriors that has spread worldwide. I was getting messages daily from people telling me that I was an inspiration and to keep up the good work. I now had a family of people I had never met cheering me on at my races.  Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) is unlike any other sport.  Challenging, ever-changing, and exciting it’s become my sport.  The Reebok Spartan Race provides camaraderie and support provided amongst the racers, like no other sport I’ve seen.  Since I first set foot on a Spartan course in 2011, I knew my life had changed but with this New Year I have decided to take my commitment to another level. I am truly thankful to be a part of a sport that allows me to travel the world while experiencing all of its toughest challenges and amazing people.

It’s time to test yourself.  Get registered.  Find an event near you and join me in a Reebok Spartan Race in 2013.

 

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by Chris Rutz, Elite Spartan Racer

Hobie Call

This weekend, Reebok Spartan Race arrives in the Arizona desert. The 2013 Arizona Spartan Sprint moves to a new venue that captures the beauty of the Sonoran Desert and ramps up the difficulty level of the course. McDowell Mountain Regional Park is located northeast of Phoenix and provides a rolling terrain with miles of tight single track for the elite racers to challenge one another.

This is the first Spartan Sprint distance race since the Reebok/Spartan Race partnership was announced in late January in New York City.  Two weeks ago the SoCal Super went off at Vail Creek Lodge in Temecula, CA.

Many of the top athletes from the 2012 Season will be racing in Arizona this weekend for their share of the $7,500 cash purse generously provided by our partners at Navy Federal Credit Union for the Saturday Elite wave. We asked a few of them how they feel the Navy Federal Credit Union prize money impacts the sport of Obstacle Course Racing?

Hobie Call, resident Spartan elite racer  said, “…I want NFCU to know that I truly appreciate their sponsorship. Every little bit helps, and this year is looking even better than last.” and “As cool as the helmets and swords are, elite athletes follow the money. End of story.” 

Female elite racer Corinne Kohlen noted how it’s drawing new talent to the field, “I think the money is great. It is luring in exceptional athletes and runners such as TyAnn Clark (and many others) who may not have been as interested in this kind of sport before.”  

That sentiment was also noted by elite female Andi Hardy when she was quoted as saying, “Money brings more elite competition.” 

Jenny Tobin

Last year’s female point’s winner Jenny Tobin also had something to say about the infusion of cash prizes, “I’m all about making money for my exercise habit, I’d still do it but it is nice to make a little money and see different parts of the country.” 

The field is ripe with talent.  Male elites Hobie Call and Hunter McIntyre, first and third respectfully in the SoCal Super are scheduled to be at the race. In addition, look for the 2013 debut of Christopher Rutz, Elliott Megquier and Nick Maynard. Christopher and Nick, along with Arizona native Chase Stewart have the home trail advantage and will be ready to tear up their desert. Beyond the Arizonans, watch out for 2012 Top 10 Spartan Racers Dallas Bessette and Shawn Feoick.

On the women’s side, SoCal winner TyAnn Clark, multiple 2012 Spartan race winner Rose-Marie Jarry and winner of the 2012 Texas Sprint Ella Kociuba are schedule to race. Those three alone will make the race for the podium very interesting. By no means do they have a lock on the top three places. Expect to see some of the top names in the sport including Juliana Sproles, Ang Reynolds, Andi Hardy, Corinne Kohlen, Sue Luck and Shaun Provost literally give them a run for their money. As usual, the women’s race will be exciting to watch.

Get out to the Arizona Spartan Sprint this weekend and watch these athletes smoke through the course. After the finish, they would welcome the opportunity to share their passion for obstacle course racing (OCR) with you in the festival area. 

2013 has Spartan stepping up the game considerable.  With prize money, Reebok, and an incredible crop of top racers, it is shaping up to be another exciting weekend of obstacle course racing.   See you at the races! 

Not registered yet?  What are you waiting for?  Join the expected 500,000 Spartans that will cross one of our finish lines this year.  Find an event near you HERE

 

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By Scott Blough, Team X-T.R.E.M.E. Times Square Team Leader

Where it Began

In August of 2012, I traveled to Leesburg, VA for the Mid-Atlantic Super Spartan. This was my first exposure to the sport of obstacle course racing (OCR).  While on the festival grounds I heard bagpipes coming closer and noticed a group of soldiers entering the starting area.   The announcer informed us that these men were part of a group called Team X-T.R.E.M.E.  We turned our attention to the skies where we saw a black parachute open and the announcer told us during his descent that the team was going to run this course with two wounded warriors.  One of the wounded warriors, Noah Galloway, was being tandem parachute jumped in to the event.

The team assembled.  It was at this point when I got my first look at Todd Love.  Todd is a triple amputee.  Missing both legs being above the knee and his left arm below the elbow, he served as a Recon Marine before his injuries.  He is carried by the team in a backpack throughout the race.  I quickly snapped a picture on my phone and cheered them on as they took off to conquer the course.   That was the last time I saw the team that day, I stopped by the Team X-T.R.E.M.E. booth on the way out of the festival grounds and grabbed a t-shirt.

Joining the Team

Upon returning to North Carolina I began doing research on Team X-T.R.E.M.E. to find out who they were.  As the pictures and videos of the race came out they were nothing short of amazing.  The images of Todd climbing the 25 foot rope in Leesburg have become known throughout the sport of Obstacle Course Racing (OCR).  As I dug deeper into the articles on the internet I started to become more inspired by the team and the mission. The statement “We give opportunity not sympathy” was the final straw for me I was hooked.  I signed up as a Team X-T.R.E.M.E. Community Athlete (TXCA) then started looking for ways to join the team.  I learned that there was an indoctrination (INDOC) process to try out for the team.

Eduard Lychik, Todd Love, Hobie Call, and Joe De Sena

I signed up for the INDOC class 003-012.   We started with eight people trying out for the team with two wounded warriors.  Class 003-012 had six people finish, of those six; four were selected to join the team.  We were issued our Avon C-50 gas masks and welcomed to the team.

Times Square

Reebok Spartan Times Square Challenge was my first event as a team leader.  Times Square was an amazing opportunity for Team X-T.R.E.M.E. to get our mission out to the world and support Spartan Race, an organization that has lent us a great deal of opportunity and exposure.  The race course allowed the spectators to get right up next to the action and see the whole course.  Many of our community athletes were on hand, as well as two wounded warriors – Todd Love and Eduard Lychik.  As a team, we tackled the course in Times Square Lychik and Love demonstrating extreme acts of physical strength and endurance.  Watching them climb the ropes simultaneously was a sight I will never forget.   We got to meet many spectators and some celebrities like Tiki Barber and Brooklyn Decker.  We even met Reebok Spartan athletes Hobie Call and Spencer Hendel.  It was  a great day!

After the race the team headed to Ground Zero where we took a tour of the memorial that opened in 2011.  The memorial is overwhelming.  The names of the fallen line the outer edge the memorial appropriately named “Reflecting Absence.”  The mood of the team was very somber at the memorial.  We focused on how that day had changed our lives and where we might have been had that never happened.  Most of the team members have at least one combat deployment in support of the Global War on Terror.  To stand at the physical location that started it all was a great opportunity for the team.  We look forward to more events in 2013 and supporting our mission to honor, empower, and motivate wounded service members.

See additional Team X-T.R.E.M.E. pictures from Times Square HERE.  Photos courtesy of Kevin High Photography.

[Editor’s Note: Scott Blough grew up in Fairfield, Iowa and joined the Army in 2000.  Blough has served as a medical sergeant in Army Special Operations for the past 9 years.  Blough as deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom 5 times between 2005 and 2010.  Blough is currently attending Campbell University where he will earn a Bachelor of health Science later this year.]

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by Steffan “Cookie” Cook

Reebok SoCal Super Spartan Champion
Hobie Call

The first Reebok Spartan Race of 2013 is in the books!  The Reebok SoCal Super Spartan at Vail Creek Resort in Temecula, CA was a bit shorter than last year, but the roughly 8.5 mile course was considered even more difficult. The addition of a water obstacle and the punishing hills at Temecula made the event an awesome test of wills.

Rain was an unexpected obstacle on both Saturday and Sunday, making the treacherous terrain and obstacles like the monkey bars even more difficult to navigate. It also marked the first ever collaboration with Life as Rx for WODStock! More to come on that event in a later post, but it was quite a hit!

It was an exciting elite heat, with top male competitors Hobie and Cody battling it out for the top two spots. But Hunter McIntyre was hot on their heels, finishing less than a minute behind Moat. He’s emerging as a man to beat!

Men:

1. Hobie Call 1:13:20
2. Cody Moat 1:17:01
3. Hunter McIntyre 1:17:33

On the ladies’ elite side, the top three were all over the age of 30! Familiar face and last year’s female point’s leader Jenny Tobin placed second with TyAnn Clark edging her out for first. Local Fayre Morgan nabbed third.

Women:

1. TyAnn Clark 1:47:25
2. Jenny Tobin 1:50:55
3. Fayre Morgan 1:58:52

For full results, click HERE.

The biggest team, yet again, were the Weeple Army, boasting team numbers well into triple digits.  They were our 2012 biggest team, and they are gearing up for the same honors in 2013.

Some great moments unfolded at the Super Spartan.

There was a proposal at the finish line (she said yes!) and Spider Man 3 actor Tony Besson, who first took on the hills of Malibu, returned for the punishing hills of Temecula.

There was a great story behind the appearance of Midwest Super Sunday open winner and Montana native Greg Stewart. His car died in Salt Lake City around 3 AM but he still managed to get to the race start line by renting a car at the last minute!

Perhaps most impressive was Taylor Jackson of Palm Springs. On December 11th, 2011 he was involved in a serious car collision and as a result, had to be treated for TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) and left-side neglect. He was had broken ribs, fractured C1, C2, C3 vertebrae, collapsed lungs, and a host of other injuries. Together with his father Brian, he got physically fit again and often practiced running up to six miles to prepare and he crossed the finish line on Sunday!

We’d like to recognize our friends at Livestrong who took on the course, the crew from Biggest Loser, and Project Hope Alliance who brought 30 homeless children to take on the Kid’s Race.  With a medal, shirt, and lunch and transportation, we’re told they had a great day at the races!  Thank you to our volunteers for helping us make it a great weekend!

Our West Coast invasion will continue in 2014 with the inclusion of a Sprint AND a Beast for the first time in Spartan history!  More to come on our West Coast take-over, but take advantage of the recently added races and sign up today!

The next Reebok SoCal Sprint will be on January 25, 2014.  Sign up HERE.  The Reebok SoCal Beast, is scheduled for September 13, 2014.  A link for registration can be found HERE.

Need your fix sooner?  Next up, Spartan rolls into Arizona in just two weeks!  See you on the course!

For a peek at some photos, check out our online album!

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