Written by Pro Team member Elliott Megquier

Spartan Race really outdid themselves again, serving up the best course Tuxedo Ridge Ski Center has hosted in 4 years. The course was relentless with constant climbs of the mountain, carries of heavy obstacles, and crawling up a never ending hill under the barbed wire. Over 11,000 people completed the race over the course of Saturday and Sunday. You couldn’t ask for better weather, both days it was sunny, no rain, with a mild breeze. Not too hot and not too cold. Racers were also treated with a new obstacle. This obstacle entailed climbing a vertical wall out of the water without foot holds until you got out of the water and halfway up the wall. The monkey bars were also modified to provide racers with more of a challenge. They went up and down throughout the obstacle, even some elite racers were falling off. Another fairly new obstacle that debuted in the Northeast for the first time was the Monkey Cargo Net, which is all about grip strength as you traverse over a pit of water to ring the bell on the other side.

In the elite heats Saturday Matthew Kempson ran away to victory winning by over two minutes in impressive fashion for his first ever Spartan podium. He was followed by Elliott Megquier and Miguel Medina. For the women New York City resident Karlee Whipple claimed the win, with Laura Messner taking second, and Helene Dumais rounding out the podium in third.

Sunday Matthew Kempson repeated his winning ways, with Elliott Megquier closing the gap just one minute and nine seconds behind, and Dennis Smith rebounding from a fourth place finish Saturday to finish third. For the women Laura Lunardi rebounded from a fourth place finish to win Sunday’s race, with Debbie Moreau – hailing from the great state of Maine – placing second, and Helene Dumais of Canada placing third again.

Other great stories were Ilene Boyer who battles from brittle bones marking her one year anniversary doing a Spartan Race, over a thousand plus children who completed the Kids Race, and countless other untold stories of people overcoming tough times in life to kick butt at a brutally demanding Spartan course. The best part, is Spartan is serving up another round, on June 7th and 8th Tuxedo willing be rocking again with over 10,000 Spartans preparing for glory. Don’t miss out! NBC will also be there on Saturday to film and share all this amazingness with the world.

Till Saturday live a Spartan life, Spartan Up, and prepare for greatness.

Sign up now and we’ll see you at the finish line! 

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By Pro Team Member Chris Rutz

“Everything is bigger in Texas” is phrase that Spartan Race was determined to live up to in Austin. The race returned to Reveille Peak Ranch for its third year and drew in excess of 12,000 athletes. New this year was the Super distance. In past year only the Sprint distance race was run. This year the Super was added. All racers on Saturday ran the Super and all runners on Sunday ran the Sprint. This created the opportunity for 2/3 of the Trifecta in one weekend. It also creates the opportunity to earn a Trifecta without leaving the state on Texas. The Dallas Beast will be later this year on 11/1.

The Sprint course was essentially the first 1/3 and last 1/3 of the Super course. The Super course added a number of challenges not seen by those that ran the Sprint. The highlight of the Super course was a hill climb on slick rock that reminded many of the runners of sections of trail near Moab, UT. Much of the added distance of the Super included off trail bushwhacking and stream crossings. In addition the Super racers had an Atlas Stone carry and double the distance on the tractor pull to name a few of the additional challenges.

Both courses had some significant challenges. The climbing ropes seemed to be especially slick. Perhaps it was the Texas mud. The Spear also seemed to have a higher failure rate than normal. In a twist which runners hate and obstacle racers love, most of the “burpee” obstacles were clustered at the end of the course. The Traverse Wall, the Hercules Hoist, the Rope Climb and the Spear were all within the last ¼ mile of the race. Just before entering the festival area where these obstacles were clustered, racers were challenged with a 150 yard swim section. PFD and a bypass were available for non swimmers. This definitely is a favorite venue by most the Spartan faithful.

The Elite heats on each day were won by the same athletes,  John Yatsko of Flagstaff, AZ and Rose Wetzel of the Spartan Pro Team from Seattle, WA.  They each took home $2,500 for their victories, $2,000 on Saturday and $500 on Sunday. Prize money for Saturday’s race was funded by Navy Federal Credit Union. Rounding out the top 3 on Saturday were, Hobie Call (Utah) $1,000 and Chad Trammell (Washington)  $500 and Chikorita De Lego (Mexico) $1,000 and KK Paul (Arizona) $500. On Sunday’s Sprint, home town racer Isaiah Vidal and Elliott Megquier, both on the Spartan Pro Team placed second and third, with Chikorita De Lego and Laura Lunardi taking those same positions for the ladies.

It was a perfect weekend for a race in Texas. The weather was just right, the racers were pumped and the course delivered on the promises of Spartan Race. Next up are the Tri-State Sprints.

See you at the finish line! 

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