Intro by Carrie Adams

On August 6, 2011, Claude Godbout, member of the Canadian Biathlon National Team took on the Spartan Beast earning a second place finish amongst all the females.  Her boyfriend is none other than the first place finisher Marc-Andre Bedard who we also recently featured.  Her finish was inspiring and her words capture her experience in the Vermont mountains taking on the Spartan Beast and what it meant to hear as a seasoned athlete.

286669_10150745416790716_759735715_20339013_5510779_oSpartan Beast ! Where to start? By far the toughest race I have ever done in my life but also the most amazing. You could hear those same sentiments by all the finishers of The Beast when they crossed the line as well, but believe me, it was really freaking hard! I have a pretty good idea of what suffering means when you are talking about racing or training. I’m a biathlete on the national team since 2004 and I have been training since I was six years old. I have done so many races in my life that it will be crazy to guess a number… Anyway, my boyfriend, Marc-Andre Bedard (yes the winner of The Beast) heard about that race and was so pumped about doing it. I thought it will be another race under the belt so I decided to do it. So we drove there (around 7hours) and as we were driving, I reminded Marco our goals for that race:

1. No injuries: biathlon is what we make for living and the reason why we wake up every day dreaming of the Olympics.

2. Have fun!

3. Compete: but only if goal number 1 and 2 are achieved first.

SBVT_BD_0257We knew right before the start that we could do well but what we didn’t know was the difficulty we would face with the Beast.  Like I said before, I have been racing since I was six years old so when it was time to race, it was game on!   I had a blast all the way until the end. I was so thrilled to see what obstacles were next, it didn’t feel like I was racing for four hours!  I was light like a cat on the downhill, consistent on the uphill and very strong on the obstacles (except the freaking barbed wire and the rope over the lake).

After only after a couple miles, I knew I could finish on the podium and that was definitely the goal to achieve now!   Ladies, what a feeling when you battle against men that are carrying the same weight as you!  Yes I’m talking about the 50 pound sand bags that we had to carry up and down a loop (more off road when I think about it) that was approximately 1 mile. When I was passing men, it felt so good inside and I was so surprised to hear them cheer for me. Thanks to all the women that raced The Beast, I think we proved once again that women can be strong athletes!

Finally, the end was coming and I don’t know if I was happy or not about it. Yes my legs were tired and cramping and yes I needed some liquid and sugar but that also meant that my Spartans experience was ending right there.

I definitely reached my 3 goals: no injuries, have fun, and a second place finish. But trust me, I achieved way more.

SBVT_WC_0332Even after such a hard race, we had to start our specific training on Monday. Our fellow biathletes that we trained with were asking us questions about The Beast and we didn’t know where to start. I told them that it is definitely something that we have to do in our lifetime. Being able to do The Spartan Beast is now a privilege as an athlete.

Seeing a picture of me smiling while I’m fighting against the gladiators at the very end means a lot to me: I will be back ! That is by far the most memorable race I have ever done in my career.

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Intro by Carrie Adams

In Killington, Vermont August 6, 2011, Marc-André Bédard, from the Canadian National Biathlon Team took the top spot at the Spartan Beast, ousting Hobie Call from supremecy on the Spartan Obstacle Courses.  Bédard’s athletic career and dedication to athletics is awe-inspiring.  A member of the Canadian National Team since 2000, Biathlon Canada’s 2008 Athlete of the Year and ACBQ and Biathlon Courcelette in the same year, he is an established force in his primary sport.  In addition to Biathlon, Bédard cross-trains with mountain biking, cross-country skiing, and soccer.

When Bédard arrived in Killington, he admittedly expected some basic running, a few mud puddles, and Spartan Gladiators, but he left the Vermont mountains not only a Spartan Champion, but also a believer in the emerging sport of Obstacle Racing.  Here is his Beast experience, as a part of a series Spartan Blog is beginning entitled “Ode to Sparta.”  This series will feature stories of Spartan Race experiences from our own Spartan athletes told in their own words.  We thought it fitting to kick off the series with the words of our newest champion, Marc-André Bédard.

Marc-Andre Bedard

After taking on the Beast headstrong, a lot of people have asked me how I trained to beat the “Beast” like that!  The easy answer is that I’ve been training all my life.  I made it my job.  The one they want to hear is that I trained 300 days, 600 to 1000 hours a year, one to six hours a day, 20 to 40 races a year for the last decade and more!

My July consisted of hours of roller skiing, trail running, kayaking, biking (road and mountain) and strength training!  And my week before the Beast found me doing 13 hours of cardio and 2 hours and 15 minutes of strength training hours.

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