Nestled in the bossom of the Mountain Creek Waterpark, set in the midst of 167 acres of glorious woodland trails, is the setting for the New Jersey Super Spartan.

Hopefully your training will have included gnarly terrain on trails that will take in uneven ground, and you can appreciate that delightful way in which sunlight will shine a beam between the leaves and hit you just when you don’t expect it.

Last year provided us with one of the most intense finishes to date, when David Magida edged out Alec Blenis by a mere 12 seconds over the unforgiving course. Alec quickly coming back for revenge and taking the top spot the following day with Elliott Megquir and Brain Hoover claiming the remaining podium spots. Could this year be closer? Elise Fugowski made sure her name was heard by winning the lady’s Saturday title, with the ever-dangerous Debbie Moreau winning on Sunday. With training regimes more demanding and with more intensity than ever, and more and more competition making their own elbow room, it looks set to be another exciting race.

Naturally, it wouldn’t be the same without a mountain to climb, so you’ll be pleased to hear that Mountain Creek has an elevation of 1,480ft. That’s more than ample to get those legs roasting nicely. Make sure the muscle memory is finely tuned for that one. It’s also good to know that there isn’t just one mountain waiting for you. All four peaks are as welcoming as the one before, but the question is, “how many will there be on the course?” That will be something you’ll find out on the day, of course. You didn’t actually think we were going to tell you, did you?

Getting to the venue is in itself very easy.

From Central NJ:
Take the Garden State Parkway to exit 153 to Rt. 3 West.
Take Rt. 46 West to Rt. 23 North.
Exit on the right on Rt. 515 North to Rt. 94 South to Mountain Creek.

From NYC: 
Take the Lincoln Tunnel to Rt. 3 West to Rt. 46 West.
Take Rt. 23 North from Rt. 46 West.
Exit on the right on Rt. 515 North to Rt. 94 South to Mountain Creek.

From Philadelphia:
Take the NJ Turnpike to Exit 10 for Rt. 287
North.Take Rt. 23 North up to Rt. 515 North.
From Rt. 515, take Rt. 94 South to Mountain Creek.

From Long Island & NYC:
Take the George Washington Bridge to Rt. 80 West.
Merge onto Rt. 23 North.
Take Rt. 515 North to Rt. 94 South to Mountain Creek.

For those wishing to rest their bones who aren’t local to the area, there are two hotels (Alpine Haus and Quality Inn near Mountain Creek in Vernon) which are conveniently situated on the doorstep of the venue. If those locations don’t suit your fancy, thankfully there are a range of other places to stay with only minimal driving or transportation to consider. Expedia lists over 60 places within easy reach of the venue, so there will be plenty of choice for the traveler.

One place of note is the Crystal Golf Resort. Not just for the accommodation and experience, but also noteworthy is their decadent spa, specifically the wonderful  massages that are available. Tired muscles after a Spartan Race will always appreciate the soreness rubbed away, so this is always an option worth considering. Check out the resort website right here and you’ll see the vast array of services they offer.

If you still haven’t had your fill of excitement, and you’re some kind of adrenalin-crazed super-human, then Zoom Ziplines may be the answer to your excess energy! With four ziplines ranging from 200ft to 1,500ft, you’ll not only get great panoramic views, but some amazing selfies for your Instagram account.

Of course, away from the hurly-burly, there’s also something for the more relaxed soul. There’s the Tunis-Ellicks Historic House & Museum which is guaranteed to quench even the fiercest thirst for knowledge. The circa 1800 Tunis-Ellicks House, building, historic gardens, and museum collection welcomes visitors searching to gain a sense of daily life in a representative New Jersey farming community. The house is encircled by an authentic re-creation of an 1800 parlor garden, and contains more than 120 varieties of herbs and perennials. Just be sure to call the number on the web page prior to your visit.

Despite the small localized area, there are still a wide range of places to dine. Italian, Chinese, BBQ, or even good old fashioned American style, a selection put together by Tripadvisor right here will happily point you in the right direction for something delicious to eat.

If driving is not your thing, say for example, you’d like a cocktail or beer and would prefer to let a taxi take care of you, the Yellow Pages lists several companies serving the Vernon area. Remember, Spartans don’t drink and drive, so let someone else take the wheel.

And when it comes to somewhere to drink and be merry, Yelp is always a useful asset in making sure you find a place that suits your purposes, and perhaps even the style of surroundings that you’d prefer while relaxing with a drink.

Naturally, driving oneself can sometimes be a little quicker, so if you’d like to take care of yourself in that regard, plus perhaps exploring the local area, Roadside America has a page for you that lists some places that can help you in hiring a vehicle.

Vernon has its own website which offers an overview of the area by listing local attractions, things to see and do, as well as places to stay, eat and drink should other sites have mistakenly missed them. In such a beautiful area of the country, it would always be a good idea to drink in the surroundings, and not just see the metaphorical roses, but smell them too.

Being this close to New York may mean that some of you might wish to make the short 60 mile journey to The Big Apple to check that visit off the bucket list. If you need a heads-up of things to do or places to see, Spartan Race has already compiled a quick overview of the city right here, so be sure to check that out and we’ll see you at the finish line.

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by Carrie Adams

I received an email from Jen Rosant, the team captain of Gaspari’s Team Braveheart, and I wanted to share it with the Spartan Race community for a few reasons.  First, I know Jen personally and she is one of the most remarkable women I’ve ever met.  A survivor in every sense of the word, a motivator of the masses, and a living embodiment of the best of what Spartan is about.  Not new to Spartan Races, Jen has brought a team with her, her beloved Bravehearts, in bigger and bigger droves race to race.  When the weather was falling apart in New Jersey, when the hills were breaking the toughest of Spartan competitors, and when the miles weighed long and hard on the competitors last weekend, Jen was still powering forward, still motivating, still inspiring her team, many of whom were racing for the first time that day.

Jen Rosant

Jen Rosant, team leader of the Bravehearts is a 35 year old from Cliffwood Beach, NJ was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis ten years ago while in college and received the devastating news that her colon was in danger of rupturing or she would develop cancer that would ultimately kill her.  She suffered from kidney stones, received blood transfusions and had major surgery that showed she had developed PSC or Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis.  She had a colostomy bag and a promise of a liver transplant for over three months until they could finally reverse the process.  She took painstaking visits to the hematologist for over two years every week spending hours in a chair getting IVs of chemotherapy and injections for cancer-related anemia. She ultimately faced a new diagnosis of Chrohn’s disease and despite the trauma, she’s been lucky enough to NOT need a liver transplant.

Jen, a member of Team Gaspari alongside her Bravehearts, has been taking Gaspari Nutrition products herself and has never felt better or been in better shape.  She’s able to do upwards of 35 events in one year – that’s pretty impressive for someone who weighed in at 100 pounds a few short years ago.  It’s just one of the many reasons why we love our partnership with Gaspari Nutrition.

They conquered the Spartan Race course that day, led by Jen, committed to one another and committed to finishing the course they’d been training for and they found their Spartan finish line.  We honor them, their accomplishment on race day, their dedication to training and to one another and we thank them for being an integral part of the fabric that makes up the tapestry of our Spartan community.

Here is her email:

Hello Carrie.

I cannot even begin to explain the impact that Spartan Race has created for Team Braveheart.  I have been contacted by each individual. They laughed, they cried, they shared their stories of triumph.  More importantly, we changed their lives.  They are making new goals, registering for more Spartans and they are begging me for more workouts in my Braveyard. The energy is high, the smiles are large and right now Team Braveheart feels like they can accomplish anything. Really, your team put together a challenge I couldn’t even imagine. Even with a few handfuls of events under my belt, this was one of the most difficult challenges to date. Yes, pinch me, I’m living a dream. I feel fantastic and so does my team. It’s contagious. Our posts, pictures and videos have not only inspired all of us but the people around us are ready to make changes too. Today, 4 people asked me about Spartan Race.  The words on the street, the fire is in their eyes, people are ready, and they are ready for real results and happiness.  The amount of letters, calls and texts are unbelievable.  I promise you this, you will see Team Braveheart again, you will see them at many of your events, but next year’s Tri-State you better get us a bigger tent, I plan on bringing 100+ Bravehearts with a larger drive than this year.  “If you don’t believe us, try and beat us” 

Jen Rosant.  

Jen’s Motivational Speech

Read Jen’s post about their experience HERE: Team Braveheart comes LOUD.

 

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