by Chris Rutz, Elite Spartan Athlete

Did you know that Spartan Race was international? 2013 continues the global positioning of the Spartan Race. Last month racing kicked off in Mexico and this month it has moved to Australia. The first in a series of races kicked off in Australia on March 2 with the Melbourne Sprint. Like all Spartan Races, the best talent shows up at the startline to prove their worth on the course. The Elite heat ‘down under’ produced a 1-2 finish by Matt Murphy and Shaun Phelps.

We had a chance to catch up with them to find out a little more about them and their thoughts on Spartan Racing.

Matt is 28 and lives on the Central Coast on NSW. He was a professional triathlete for 4 years in Europe and the US. When asked why he ran the Spartan Race he replied “I love obstacle racing and to me Spartan are at the top of this industry.” His favorite obstacle was rope climb and his least favorite was the spear throw. Like most Spartans, he has goals for the season. He wants to nail the spear throw every time and to be at the finish line in the top 3 for each Spartan race for the season.

He went on to say, “I just love to compete against a bunch of great guys and girls who have the same interest as me and hang out with them after. Having something to train hard for is just so great.”

Shaun is 40 and lives in Kinglake, Victoria, Australia. He played AFL footy for many years, He moved onto gridiron at the age of 21 years, however, was injury prone whilst playing this sport-knee, shoulder, neck. He then moved onto triathlons. Family life took over towards the end of his 20s and he pretty much did nothing for around 10 years. Last 3-4yrs he has gotten back to the gym, running, group fitness, but it has been fairly sporadic and inconsistent. Then about 12 months ago he caught the OCR bug and is now hooked.

He signed up for a Spartan Race because he liked the idea of penalties for in completion of obstacles, “I like the physical challenge Spartan has to offer” He admits he is not as fast as some of the other competitors, but makes up for it at the obstacles. He has been following the US version for a number of years. His favourite obstacle was the cargo net, rope climb, traverse wall, spear throw. His least favourite was 100metre barb wire crawl.

His goals for the season: Have fun, complete as many OCRs as possible, continue to be part of the amazing OCR community, achieve a Spartan trifecta more than once, remain in Australia’s top 20 Elite Obstacle Course racers. Qualify for the Australian Spartan team and be part of the International Spartan Race Championships.

Spartan also just wrapped on a Sydney event this past weekend with nearly 5,000 Aussie’s participating!  Check out some photos from Sydney HERE. 

Looks like we will need to keep an eye on both of these guys both in Australia and at the Championships.  Learn more about our International Races, click HERE. 

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