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
(1989-2012)

“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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