Three years ago, April 2012, the Spartan Race series descended upon the small town of Laurel, IN playing host to the very first Founders Race. This past weekend, the Spartans returned and with them they brought all of their comrades. What started out three years ago with around 2500 Spartans has now grown to over 10,000 Spartans who embraced the ethic of “knowing at the finish line.”

Starting the weekend off as usual were those seeking that extra bit of challenge via the Spartan Hurricane Heat, this time taking place on the Friday evening before the race. After four hours of brutal team building challenges, Tony Matesi, with the assistance of Andé Wegner, Ian Nichols, Todd Sedlak, and JJ Lipetzky, led 130 Hurricane Heaters from being complete strangers to a proud finish, exemplifying the Warrior Ethos imprinted on the HH dog tags they earned through bumps, bruises and burpees.

The sun rose the next morning welcoming the elite racers with the warmest weather seen in Indiana since that Founders Race three years back. Spartan warm-ups were led by Spartan SGX Coaches, Sarah Pozdol and Steve Manns. Ready to tackle what just might be one of the toughest Sprints of the season were Spartan Pro Team members, Brakken Kraker, Amelia Boone, and Elliot Megquier. Joining them were Spartan elite racers, Joseph Kauder, Tonya Stogsdill, Brakken’s brother McCauley Kraker, Laura Messner, Ben Lehman, Kevin Donoghue, Laura Lunardi, Margaret Anthony, Chris McCorkle, and Andé Wegner.

The course offered an incredible challenge to runners, with obstacles frequently spaced to break things up just enough to prevent the runners from getting into too much of a groove. That wasn’t enough to slow Spartan Pro Amelia Boone from absolutely dominating the course and leaving her competition twelve minutes behind and in doing so, establishing another 1st place podium finish.  Rounding out the women was 2nd place finisher, Amy Pajcic and taking third was Tonya Stogsdill. On the men’s side, Brakken Kraker and his brother McCauley led the pack almost all the way to the end but a fall off the traverse wall prevented the brothers from delivering the one-two punch. Brakken came in first over Spartan Pro teammate Elliot Meqguir and in third was Jordon Buscemi.

Spartans come from all over the country to attend Spartan Races and the same held true for the Indiana Spartan Sprint. With people coming from Chicago, IL, North Carolina, Florida and Virginia, it’s impressive to see how many people will venture out into the “unknown” to conquer their fears and push their limits. This held more true than ever when we met Eddie Ramos who biked 140 miles from Fort Wayne, IN to attend not only the Friday night Hurricane Heat but also the race Saturday morning followed by volunteering throughout the weekend. Eddie demonstrated the spirit of being a Spartan and we look forward to seeing if he’s able to take on the challenge presented of biking from Fort Wayne to Vermont for the World Championship this September.

The Amphibious Medic Team was back on the scene providing their unbelievable abilities to assess any situation and provide the necessary care to all of our racers all weekend long. We cannot express the appreciation we have for their incredible team led by David Gonzales and staffed by Jennifer Dierks.

Not surprising at all were the amount of teams in attendance encapsulating the spirit of the Midwest. From the biggest team who originally brought Spartan Race to Indiana, the Corn Fed Spartans, to the breadth of teams here to conquer the course through pure camaraderie including: Fire, Illuminati, Midwest Vikings, Team Ninja, and the Chicago Spartans. You could see the always helpful hands of all these teams on and off the course helping each other, cheering each other on and making sure everyone crossed that finish line.

Always bringing the biggest smiles to the crowd were the Spartan Kids as they conquered the Spartan Kids Race course and showed us just a taste of what the future of Spartan looks like. Returning to the kids course was the always happy face of Matthias Vescelus who refuses to let his lack of sight prevent him from tackling the obstacles with pure determination. Congrats to all the Junior Spartans who conquered their course.

As always we want to thank our sponsors: Reebok, Core Power, Clif Builder Bars, Eco Vessel, SpartanUP! Graphix and Spartan SGX, for making these events as grand as they are!

It was another incredible weekend of Spartan filled fun and we look forward to the next time the Spartan Race series returns to the welcoming town of Laurel, IN. Thank you for your hospitality. Next up, Spartan Race brings the return of the Military Sprint to Fort Carson, CO. There’s still time to sign up and we’ll see you at the finish line.

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Written by guest writer and Elite Pro Teamer Amelia Boone

For the third year, Spartan Race will be back at Haspin Acres in Laurel, Indiana, setting the stage for a Midwest showdown. Located an hour and half from Indianapolis and an hour and a half from Cincinnati, don’t let the remoteness of this race venue fool you – it’s anything but cows, pastures, and spotty cell phone service.

Three years ago, Indiana was the site of the first-ever Spartan “Founder’s Race” – a race stripped down to it’s bare essentials. While the race now has all the trappings of modern-day Sparta that we know and love, expect a test of grit true to its Founder’s Race origins. An off-road park when it’s not invaded by Spartans, Haspin Acres promises 4+ miles of muddy trails through woods and fields scattered with 15-20+ Spartan obstacles. And don’t call the Midwest no flat land – plenty of quick hill climbs and scrambles will keep you on your toes.

Amelia and Todd Sedlak discuss the course.

Indiana has proven to be one of the longest Sprints out there – last year, course director Todd Sedlak promised that no one would finish in under an hour, and only 12 athletes managed to prove him wrong. With a new race director this year, it remains to be seen whether this challenge will stand.

For the elite waves, both male and female winners from last year, Spartan pro team members Brakken Krakker and Amelia Boone, are expected to race. And if he doesn’t get lost in the Chicago airport finding deep dish pizza, Elliott Megquier will be joining them. On the women’s side, fresh off her two-podium weekend at Citi Field, Laura Messner will be looking to extend her streak. And as we’ve seen of late, expect plenty of elite challengers when you least expect it.

The good times never end in Indiana.

Also of note, Danny Rodriguez will be making his 2014 Spartan Race debut. You all remember Danny as the Chicagoan who packed up his life, moved to Vermont to live and train in Pittsfield with Joe, and lost over 100 pounds in the process – his transformation of his life and his health served as inspiration to thousands of Spartans worldwide. Last we checked in with Danny, he’s back in the Midwest, training hard, with his sights set on, among other things, the Chicago Marathon this fall. Welcome back to Sparta, Danny!

With team showings by the Chicago Spartans, Corn Fed, and even some rumors of the NE Spahtens making the road trip, expect a great turn-out and a festive atmosphere.

See you in Indiana!

Are you ready for your Spartan Race? Sign up now and we’ll see you at the finish line… 

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I do not talk about myself when it comes to the Corn Fed Spartans because all of its success has been due to the dedication of everyone on the team and the family atmosphere each person provides. Through this family of racers, and a big help from Spartan Race, something was accomplished on April 21st, 2012 that had not been done before. A team, that was created to bring a Spartan Race to Indiana, turned into a family from different walks of life for one thing…each other.

Here is a brief history of the team. Nate and I ran the Midwest Spartan Sprint in Illinois in 2011. A few weeks later, during a phone call which we talked about bringing one to Indiana, he threw out the name, Corn Fed Spartans, and we knew that was the name. After volleying, spamming, and emailing people to death, the race happened and became the first ever “Founders Race.” After that race, restructuring of the team created a more family feel and unity driven team. Several road trips, races, and members later, Corn Fed has grown into a powerful family of racers all willing to trade time and speed in order to help each and every one on the team to cross the finish line.

Writing about the Indiana Spartan Race always touches my heart and fills me with so much emotion and tears. Imagine back when you did your very first obstacle race. You didn’t know what it was like, unsure if you could finish, and when you did, the emotion that you felt for the few minutes following. Indiana is that for me because of what it stands for. If it were not for Spartan Race, the Corn Fed Spartans would not be here….wow…. to me, and several others, that cannot even be imagined. When Nate and I thought of this and started the team, it was simply a place to gather to get the race, but after being on this ride for the past 17 months, it has and will continue to be a staple in the OCR community along with teams like the Weeple Army, Team SISU, and NE Spahtens to name a few. We will gladly share the battlefield with them as we all become the best families we can be.

An excerpt from someone that ran his first Spartan Race: “I “joined” this group with desire to spend more time with Rick Bosley. I ran my first OCR (CerebRun in Wrightsville PA) just to spend time with him, and do the things he does…to show interest in his life; I also did it because this OCR was based upon intelligence, and the two of us tend to strive in that area. I never planned on making a lifestyle change…but little did I know. Rick made me a part of the group and from the minute I started looking at posts on FB, I began to realize something big was taking place. I started mulling over the affordability of Indiana…and without hesitation Jonathan Nolan stepped up big for me. From the minute I stepped onto the grounds at Indiana, I knew something was happening…something awesome. I saw hugs and love; I saw strength and support. I regret that I didn’t meet most of you because home commitments limited my time there. When the race started, I found myself in an entire heat that embodied the Corn Fed motto “If you want to know…run with us” I saw an entire heat of runners helping out any and everybody in their path, and I followed suit. I apologize if I didn’t help all of you, because it became my intention to do so, I simply could not find myself staying on course for that long. After I finished, and after over an hour on the slippery wall, I couldn’t find Rick and Maribel, so knowing my time constraints I went to clean up. Post clean-up I put Rick’s bib number in the computer to look for his time, and 4 hours later he still hadn’t crossed. I stood by the slippery wall and shortly after I saw the tip of a flag come across followed by the signature red Mohawk…AWESOME! It was at this point that I felt the true love and determination that Corn Fed had…or so I thought. Then I started seeing pictures, and videos of that group carrying a Biggest Loser member across the traverse wall. This made me more proud then the comments about me helping people…this made me proud to be Corn Fed. You all, each and every one of you are an inspiration and you are ALL BEASTS!

In the words of Ricky Booby, you carried your feet to the start line, and you carried them over the finish. You got up the nerve to do this, and you completed it all on your own. It is for reasons like that, that I am proud to embody the Corn Fed name, and I wear it with pride. Thank you Rick for steering me away from sedentary behavior, and thank you Corn Fed for all you do. AROO!” -Adam Joseph Witmer-Bosley

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