By Isaiah Vidal & April Luu

Nestled in the mountains of Santa Ana Jilotzingo, 5,000 plus participants were anxiously waiting to conquer the first International Spartan race of the year in Mexico.

Surrounded by a spectacular view of the valley as the sun hit the horizon the day promised to be a day for the ages. Racers came from all over to take on this amazing course cut through some of the most rugged, and amazing, terrain the area has to offer.

The Elite heats promised to be truly entertaining as Spartan Race Pro Team member April Luu traveled to Mexico for the race. Ready to face off once again Spartan Pro Team member April Luu & the Spartan chicks of Mexico, Chickorita de Lego and Olympian Tri-athlete, Fabiola Corona. Its a friendly rival match and last time these ladies raced against one another, Fabiola took first as April Luu placed 2nd, followed by Chickorita in 3rd in San Luis Potosi, Mexico.

On the men’s side was Spartan Pro Team member Isaiah Vidal making the trip down from the US, the Spartan Mexican Junior Olympian steeplechase competitor Angel Quintero and Junior Olympian Tri-athlete Octavio Oliveros. The rest of the field was packed with competitors looking to podium and find Spartan glory.

As the race got under way little did the participants know how obstacle heavy this event would end up being. To top it off the elevation was 2400 feet, which promised to play a factor in the 5 mile, 25+obstacle event. Starting the race off was a brutal 100 meter maze barb-wire crawl, followed by a run through water, climb over a cargo net and immediately faced with another barb-wire crawl. It was interesting to see some participants succeed while others struggled in overcoming these back-to-back obstacles in the first quarter of the race. The start of this race was merely the beginning as the competitors started to descend into the valley of Santa Ana.

There were many elevation changes along the narrow paths through tall grassy terrain and wooded areas. Around every corner stood another obstacle yet to be faced. Over – under- throughs, walls of varied heights, moats with mud & water, balance beams, inverted walls, hurc hoist, monkey bars, tractor pull, rope climb, and a 400 meter sand bag that was absolutely punishing.

Leading the race Isaiah fought Angel for the lead after descending into the woods followed by the sand bag carry with Octavio was closing in. Angel maintained his lead by making the spear throw. Octavio in second missed, followed by another miss from

Isaiah, giving Octavio a thirty second lead. With a mile left and 5+staggered obstacles the top podium spot went to Angel, followed by Octavio in second and Isaiah in third.

The battle between the women was settled as April paved the way with a 2 minute lead over the Olympian Fabiola. Missing the spear, caused her to take the thirty burpee penalty, but was still able to maintain her lead. Just when Fabiola thought she had closed the gap, missing her spear throw pushed Fabiola back to third as Chickorita over took the Olympian by dominating the spear. In the end the top spot went to April, followed by Chickorita and Fabiola in third.

After the elite men & woman the 9:30am race participants took over in packs of 100+ every 15 minutes until 2:30pm, many fighting to earn a part of their Spartan trifecta medals. The Spartan Kids race took 4 – 13 year olds on their very own course, earning their unique Spartan medal.

The first Mexico Spartan Race of the year was an outstanding course designed by the Spartan Race Mexico team. They will be taking a similar design approach for the next event, the Spartan Super in Puebla, Mexico on April 5th & 6th where the venue will sit at 9,400 feet and allow the people of Mexico to continue their quest for the Spartan Trifecta.

Sign up for your next Spartan Race today! 

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SPARTAN VANCOUVER

by Katie Idle

 

The Spartan Sprint returned to Vancouver for the second time on May 12th, an unseasonably hot day for this time of year!   Spartans from all over British Columbia, as well as from other provinces in Canada and the USA came to Inter River Park in North Vancouver, to slog through 5kms of mud, fire, and every imaginable obstacle.  Despite the blazing sun, there was no shortage of mud.

The Elite heat started at 9.30am and included many Firefighters, Military and Police members.  Participants ranged from 14 to 62, all with a common goal – to challenge themselves, push their limits, and find out if they were tough enough to get through the race.  Many raced individually, and many raced in teams.

Our fastest Spartan guy to beat the gladiators and cross the finish line was Mark Bertoia, with an awesome time of 25:20.  The first Spartan Chick, Claire Johnstone, was not far behind with a time of 31:15.  Congratulations to both of them.   Top three male and female finishers and the top overall team will get a free place in the Super Spartan in September, as well as other prizes donated by our presenting sponsor, New Balance and other sponsor, Ryders Eyewear.

The winning overall team came from this heat – District Fire – with a combined time of 2:04:59, but interestingly not our winning male and female.

1. 2:04:59 District Fire

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1    26:06  Darcy Deutscher

2    30:28  Ryan Koenig

3    31:17  Mike Foston

4    37:08  Kyle Burdett

At noon, the Spartans-in-Training were called to the battlefield for the kids’ race.  Mini Spartans from five to ten years old battled it out on the Spartan Kids course, cheered on by parents, sisters, brothers, and well-wishers.  Crawling over bales of hay was the most popular obstacle – now you know what to buy your kid for Christmas!  Great training, and we look forward to seeing them in the full race in a few years.

After a wash-off (and cool down) courtesy of the Fire Brigade, a cold beer was waiting in the Beer Garden.  Racers drifted left the after-party late afternoon, but not before they signed and commented on the Wall of Valour.

Lots of great feedback was received, and the event attracted a lot of media attention.   The Spartan Race was on CBC TV national news, featured on one of Vancouver’s most popular blogs, local newspapers,  multicultural TV channels and will be featured in the Globe and Mail’s next Business Report.  Obstacle racing is new in Canada (only in its second year) and everyone’s excited about it!  Look out for more Spartan Races and different locations next year!  In Vancouver, we doubled our numbers and are set to triple our numbers for the Calgary Sprint in August!

What’s next?  Calgary offers another chance to for a Spartan Sprint … but space is filling up fast.  Or … why not push it up a notch and sign up for the Super Spartan in Squamish on September 22nd.

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