The first Beast of the season did not disappoint.  The hills at Toro Regional Park in Monterey seemed to get a little higher over the past year. Racers returning for the second year were remarking about how the course difficulty had increased from 2013.  The nearly 5,000 athletes that turned out on a perfect Monterey morning were greeted with new challenges and just the right amount of water and mud.

The rugged terrain was fully utilized in this Beast. The course included all types of running surfaces, from fire roads, to single track and off trail bushwhacking. Many racers site this as being the toughest Beast course this side of Vermont and this race has only amplified that claim by somehow making it even harder than it was last year. New obstacles making their California debut included the new Monkey Net and the Laguna Seca inspired Tire Rope Swing.  In addition to the terrain the course layout ramped up the difficulty. What made this course especially demanding was the obstacle cluster at the end of the race. These included the Tire Flips and Atlas Stone Carry, which can take a toll on already taxed hamstrings, quads and calves. Despite this obstacle, the challenges were not going to prevent many racers from finishing their third race of the season and getting their Trifecta. The Trifecta is completing a Sprint, Super and Beast in one calendar year.  

Starting the day was the second ever 12 hour Hurricane Heat. With all manner of testing challenges, both mental and physical, the team was put through it’s paces and brought about a new record. The team contained Daren De Heras who is now the only person in the world to have successfully completed every race and challenge that Spartan Race has to offer, from the touring workout right through to the Death Race.

The elite heat racers started promptly at 8AM and charged up the first mountain at a fast pace. The fastest men completed the course in about 2 hours and the women in 2 ½ hours. For the men, the top three spots went to Chad Trammell, 30 from Yakima, WA, Brian Gowiski, 24, from San Diego, CA and in third place James Appleton, 27, from London, who again appeared from nowhere to quietly come in and assert some British bulldog spirit onto the field. Look out for more from the reigning UK Tough Guy champion, as the rumors are that he’s moving to the states. With his impressive record and stats that speak for themselves, could we have another heavy hitter in the men’s elites soon? Stay tuned!

On the women’s side Spartan Pro Team athlete, Jenny Tobin 45 from Boise ID finished first, followed by Lesley Moser, 30 from Menlo Park, CA and Monica Jo Nicholson, 32 from Aromas, CA. Our other Spartan Pro Team athlete on hand, Christopher Rutz, won the men’s masters (40+) race.

Veteran Earl Granville deals with a wall with ease.

As wave after wave went out, Spartan SGX coaches Andi Hardy and Michael Ainis were on hand to talk participants through some warm ups, cool downs and helped with general advice and instructions.

On the course, the story of the day went to a Team made up of Amanda Sullivan, Earl Granville of Operation Enduring Warrior, Matt Pevoto and Misty Diaz. Aided along the way by Slosh Pipe Champion, Kevin Kierce, a staff member and many members of the Weeple Army – who again took the biggest team title for a record 12th time – the team known as “The Avengers” took on the course and battled their own demons in order to achieve, in some cases, their Trifectas. Look out for a feature in the future from Spartan Race covering the day that these amazing competitors had.

The next race on the Spartan Race calendar is also a Beast, only this time in Utah. Don’t be surprised if Spartan Race tries to outdo the challenge they presented for you in Monterey. The hills are there for a reason. Get out of your comfort zone!

For those of you on the East Coast, the Connecticut Sprint will also be making its debut the same day, Saturday June 28th. Come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough.

See you at the finish line!

 

 

 

 

 

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Written by Pro Team member Christopher Rutz

This is it.

It is what Spartan’s across the US have been waiting for all year long, the first Beast of 2014. This means an opportunity to finally earn that 2014 Trifecta and get the green ‘piece of the pie’.  Spartan Race will return to Monterey, California this weekend at Toro Park for it second year. Look for new obstacles, like the Monkey Net, and challenges like a couple of Rope Climbs, as if the terrain were not challenging enough.

The course starts and ends on a beautiful lawn in the midst of Monterey’s inland wine country. Once out of the gate, however, you are almost immediately met by some of the nastiest, steepest hills we have seen-3,500ft elevation gain and loss. Over the course of 13 miles you will wind your way through dense forest and wide open plateaus, gnarly single track and large fire roads, ponds and creeks.  The trails are all made of hard packed clay, which can be a dream when dry, but a nightmare when wet. No rain is in the forecast, but who knows; maybe the Spartan gods will wet the trails. Look for an early morning temperature of 50 warming to the low 80s as the later waves kick off. There is plenty of sun in the forecast.

Many of our best racers will be at the Tri-State Sprint on the East Coast this same weekend, but that does not mean the competition in the Elite Heat will not be fierce. Expected to come from the Pro Team are some of our Top Masters racers, Jenny Tobin from Boise, ID and Christopher Rutz from Scottsdale, AZ. Also slated to appear is UK Tough Guy, James Appleton.

If you are a Spartan in California you are likely aware of the Weeple Army. Back in 2012 the Weeple Army had the largest team at any Spartan Race, Malibu. The army has continued to grow in size and geography. In Monterey there will be a group of Weeples, “Weeples Overcoming Challenges”. This team combined with the team of Amanda Sullivan, Steffen “Cookie” Cook , Misty Diaz, and Matt Pevoto will be completing the course with some Wounded Warriors in the shape of Eddy Lychik and Earl Granville. Spartan Pro, Alexander Nicholas will crew/help along the course. Rumor has it that Joe DeSena will also be making an appearance. If you see him at the venue he will want to see your Spartan Up book. If you do not have it, the penalty will be 30 burpees.

Rest well Spartans and come prepared for glory!

Sign up here for your next Spartan Race and we’ll see you at the finish line!

 

 

 

 

 

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Monterrey Beast – Tougher than you

by Spartan News Desk

 You measure yourself by the level of challenges you’ve faced. Run a local 5k? Maybe for a quick warm up before you get serious about your training. Complete a 10k? If there isn’t anything more intense, but maybe you can make do with the added weight of a vest. Weekend events are reserved for the events you take on with your core group of friends. The maniacs you met doing an overnight relay, some crazy boot camp on the beach, or some “tough” mud run. Each time you complete one of these you can’t help but think to yourself “You my friend, are an absolute Beast”. But are you, are you really? One way to prove it, to show yourself and the rest of the world you are truly the Beast you think you are. Get yourself to Monterrey and tackle the Spartan Beast.

We know you have done other events and think you have nothing left to prove. We also know that people who say that are often scared of that one last true test. In this case the Monterrey Spartan Beast is that last test. We understand it’s a little intimidating, its supposed to be that way, if it wasn’t we wouldn’t call it the Beast.

Coming in at 12+ miles and over 25 obstacles taking you through the hills of Monterrey we turn a picturesque landscape into a brutal expanse of a course. It will take you physically and mentally to places you have yet to go to before. This course will test your limits; it will redefine your idea of endurance and obstacle racing.

Yes, this is going to hurt. You’re welcome.

So lets just accept the fact that you are a little nervous about tackling the Monterrey Beast. Are you worried that your fitness level is going to be exposed as not being at the level you originally thought? Is it the idea that you might actually earn yourself the dreaded DNF (did not finish)? Could it be that there is a timing element to this event you haven’t come across before? After all at the Reebok Spartan Beast in Monterrey we will hold you accountable to missing obstacles. Each one you miss will cost you 30 burpees. Spartan fully expects you to earn your medal. We view them as our shields, forged on the fields of battle.

This isn’t a headband or a fuzzy helmet. You can’t coast through our event and the Beast is no joke. You can run this event with friends but there will be no relay element. You are expected to finish this race along with them, side by side. So now you have to ask yourself how tough you really are. You’ve done some events that have tested you, maybe left you feeling tired; the Beat is the ultimate test. You best this and you have bragging rights for the rest of your life. Once you cross that finish line you will know a whole new depth to yourself, your strength, you will see just how far down you can reach in order to get it done during one of the toughest events you’ve ever faced.

So what are you waiting for? Step up, sign up, and see if all those other events you have done have given you what you need to be Spartan strong. Answer for yourself…

…Are you Unbreakable?

Sign up today at Spartanrace.com for the Monterrey Beast June 7th, 2014.

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