by Carrie Adams

Spartan Radio celebrated it’s fourth show with a special guest.  Ms. Grace Cuomo Durfee, women’s Death Race Champion in 2011!  We talk about her amazing journey, what motivates her to be successful, and her upcoming race – the Spartan Beast where she’ll take on the Vermont mountains again.  We talk all kinds of Spartan Chicked and the army of ladies heading to the Beast to represent!

Grace Cuomo Durfee, Seth Durfee, and Quinn Durfee

Spartan Race’s first blog about the event is also available HERE which outlines the event and challenges in more detail.  The Death Race Episode from Hot Seat Media will go live July 16 at 8 PM EST.  Visitwww.spartanrace.tv for more details!

This weekend we head to Utah for an amazing Super Spartan in our very own Hobie Call’s backyard!  His wife Irene will also be racing – a collegiate level athlete herself we might see a Mr. and Mrs. Call first place double play!  Stay tuned after the show for some pretty hilarious outtakes including a new segment we call “Random Bleeping”!

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by Carrie Adams

“I don’t mind living in a man’s world, as long as I can be a woman in it.”
— Marilyn Monroe

263189_225185490837083_147674081921558_790301_1924897_nWhen the first of the headlamp lights pierced the darkness of the rain whipped night, all the volunteers at the pond crossing task rose to their feet.  Seeing the lights materialize out of the deep void of the forest, bobbing side to side is an eerie but welcome site.  It signaled that the first of the racers had successfully navigated the swollen and fast-moving river to get here nearly eight hours since the race began.  The racers were quickly ushered into the 45 degree pond and were made to stand waist deep for five minutes to await the arrival of the rest of the field.

In that first group of a dozen or she stood, shivering against the cold that assaulted her270672_225179407504358_147674081921558_790205_7480408_n bare legs a trash bag tied around her small frame to keep her and her pack dry.  Her eyes were clear and focused and she cracked a few jokes with Joe Decker and the other front runners.   It was 27 year old Grace Cuomo Durfee, 12th place Death Race finisher in 2010 and she was on a mission in 2011.

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by Carrie Adams

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Patrick Walsh, 2011 Spartan Death Race

I wish folks would stop portraying the race as borderline insanity or stupidity. It may be hard for people to understand but I can assure you that it has nothing to do with masochism, self-flagellation or stupidity. It’s about self-mastery, learning patience, and understanding the perception of limits, which are the most sane things in the world.” – Patrick Walsh, 2011 Death Race finisher

The required gear list called for a hand drill.  Carpenter Bryan Selm packed his hand drill as required but also included an electric version as optional gear.  The rules allow for optional gear the racers want to bring, they just have to carry it throughout the course.  Lightweight and stored in a dry bag, it was a wise addition.  The drill made the task of drilling his number into his log a much faster process and his number “103″ was quickly inscribed on his 36 inch length of log.

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Joe Decker, Log Drilling

Nearby, Nate Brown sized up his log and the small drill in his hands.  “It looked good on Amazon” he laughed.  It was clear, however; that his small drill would take hours to effectively complete the task at hand.  Without hesitation, Selm handed over his electric drill to Brown to use, knowing it would slow down his transition to the next challenge.  Two others used the drill before Selm ultimately set off up the mountain for Roger’s farm hike.

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[Editor’s Note: The Death Race that began on June 24, 2011 is a monumental part of the Spartan Race history.  The athletes are phenomenal individuals and the volunteers and crew for the event are second to none. It defines the spirit of our racing series.  Several segments will be released on this year’s epic race including official results.]

by Carrie Adams

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived…I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like…” –Thoreau

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Death Race Headquarters Amee Farm

Rain broke through the thick overhead branches of the mountainside forest and the steep, gnarly trail was overrun with mud.  Run-off plummeted down the rocks making every step unsure and dangerous.  Shielding my eyes from the rain, I looked skyward and sighed.  Eighteen hours into the race, we hadn’t yet reached the halfway point of the trail up to Roger’s Farm for the next task.  Serving as crew for a few friends, I had ventured out on the course and was experiencing firsthand the level of difficulty the racers were enduring.  I was beginning to wonder if we’d get out and back before dark.

Blazing out of the dark woods below us in what became a trademark red bandana came Grace Cuomo Durfee, who would ultimately get a fourth place overall finish.  She was just one of four women to complete the grueling challenge.  As she returned from the checkpoint, she graciously offered, “Not too much farther guys.  It’s steep,” before charging up.  It was hard to understand how much had happened in the past 18 hours and how much lay ahead of the racers in the 2011 Spartan Death Race.

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by Carrie Adams

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” -Oscar Wilde

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Ray Morvan

Recently, Spartan Race has been covering profiles of the awe-inspiring individuals taking part in the Spartan Death Race.  An endurance event like no other on the planet that has been taking place every year in Pittsfield since 2005.  It’s an event aimed at giving competitors the ultimate challenge in the Green Mountains of Vermont and an opportunity for those brave enough to sign up the chance to find themselves and redefine their lives in a backdrop of unforeseeable challenges.  It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to show that overcoming is worth the effort required to achieve it and being alive is a state of being where death is just a state of mind.

Ax in hand, Ray Morvan, now 48, hacked away at the stump in the ground for over an hour, using his hands at various points to dig and pry at the roots of the stubborn stump to extract it from the ground.  He’d removed his bib already that was previously pinned to it and now he worked at the stubborn, heavy stump expertly with his ax.  His reward for the task – to carry the heavy piece of wood for the rest of the day.  He would DNF that race at the 11 hour mark – his first attempt at the race in the summer of 2009.

In the winter race the following year, he was told to put together a wheel barrow and then cart 12 logs of firewood up the mountain in deep snow.  With no easy way to push the wheelbarrow in the drifts of snow, he had to improvise in order to navigate the trail with  the heavy logs and cumbersome wheelbarrow to reach the summit.  It was a daunting task.

This summer marks the fifth race for the veteran Death Racer, a mortgage banker from Springfield, VT.  His first attempt, he weighed in at just about 240 pounds and had recently left rehab for treatment of a drug and alcohol addiction.  He was admittedly not ready and when he left at the 11 hour mark, a spark had been ignited.  For a man who nearly died in 2002  from appendicitis and has endured more than a dozen abdominal surgeries since, he’s no stranger to death and he plans on competing in the race until they won’t let him anymore.

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By Carrie Adams

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Photo: globalfreeenergy.info

On May 1, 2011, almost ten years after the horrifying events of 9/11 left thousands of innocent people dead, President Obama approached the podium and delivered the message that so many had been waiting to hear.

“Justice has been done,” Obama announced.  The message confirmed the death of the 9/11 mastermind and Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden at the hands of a highly trained United States Special Operations Task Force.  Bin Laden had been found in a heavily fortified compound only an hour’s drive from Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital city, near a Pakistani military base and the academy for the nation’s army.  The brave men from a select Navy SEAL team descended on the compound and combated resistance forces before killing Bin Laden in a firefight.

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At her commencement speech at the University of Northern Iowa, Michele Obama described the mission and the character of the men involved.  ”Just imagine, a small group of brave men, dropped by helicopter, half a world away in the dead of night into unknown danger inside the lair of the most wanted man in the world.  They did not hesitate, risking everything for us, for our freedom and security.”

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Nate Brown, 2011 Spartan Death Racer

The military and Spartan Race have always been closely aligned, because the principles and culture of the military are very similar to those of Spartan Race.  “We believe, as they do, that successful people and successful Spartans are mentally tough and can withstand, overcome, and commit to a cause that’s bigger than themselves,” said Spartan CEO Joe DeSena.

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By Carrie Adams

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Joe Decker

World’s Fittest Man, ultra endurance power athlete, fitness trainer, and creator of the popular San Diego based Boot Camp Gut Check Fitness, Joe Decker, 41, holds another prestigious title – Death Race Champion, 2010. Decker is a record breaker who makes achievement look easy, but don’t be fooled. He has worked hard to get where he is today, and he’s earned every bit of the success.

Decker grew up athletic but poor on a farm in Ohio. After his time with the 10th Mountain Division he moved to New Orleans, where drugs took over his life.  He was regularly using cocaine and spending his weekends strung out and eventually became suicidal. He knew that there could be a life beyond what he had, but that he had to be the one to make the change.  Decker returned to fitness, embracing what the human body was capable of, and he never looked back.

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