This weekend sees Spartans from across the country descend on Tampa, excited at the prospect of the first of its kind Special Ops themed race. Raymond James stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, will reverberate to the echoes of AROO and almost certainly one or two shrieks and yelps of pain, as those who have spent the last few months training for this event push themselves just that little bit harder. 

Taking in a course of around 4 miles – you know we’re not giving away the exact distance – competitors will experience the gnarly terrain that we all know and love, coupled with the physical beating that the stadium so happily deals out with carefree abandon. Naturally, those taking part can expect their legs to take a little punishment as the steps of the stadium beckon them forward with a malevolent grin. Additionally, upping the ante just a little, some obstacles that await those attacking the course will be designed with maneuvers and strategy by Special Ops forces.

Such is the uniqueness of this event, a special medal will even be on offer for those who successfully reach the finish line.

With the Elite rankings and standing already heating up after only two events – Southern California and Arizona – elbow room will be at a minimum at the start line. With stadium races typically being much faster events for those that run the elite wave, Spartan is hoping that the addition of those obstacles not normally associated with races within the asphalt atmosphere will throw a spanner in the works and interrupt the rhythm of those that take the race for granted.

Teams travelling from across the land will see each other battle through too. Mud Run Fun expected to have the biggest team of the day, with the Cornfed Spartans, AZN and many others jockeying for position.

Those under 14 will still be able to savor the Spartan Race experience too, as the ever popular Kids Race continues to grow and encourage youngsters to get out and get active.

Who will become victorious this weekend in Florida? Stay tuned to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram on Saturday for updates.

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by Chris Rayne, guest blogger 

Chris Rayne, Fort Carson, CO 2012

Finding Spartan

I saw my first advertisement for the Spartan Race while I was at the gym at Fort Carson, CO.  It was in November 2011 and the poster was for a race in May.  I didn’t give it much thought and let it slip from my mind. I was in a transition from enlisted to officer in the Army, and was going through the rough ending of a divorce.  I didn’t think I had time to think about a Spartan Race.  A month later the I was asked if I would volunteer for the race.  Not thinking much of it, except that my weekend was free, I put my name on the list and then went about my business.

Finding the Finish Line

April 2012, life was much different for me.  I had fallen in love and I was about to be an Officer in the Army.  I got a reminder about volunteering for the race and was told I could race for free.  I looked into what Spartan Race was and that’s when I first saw the Powerful Beyond Measure video and I was shocked at the emotions that welled up in me when I watched. I had to share feeling with my loved ones and anyone who would listen. I only got around 20 or so people to race day but it was a success in my mind. I finished the Military Sprint I had volunteered for months earlier and was off to start my life as a second lieutenant feeling a sense of accomplishment.

Rebuilding a Life

Life took another turn.  During training I got a call from my fiancé, the moving truck we had all of our possessions in had caught on fire.  We lost everything. The devastation was immense and after the dust had settled I reached out to the Spartan Team and asked for help retrieving a finisher medal to start rebuilding from the ashes. Even though there was no finisher medal available, I did receive a Spartan Helmet and some encouraging words. This community who knew nothing about me and only ran in one race reached out to me and helped me out. This is what sparked my obsession with the Spartan Brand of living and my journey to share this with everyone.  I wanted to pay it forward.

My wife and I started a new life in an empty house with a two year old and a baby on the way.  It was tough to stay focused on training but it was the Spartan Race that helped me and my family. In November of 2012, my daughter Zoey came into the world I dedicated myself to earning the Trifecta in 2013 and bringing my wife to the Spartan Family. We formed a little two person team for the Fort Carson Military Sprint and word got to her family. This lead to her sister (who also just had her third child a few months earlier) and brother joining us and forming team Powerful Beyond Measure in honor of that spark that started it all.

I would frequently check the Spartan webpage and this is when I stumbled upon the Spartan Fuel and decided to send Spartan Race founder Joe De Sena a message asking a few questions. I honestly never expected a response let alone a response within the hour and from Joe himself.

Paying it Forward

It always amazes me that still after all that Spartan HQ has gone through; the core values outlined by the Founding Few are still adhered to. And with the partnership with Reebok it remains their mission to rip each and every person off their couch, get moving  and help people find their hidden potential.  I can never repay the drive that the Spartan Race had given me and my family. My wife jokes with me and says I have a healthy obsession with Spartan…

Well it’s the healthiest and best obsession I think anyone can ever have.  We love it.

Are you ready for your first Spartan Race?  Register TODAY. 

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