by Amanda, Czapla, Elite Spartan Athlete

Playing as a Child

As a child I idolized my older brother. I was more or less his shadow. What he did, I did. From getting into trouble, playing in a mound of dirt, searching for rollie pollies, making mud pies. We were kids having fun the only way we knew how. Those were the good old days.

Flash forward 15 years. The monotony of being a roadrunner was starting to take its toll. I needed a change. Deciding to branch out, a friend and I signed up for our first obstacle race, the Warrior Dash. Disappointed by the lack of intensity, we wanted something a little more challenging and we found the Miami Super Spartan Race in 2011. I knew I found my race. I felt like that little girl running carefree with my brother through the trails, picking up heavy objects, throwing myself over walls and getting down and dirty. A second place finish and a few nefarious battle wounds motivated me to come back the following year faster and stronger. My weakness was obvious; I neglected my upper body and relied heavily on my speed and endurance.

Setting Goals

Over the next year, I made a few lofty goals in preparation for my ultimate test to WIN the Miami Super Spartan 2012. Hard work and a few PRs later, I did take the top spot in Miami and then a few others. Admittedly, I was still intimidated by the rope climb and a few other obstacles. To be truly competitive, a racer would have to finish a race burpee free.

Carolina’s race made me stop making excuses and to learn to swim. For the Vermont Beast, I thought training for the Chicago Marathon would suffice. Mountain legs? Ha! Joke was on me. Those weren’t any mountains, those were mountains from hell! I never walked so much in my life on a course. I met my match. I was under-trained. South Florida may have beautiful beaches, but it will not prepare you for the course in Vermont. A little bitter post Vermont, I wanted redemption and set my sights on the Spartan Texas Beast.

My preparation was solid. I knew this would be MY race to prove myself in the fast growing sport of obstacle racing. And then, a fatal fall the first mile in, I hobbled my way through another 12 miles of obstacles to finish 6th. I took it hard. I did this to myself. I refused to heed the obvious caveats of over-training. I was forced into submission. My Achilles’ heel was my Achilles’ heel. Achilles’ Tendonosis. No running for 6-8 weeks per my doctor’s orders or I could risk a complete rupture. The fear of being out 6 months with surgery if I decided to push it, I succumbed. Feeling empty and lacking the anaerobic push with the Miami Super Spartan quickly approaching, I chose to join CrossFit Fort Lauderdale, The Playground. I knew if I wanted to play with the big boys and girls I would need to step my game up.

Miami Super Spartan came and went. It was a surreal feeling to be back in action. I knew I wasn’t 100%, so my goal was to have fun and stay within my limitations and not overdo it.

The Spartan Way

What I love about Spartan is pushing through that damned and fathomed wall, refusing to give up, refusing to quit. I love the ability to test my limitations that bind me by breaking free and emerging fearless. I refuse to say, “I won’t, I can’t.” I love what I hate, what makes my skin crawl.

Whatever it is that you abhor, that you cringe at the very mention of it, make it your strength. Dominate. Work on it with relentless dedication and perseverance. Believe in your abilities and when it comes race time, let that be the obstacle that you do not falter, that you own and you makes you smile looking back. Embrace the inner child.

The Spartan community is a family. A network of friends from across the country that may or may not be as “crazy” as you are. We are hungry. We refuse to settle. We share similar desires, the same passion to continually strive to be the best, constantly evolve, have fun along the way and experience the adventure that awaits us.

The people are real. The emotions are real. The journey is real. For everything that Reebok Spartan Race is, “You will know at the finish line.” Aroo! It’s time you find yours. Register today.

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by Carrie Adams

Family and friends of Daniel Zamora put on shirts with the words “In loving memory  DZ 13” and took on the Reebok Super Spartan in Miami with him in their hearts and on their minds.  A year earlier Daniel had been the one racing, and his father Colon just a spectator watching his son take on the course.  Daniel finished that race and his dad was hooked and wanted to try it himself.

Colon said, “Last year I was a merely a spectator as my son Daniel Zamora ran and completed the 2012 race. I came to love the event and promised him I’d join him this year.”

Then August 4, 2012 Daniel Zamora was involved in a fatal car accident, a shocking blow and tragic loss to his family, friends, and community.  At just 23, Zamora had accomplished much in his life and his family wanted to honor how he lived by running the Reebok Spartan Race on Saturday together in his memory.  His father even donned his son’s bib number, 4135 as a way to feel more connected in his experience

Daniel Zamora

“My hope was to complete the race together” said Colon, “and, although he wasn’t physically present, he was in my heart. The entire family decided to participate, his mother and brothers included, helping fulfill my dream.”

The family completed the grueling event side by side and it gave them a way to feel more connected to Daniel who is gone but never forgotten, “Personally, completing the race was a unique and beautiful experience.  It was eight miles full of love, eternal love. Upon crossing the finish line I truly felt him next to me, just as I had promised him. Now I can proudly say we are Spartan Brothers. Arooooooo!”

Inspired by Daniel’s story?  Find your finish line in 2013 with Spartan Race.

[Editor's Note: Zamora’s family has established the Daniel Zamora Foundation to aid some of the causes that were important to him. Also, a scholarship for outstanding scholar-athletes will be established at his high school, Christopher Columbus.]

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by Carrie Adams

museum replicasEach race brings new challengers and champions and we want you to know a little bit about them.  Presented by our amazing awards partner, Museum Replicas, we will profile them for you after each race!  

Meet the Spartan Top Three Finishing Males and Females of Miami!


It’s no surprise Hobie Call took the top spot once again in Miami! 

Top 3 Males1st Place Male
Full Name:
Hobie Call Occupation: HVAC Installer
Official Time: 1:08:27 Bib #: 1
From: Erda, UT
Age: 34
Height: 5’ 8”
Weight: 145 lbs
Why do you run Spartan Races? I have no good reason not to. :)
How do you train for Spartan Races? The way you’re supposed to
Quick Bio & Interesting Facts: I’m married w/ 5 kids. Here’s my response….”Ummm”…. So I ask my wife. She says… “Ummm”… “Ummm”…

Shout Outs: Joe DeSena for creating such a marvelous race, Pines Wheatgrass for helping to keep me healthy, and my wife Irene for helping to keep me sane.

miami 2nd place mens2nd Place Male
Full Name:
Leif Kohler Occupation: Firefighter
Official Time: 1:09:40 Bib #: 2207
From: Haiku, HI
Age: 27
Height: 5’ 11”
Weight: 165 lbs
Why do you run Spartan Races? Its raw pain and I want to take Hobie down!
How do you train for Spartan Races? Running mountains, rock climbing, and firefighter training
Quick Bio & Interesting Facts: Grew up on Maui, Hawaii and went to University of Washington for Civil Engineering. I enjoy skydiving & naked bungee jumping from time to time.
Shout Outs: Wife Kristin (later inserted a carrot and the word gorgeous before “wife”). Mom the nutritionist, Dad the bad-ass and my bro Hans the Beast!

SPARTAN RACE WINNERS- For the Spartan Wall of Champions
FL 2/25/12 – Super Spartan

miami 3rd place mens3rd Place Male
Full Name:
Daniel Martin Occupation: Ocean Rescue Lifeguard
Official Time: 1:10:45 Bib #: 292
From: Miami, FL
Age: 28
Height: 5’ 9”
Weight: 147 lbs
Why do you run Spartan Races? To beat Hobie and it’s Fun!
How do you train for Spartan Races? Just running a lot and some pull-ups and push-ups
Quick Bio & Interesting Facts: I got 2nd last year. I’ve been running since I was 12. I was born and raised in Miami!

Shout Outs: Thank you to my parents for support and also to my beautiful girlfriend.

miami 1st place female1st Place Female
Full Name:
Amanda Czapla Occupation: Profession Asskicker J . Legal secretary, volunteer, student personal trainer
Official Time: 1:34:11 Bib #: 113
From: Houston, TX
Age: 24
Height: 5’ 1”
Weight: 112 lbs
Why do you run Spartan Races? It’s fun and to give the boys a run for their money. Plus I love the challenges.
How do you train for Spartan Races?
I run.

Quick Bio & Interesting Facts: Native Houstonian, ex gymnast, competitive runner and I don’t know how to swim.

Shout Outs: Sally Spooner. She beat me last year by 30 seconds. Kurtis Morgan, Michael Wallace, and my new friend Angela Bronco, thanks for the competition. Oh and Daniel for “thinking” he was going to dominate and Omar. Good luck! Kick ass and take names.

SPARTAN RACE WINNERS- For the Spartan Wall of Champions
FL 2/25/12 – Super Spartan

Top 3 Females2nd Place Female
Full Name:
Angela Bronco Occupation: Firefighter
Official Time: 1:35:28 Bib #: 72
Deerfield Beach, FL
Age: 36
Height: 5’ 7”
Weight: 136 lbs
Why do you run Spartan Races? For fun, challenging
How do you train for Spartan Races? Triathlons, CrossFit, firefighter combat challenge.

Quick Bio & Interesting Facts: Married to Lee Bronco, competing in triathlons for 13 years, started CrossFit, and I compete in firefighter combat challenge.
Shout Outs: Thank you God, thanks to my wonderful husband, all my triathlete competitors, and my sponsor Ride Backwards!miami 3rd place female

3rd Place Female
Full Name
: Courtney Kistler Occupation: Freelance Writer
Official Time: 1:36:15 Bib #: 244
Toledo, OH
Age: 31
Height: 5’ 6”
Weight: 136 lbs
Why do you run Spartan Races? Fun
How do you train for Spartan Races?
Run, pushups

Quick Bio & Interesting Facts: Live in NYC, like to get muddy. I’m single, boys J

Shout Outs: Margaret Dillon, Hal Miller

Keep track of Current 2012 Points and 2012 Spartan Race Results!  See you in Georgia!

Top 3 Males-Females (2)

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by Carrie Adams

clip_image002Pembroke, FL ocean lifeguard Cyrus Writer, 26, is a Spartan, literally– his father is Persian and speaks twelve languages. He recently ran our Miami event and put up an incredible finishing time in the eight mile course. Not running with the first wave and amidst some controversy around the course markings being moved and torn down, he laid down a 52:33. Hobie’s day-winning time was around 59:13 minutes.

Read the rest of this entry »

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By Carrie Adams

Spartan Race prides itself on being a unique event on this planet. We don’t just say it, either. Our pictures capture the spirit of the race, the struggles and triumphs of our athletes, and the glory of race days. When it came to choosing a photographer for Spartan Races, we wanted something that was candid, dynamic, and representative of a race designed to make you suffer yet inspire you to overcome. Enter Brent Doscher from Nuvision Action Image.

Photo Courtesy of Nuvision Action ImageDoscher shot our Vermont Race in 2010 and when it came time to interview people for a full-time photographer, it was an easy decision. Jason Jaksetic, Spartan’s Digital Marketing Director, said, “It was a matter of go big corporate or go for quality, unique, and enthusiastic…Brent made that easy for us to decide.” Brent’s work is visually stunning, and as an athlete himself, he understands the toil and he captures it brilliantly. “He kicks ass and we wouldn’t change him for the world. His artistic vision is more than we could hope for and he’s an integral part of the team. We consider him a Spartan,” says Jaksetic.

Talking with Brent, you realize immediately that he loves his job and that he loves taking pictures for Spartan. “I am a triathlete and a cyclist and a runner myself. I worked for all the big companies and thought we could capture something cooler. So, I though, why don’t I start a company and do all those better.”

Read the rest of this entry »

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by Carrie Adams

We’ve told you before that the Spartan Race isn’t for the average man or woman off the street.  Our race is tough, and it’s supposed to be.  It’s not about “just finishing.”  It’s about competing and getting it done.  The only fun that you’ll have is when you cross the finish line and realize that you’re not dead.  Two racers from Miami showed us what it means to be a Spartan on Saturday.  Way to represent, Miami.

Rosa Luzardo #5679

Rosa was almost hospitalized after the race.  On the 5th mile her legs began to cramp but she would not give up.  “I had to die first,” she said.  She ran the whole race, including the obstacles.  Those aren’t designed to be breaks.  They are designed to further test you as your lungs are busting and your heart is racing.  While crossing a water obstacle, she went under and two men had to grab her and pull her towards shore.  At one point after burpees, with two and a half miles left of rugged forest trails, Rosa admitted, “I thought I would NEVER see civilization again.”

There was still a massive cargo net to climb, and a balance beam to traverse, and rock dragging with a rope.  Her calves were tightening up and she knew she needed fuel, but a bow and arrow obstacle was all that she’d find ahead of her.  After missing her shot and paying the penalty with 30 more burpees she began to drag her body through the mud obstacle suddenly aware that her limbs weren’t functioning right.  Terrified, she realized, she couldn’t feel her legs anymore.  An immense wall was her final challenge and she barely remembered crossing the finish line.  That’s when the pain struck.  Rosa fell to the ground “screaming in excruciating pain.”

A medic immediately realized she was dehydrated and her blood pressure was low. Unable to get an IV started, the medics gave Rosa massive amounts of Gatorade and any carbs that they could find.  Rosa refused a ride to the hospital, despite being so weak she couldn’t walk.  She lay on the ground covered in mud, until she was able to get up and have family take her home.  She reflected on her experience, grateful for the help from other racers, the paramedics, and her family during the scary moments after the race.  True to Spartan form, all she could say was: “Best race ever and looking forward to doing it again!”

Tony Gallo

Tony Gallo crossed the finish line at the Miami Super
Spartan with a dislocated shoulder.  He waved off the medics that urged him to seek treatment.  He had gotten injured at the second-to-last obstacle on the course: the horizontal wall that the racer has to cross with small pieces of wood. He lost his balance, and in
trying to prevent himself from falling, he reached back for one of the blocks, hyper-extended his arm, andheard it pop.  As he was approaching the finish line, the gladiators gathered, ready to take him out.  Tony calmly walked forward toward them and showed them his shoulder with the bone sticking out at a horrifying angle.  The Spartans, disgusted by what they saw, let Tony pass.  Tony’s feedback from his hospital bed was, “Great race by the way.  My bones will heal and will be ready for February 2012!!!!”

Nice job, Miami!  Way to get after it and get it DONE!

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