by Leslie St. Louis, Elite Spartan Athlete

The Colorado Military Sprint is coming to Fort Carson Army Base May 4th and 5th and expect a race like no other! It has a unique finisher medal and shirt, as well as its own rules and rankings. If last year’s nearly five-mile-length inaugural event is any indication, it will be longer than an average Sprint and obstacle-heavy, including Spartan favorites, such as the spear throw, rope climb, monkey bars and traverse wall, as well as military-themed obstacles, such as The Weaver, barbed wire crawl with training guns and heavy rock carry with backpacks. Of course, expect the unexpected too, as there are sure to be plenty of new surprises from a collaboration of efforts from Spartan organizers and 4th Infantry and Specials Forces units!

All the top three women from last year’s Saturday Military Sprint are coming back again, including:

* 1st place finisher and Spartan Athlete April Luu, who has been on a winning streak this season and is currently second in Spartan Points overall right now, only six points behind Hobie Call

* 2nd place finisher Taryn Haas, who just raced in the Las Vegas Super, coming in 15th, but completing the loop THREE times for “training.”

* 3rd place finisher and Spartan Athlete Leslie St. Louis (that’s me). I came in second for 2012 Spartan Points and in the 2013 SoCal Super and will be racing for the first time after recovering from a foot injury.

Not to mention, two of the top three women from last year’s Sunday race will be returning, including Spartan Athlete Corinne Kohlen, who took 1st last year and has already raced eight events this season, and Spartan veteran Sue Luck, who took 3rd last year and comes to Colorado having raced nine events this 2013 season.

Other women to watch are Spartan Athlete Andi Hardy, who made a strong showing in her first event post injury at the Indiana Sprint last weekend and Tonya Graham Stogsdill, who took 3rd in Indiana.

Look forward to an exciting match-up on the men’s side, too. Some of the Spartan veterans making a return appearance to Colorado include Joseph Kauder, Chris Obertlik, Chase Stewart and Spartan Athlete Shawn Feiock, who took 7th for 2012 points and has already made the podium twice in 2013.

Although these men will have familiarity of the location, each event is different and they will have tough competition from Spartan-sponsored racers Miguel Guillermo Medina and Elliott Megquier, who has made the podium eight out of 15 races this 2013 season, as well as Brian Hoover, LeEarl Rugland, Rob Michaud, Eric Hansen, Evan Williams, Joey Patrolia and Brad Fredricks.

Just like the obstacles though, there is always the possibility of a surprise. Ultra Racer Tyler Tomasello and Professional Xterra Triathlete Cody Waite are just two of the athletes racing Saturday who may fare well in their first ever obstacle event.

Finally, amid the army base setting there will be awesome stories of personal and group triumph, including the Project Sanctuary Team that will be racing at 10:30 on Saturday and include a combination of active military members and veterans as well.

There are more than 7000 participants expected at this unique and sure-to-be epic event. Are you one of them? If not, sign up or start planning now to head west next year!

Connect with Colorado racers and read more about what to expect at the Military Sprint as well profiles on many of these athletes on the website and facebook page, Colorado Obstacle Racers. https://www.facebook.com/ColoradoObstacleRacersPage#!/ColoradoObstacleRacersPage

Or http://www.coloradoobstacleracers.com/

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We sat down with Mitch H., Navy Federal Credit Union User Experience and Design Manager and his daughter Lucy, 1st grade student to get the inside scoop on how they stumbled upon the obstacle course style race and their training tips.

Navy Federal: What got you interested in running the Spartan Race?
Mitch: The end of 2011 started my fascination with obstacle course racing, and the Spartan race series easily bubbled to the top of my list. I admire the comraderie and motivation you find in the Spartan community and from the people you run along side. They also have kids races, which lead me to the idea of having my daughter, Lucy, partake in a race too.
Lucy: I like mud!!

Navy Federal: How many Spartan Races have you both run?
Mitch: My first Spartan race, and only one I have completed thus far in my racing endeavors, was the 10.5 mile Mid-Atlantic Super in Virginia. The course was littered with what felt like over 50 horse jumps on top of the typical 20+ obstacles of a normal Super. I have already signed up to run this event again this year. My goal is to complete the trifecta, which includes running a Sprint, Super and Beast in one calendar year
Lucy: Just one, I was 6 then.

Navy Federal: How far out from a race do you start training?
Mitch: Training for these types of races becomes more of a lifestyle. The races challenge you both physically and mentally. Keeping yourself motivated and in relatively good shape is hard to do on a moment’s notice, so adapting your training to your normal routine is the best approach.
Training doesn’t always mean hours in the gym, it can be as simple as staying active as much as possible. I did make an effort to better condition myself for the challenge of the Super Spartan due to the longer distance and more physically challenging obstacles.
Lucy: I sometimes train, but I play all the time. Playing on the playground really helps me get ready for the race.

Navy Federal: What are your training tips for those new to the obstacle course style race?
Mitch: After competing in 12 races, I have found the most important thing to have in your training routine is cardio. Endurance easily will outweigh strength in the longer races. Many obstacles are about moving your own body, so strength is important, but being able to complete the races require endurance.
My personal tip is to have a wonderful significant other, like mine, who will keep you motivated and enjoy training and racing together.
Navy Federal: awwwwww
Lucy: You have to train and be strong. Don’t give up, you’ll miss out on the fun and mud if you give up!

Navy Federal: What’s been the hardest obstacle during a race?
Mitch: For me the hardest obstacle has been the rope climb. The Spartan rope climb (at the final obstacle) was the first obstacle I was unable to complete. After 10.5 miles of running and obstacles I had very little strength left and was unable to make the rope climb. It has become my goal to accomplish in my next Super Spartan this year.
Lucy: The mud pit. But it was also my favorite.

Navy Federal: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve done to prepare for a race?
Mitch: I think many would consider doing these races to be weird on its own. Grown adults romping around in mud and pushing our bodies to the limits even more than we did as kids, with no fear of death. I don’t partake in any ritual aside from trying to get sleep the night before. Oddly enough that’s weird for me.
Lucy: I practice wrestling to stay strong. My dad said that’s a good answer. I don’t think it’s that weird to practice wrestling though.

So, there you have it! Hopefully Mitch and Lucy have helped give you some ideas on training for race day.

As a proud sponsor for Spartan Race this year we look forward to seeing you out on the course!  Sign up TODAY!

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by Chris Rutz, Elite Spartan Racer

Hobie Call

This weekend, Reebok Spartan Race arrives in the Arizona desert. The 2013 Arizona Spartan Sprint moves to a new venue that captures the beauty of the Sonoran Desert and ramps up the difficulty level of the course. McDowell Mountain Regional Park is located northeast of Phoenix and provides a rolling terrain with miles of tight single track for the elite racers to challenge one another.

This is the first Spartan Sprint distance race since the Reebok/Spartan Race partnership was announced in late January in New York City.  Two weeks ago the SoCal Super went off at Vail Creek Lodge in Temecula, CA.

Many of the top athletes from the 2012 Season will be racing in Arizona this weekend for their share of the $7,500 cash purse generously provided by our partners at Navy Federal Credit Union for the Saturday Elite wave. We asked a few of them how they feel the Navy Federal Credit Union prize money impacts the sport of Obstacle Course Racing?

Hobie Call, resident Spartan elite racer  said, “…I want NFCU to know that I truly appreciate their sponsorship. Every little bit helps, and this year is looking even better than last.” and “As cool as the helmets and swords are, elite athletes follow the money. End of story.” 

Female elite racer Corinne Kohlen noted how it’s drawing new talent to the field, “I think the money is great. It is luring in exceptional athletes and runners such as TyAnn Clark (and many others) who may not have been as interested in this kind of sport before.”  

That sentiment was also noted by elite female Andi Hardy when she was quoted as saying, “Money brings more elite competition.” 

Jenny Tobin

Last year’s female point’s winner Jenny Tobin also had something to say about the infusion of cash prizes, “I’m all about making money for my exercise habit, I’d still do it but it is nice to make a little money and see different parts of the country.” 

The field is ripe with talent.  Male elites Hobie Call and Hunter McIntyre, first and third respectfully in the SoCal Super are scheduled to be at the race. In addition, look for the 2013 debut of Christopher Rutz, Elliott Megquier and Nick Maynard. Christopher and Nick, along with Arizona native Chase Stewart have the home trail advantage and will be ready to tear up their desert. Beyond the Arizonans, watch out for 2012 Top 10 Spartan Racers Dallas Bessette and Shawn Feoick.

On the women’s side, SoCal winner TyAnn Clark, multiple 2012 Spartan race winner Rose-Marie Jarry and winner of the 2012 Texas Sprint Ella Kociuba are schedule to race. Those three alone will make the race for the podium very interesting. By no means do they have a lock on the top three places. Expect to see some of the top names in the sport including Juliana Sproles, Ang Reynolds, Andi Hardy, Corinne Kohlen, Sue Luck and Shaun Provost literally give them a run for their money. As usual, the women’s race will be exciting to watch.

Get out to the Arizona Spartan Sprint this weekend and watch these athletes smoke through the course. After the finish, they would welcome the opportunity to share their passion for obstacle course racing (OCR) with you in the festival area. 

2013 has Spartan stepping up the game considerable.  With prize money, Reebok, and an incredible crop of top racers, it is shaping up to be another exciting weekend of obstacle course racing.   See you at the races! 

Not registered yet?  What are you waiting for?  Join the expected 500,000 Spartans that will cross one of our finish lines this year.  Find an event near you HERE

 

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by Chris Rutz, Elite Spartan Racer

This weekend, Reebok Spartan Race kicks off the 2013 calendar year with the Super Spartan SoCal in Temecula.

This is the first race since the Reebok/Spartan Race partnership was announced last week in New York City.

Many of the top athletes from the 2012 Season will be racing in Temecula this weekend for their share of the $7,500 cash purse generously provided by our partners at Navy Federal Credit Union for the Saturday Elite wave. 

Cody Moat, 2012 Men’s Points Champion

These Top 10 Athletes from the 2012 Season are scheduled to appear
this weekend:

Men:                                      Women:

Cody Moat                                Jenny Tobin

Hobie Call                                 Leslie St Louis

Christopher Rutz                       Margaret Schlachter

Elliott Megquier                         Corinne Kohlen

Shawn Feiock                           Juliana Sproles

Dallas Bassette                         Leyla Ester Di Cori

In addition to these top performers from 2012, watch out for Hunter McIntyre, who has already made a name for himself at the NorCal Beast and the Malibu Sprint, with podium finishes at each.

On the women’s side, Midwest Super champion and Ultra Beast and Beast second place finisher Amelia Boone may also make an appearance. With prize money, Reebok, and the great group of top racers, it is shaping up to be an exciting weekend of obstacle course racing. 

Many of the top athletes are excited about the agreement between Reebok and Spartan Race. We asked a few of them what they think it means for the future of the sport of Obstacle Racing.

Some quotes on their initial reactions to the news: 

Spartan emerging elite male Hunter McIntyre noted, “It will bring greater attention to the sport, coupled with stronger competition.”

On the Spartan female side top, ten athlete Leyla Di Cori remarked, “I think this is a great opportunity to give more credibility to obstacle racing as a sport.” 

Jenny Tobin, 2012 Female Points Champion

Spartan champion Hobie Call, who was onsite in New York City last week for the ground-breaking announcement, was quoted as saying, “It will be nice to have a large company come out with some obstacle racing specific clothing/shoes, and help sponsor athletes, which will help get serious athletes to more races.”

Leslie St. Louis, Spartan female elite athlete commented, “…maybe I am not thinking big enough yet, but as far as Spartan specifically, I foresee more momentum for CrossFit inspired events and obstacles, such as the WODstock event in Temecula and the obstacles at Citi Field.”

To find out more about what these and other athletes are thinking, get out to the SoCal Spartan this weekend and ask them. They would welcome the opportunity to share their passion for obstacle course racing with you.

See you at the races!  

Not registered yet?  What are you waiting for?  Join the expected 500,000 Spartans that will cross one of our finish lines this year.  

Click HERE to find an event near you. 

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by Carrie Adams

Not that you need 500,000 reasons to love Spartan Races  but they sure help!  In 2012, one of our most popular blog posts outlined our cash and prizes on the year.  Far and away, Spartan was the leader in the Obstacle Racing pack with our payouts for Champions and competitors.

Spartan Race was living large in 2012.  So large, we finally quantified it! Spartan Race HQ was proud to have given away $500,000 in cash and prizes!   Born out of the Death Race and growing rapidly since 2010 Spartan has continually worked hard to make our mark in the growing sport of Obstacle Racing.  With 34 global events in the season of 2012, and recognized as Outside Magazine’s “Best Obstacle Race” for the same year, Spartan Race, is building the sport of obstacle racing as the competition for the complete athlete – fast, strong, agile, with endless endurance, and strong of mind, body and character.  There is no doubt that Spartan is cutting edge with the world’s first and only global ranking system, an escalating race series from 5K to the first ever marathon(plus) distance race with the introduction of the Ultra Beast we worked hard to reward our Spartan community – handsomely!

When the season ended, the leader board had Cody Moat, who also won the  Trail National Marathon in Moab, UT on November 3rd, 2012, solidifying his position as an all-around athlete.  It came down to a fraction of points with the final tally for the men, Moat beating resident Spartan Champion Hobie Call by an extremely narrow margin.  On the women’s side, positioned at the top spot on the was former professional X-Terra athlete Jenny Tobin, with a first place point’s finish.  With 2013 already in full swing, check out the current points standings HERE.  To read the full details on the cash and prizes given away in 2012, click on the link HERE. 

We’ll be giving you even more reasons in 2013!  Our good friends at Navy Federal Credit Union have graciously agreed to sponsor the prize money at six Spartan Events in 2013.  The breakdown will be:

$2,000 1st Place

$1,000 2nd Place

$750 3rd Place

These prizes will be awarded in Arizona on February 9th, Las Vegas on April 6th, Burnet, Texas May 18, Washington, August 3rd, and the Mid-Atlantic August 24th.

More cash and prize updates coming soon!  You could win BIG with Spartan Race.  Don’t wait.  Register today.

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by Jason Rita

CODY MOAT IS THE REAL DEAL:  If anyone had any doubts at all about Cody Moat being an absolute Spartan assassin, an obstacle course killer, a mud race monster, his performance at the Spartan South Carolina Beast on Saturday not only laid those doubts to rest, it said last rites over them, sent them condolences and then lit them aflame in an effigy of efficiency, endurance and excellence.

The only asterisk that could cloud Cody’s dominance was the absence from the start line of a certain Mr. Hobie Call, the winningest Spartan obstacle racer over the last 2 years.  Billed as the biggest showdown since Mohammad Ali and Joe Frazier’s “Thrilla in Manila,” the tiebreaker race in SC between the two Spartan heavyweights (combined weight of Hobie and Cody is the same as one boxing heavyweight) did not materialize as disappointed fans learned that Hobie was forced to scratch on the morning of the race due to the same hamstring injury which had derailed his quest to win back-to-back Spartan Championships three weeks ago.  Hamstrung by his hamstring in the late stages of the Killington Beast, Hobie had to settle for 2nd place that day behind Cody whom he had beaten at the Utah Beast race in June.  Now Hobie’s complete 2012 campaign lies in doubt as it is open question whether he will be ready to mount a comeback and challenge Cody in the two remaining Beast races, Sacramento and Texas, to keep at or near the top of the Spartan Point Series competition.

Racers arrived on a chilly Saturday morning happy to find a course devoid of dramatic ski mountains but if they felt relief or any sense of security, then they didn’t know Spartan Race Director Mike Morris and Course Designer Rusell Cohen who took full advantage of Carolina Adventure World’s technical terrain to create a course full of intense inclines and boggy bushwacks. With many racers still recovering from the Killington Beast beat-down three weeks ago, it was hard going from the start.

Despite the tough course, Cody outclassed a strong field of Spartans including Brakken Kraker, Junyong Pak, LeEarl Rugland, Chris Rutz and Alec Blenis, leading from the start and finishing in 1:48, more than 10 minutes ahead of Brakken, taking home the first prize of $1,500 generously offered by sponsor Navy Federal Credit Union. Like Cody, Brakken used his strong running background as a collegiate athlete to place 2nd and win $750 thanks to NFCU.  The battle for the third podium spot provided one of the closest Spartan race finishes in memory, as Alec Blenis edged out Junyong Pak by a mere 16 seconds.  Junyong had held a lead over Alec and LeEarl Rugland for the whole race, and only had to hit his spearthrow to claim third place.  But when his spear attempt sailed just wide, it was 30 burpees, and Alec caught up to him at Burpee number 27.  They raced onto the slick wall where Alec couldn’t find traction and it looked like Junyong might reclaim the lead, but finally Alec managed to get up and over the top of the slippery wall and clear the Gladiator pummeling to exact a small measure of revenge and redemption after his Vermont debacle, as well as pocket $250.

Cody will next line up at the USA Trail Championship race in Moab, Utah, on November 3rd, and every Spartan wishes him every success there.  AROO AROO AROO

WHO SAYS EXPERIENCE MATTERS?  Not Hannah Orders, the 22 year old Appalachian State collegiate cross-country runner who came in to the South Carolina with no prior Spartan races on her resume.  “It was my first Spartan Race, and now I’m addicted.”  Winning does have that ability to flood the serotonin pathways, but fortunately for Hannah, being addicted to Spartan Races is a healthy type of addiction, and we approve, although the rest of the competitive Spartan women might not.  Team Flag Nor Fail’s Ella Kociuba had her sights set on challenging for first place as both Claude Godbout and Amelia Boone, the 1st and 2nd place Vermont Champions, were absent.  While she could never get close to Hannah’s superior running pedigree, Ella’s strong 2nd place finish ahead of 3rd place Melinda Branch now has her well placed to challenge for the 2012 Points Crown with only two more Beast races left on the 2012 season.  The top three women also took home cash prizes courtesy of Navy Federal Credit Union of $1,500, $750 and $250 respectively, as well as Spartan museum helmets and swords provided by Atlanta Cutlery, also presented to the top three male finishers.  Spartan thanks the continued support of NFCU and Atlanta Cutlery to make the awards possible for the elite wave winners.

 

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