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

Lisa Madden - VTThe Death Race Profile series has highlighted some amazing athletes so far. There are 13 female Death Racers signed up for the event in June and Lisa Madden is one of them. We’re proud to tell her amazing story and of all she’s accomplishing.

Lisa Madden, 38, moved to the Bronx eleven years ago for a change in scenery and says she “hasn’t felt the need to move since… or yet.” The architect from Ireland grew up horseback riding and hating running. As an adult, she ultimately found affection for endurance athletics and has been running trails and marathons for six years now. An avid hiker who loves being in the woods all day, she does about an event a month, some 50K and 50 miler distances, and one 100 miler each year. She’s looking forward to her time at the Death Race again in June.

Last year’s Death Race marked her longest time out on a race course, clocking in at 35 hours 23 minutes and an impressive 9th place finish. She credits her ability to handle the pain with her success last year: “You figure, you know, you have a capacity for suffering, so even if you take on something really challenging, it’s a willingness to suffer and get through what you’ve taken on.”

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by Carrie Adams

“Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.”  – Marilyn Monroe

Cassandra Randolph, Arizona

We’re pretty sure Marilyn was talking about muddy running shoes.  Our Spartan female champions and participants are showing up, taking on the Spartan Races, and showing the men how to make dirt look good.  Recently, we discussed the topic of getting chicked, a term that refers to a man getting passed on the course by a woman.  The post had our men shaking in their Nikes and our women standing up and cheering.

Our Competitive Wave One Women winners each brought a physical and mental toughness to the race.  Their victories have been great achievements and highlight what’s possible for women in the Spartan racing circuit.  Undoubtedly there was epic “chicking” involved.

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