by Carrie Adams

Spartan Race is no stranger to Guiness Book World Records.  Some of our founders, including Noel Hanna have a few on their walls.  On Veteran’s Day in 2012 a very special record was broken by another familiar Spartan face, well, gas mask.  Introduced to Sparta in Leesburg, VA female Team X-T.R.E.M.E. athlete, call sign “Justice” was the record breaker!  A member of Team X since January 2012, she’s participated in two of our Spartan events and recently became a world record holder when she was the first female to complete a marathon’s full 26.2 miles in a gas mask.  Completed as a Team X event, it was done in honor of all Wounded Veterans and was an accomplishment not lost on the Marine, who when masked is referred to simply as “Justice.”

Justice, whose real name will be withheld out of respect for the anonymity of the team and the commitment to their focus on their wounded comrades, has been a member of Team X since January when she went through the INDOC process.  She was asked to join after 48 grueling hours of physical and psychological testing.  The INDOC testing phase was the third and final stage of Team X-T.R.E.M.E.’s intense indoctrination process.  The first step Justice underwent was the submission of a two minute video.  Upon acceptance of the initial video submission there is an invitation to join the athlete community to show a candidate’s dedication to the organization by raising money and awareness.  If proven in the community, the candidates are invited to participate in the Richmond, VA 48 hour test.  The most recent INDOC with seven candidates actually resulted in no new team member invitations, a nod to the difficulty and exclusivity of the process.

Justice not only succeeded, she excelled, and has been a remarkable addition to the team.  For her first Team X event and weighing in at just over 120 pounds she carried 45% of her body weight for 26.2 miles through the New Mexico high desert while wearing a gas mask at the 2012 Bataan Death March.  At the Spartan Race in Leesburg she carried almost 90% of her body weight with wounded warrior athlete USMC Cpl. Todd Love on her back throughout the course rotating with the rest of the male-based team every half mile.  Not once did she miss her turn to carry the weight, not once did she falter or complain.

She repeated that again the Carolina’s and will be in attendance of many more Spartan events in the 2013 season.  We look forward to her return and congratulate her on her incredible record-breaking accomplishment!

Want to join her?  Sign up for one of our many events in 2013, it looks like we’re going to have nearly 60 worldwide by the time the year is over.  Join us!

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by Carrie Adams

Noel-HannaOn a Monday morning, most people are settling into work behind a desk, looking forward to weekend plans and just trying to make it through the day. Noel Hanna, 44, isn’t most people. I received this email from him this one Monday morning last year:

“At present I am sitting at Everest Base camp in Tibet with 4 clients who are hoping to reach the summit. I have already been to the summit 3 times from both sides of the mountain.”

He then politely offered me a phone number where I could reach him between “2000hrs until 2300hrs my time, if I needed anything. Noel’s days often begin this way, and that’s nothing new to the Northern Ireland native.

Recently, Noel Hanna had an ambitious goal. He set out to climb the highest peak on all seven continents. On December 22, 2009, at the summit of Mt. Vinson in Antarctica, he reached his goal and earned himself a World Record for the effort. In addition to his Mt. Vinson assent, Noel scaled Everest, Denali, Elbrus, Aconcagua, Kilimanjaro and the Carstensz Pyramid. He’s seen the world from the highest peaks on all seven continents, but he never stayed to admire the view. Instead, he raced down to sea level by running, skiing, biking, or kayaking over hostile terrain at top speeds. In the process of completing his goal, these peaks, he and his wife Lynne Hanna, an accomplished mountaineer in her own right, raised over 130,000 euro for UCF, the Ulster Cancer Foundation – Northern Ireland’s leading local cancer charity. You can read about his amazing, record-breaking journey on his website7Summits2Sea Level.  He attempted and completed another ascent just this past year. 

Noel’s no stranger to danger or challenge. We’re talking about a guy who’s been chased by headhunters in Papua New Guinea and survived being on the anti-terrorist squad of the RUC police force. His experience on the police squad gave Noel the thrill of challenge that he craved.

That craving for adrenaline led him to adventure races like the Eco Challenge along with endurance running like the Bad Water 135 and the marathon Des Sables. It was during that time of adventure and endurance racing when Joe Desena approached Noel about creating a new kind of challenge. “Make it a race that would break all who took part. That was a given,” he recalls.

Alongside eight other ultra-athletes, he helped design Spartan Race.  The race that would challenge anyone who took part, that would push the runners into new territories of endurance and strength, and would set the race apart from any other event on the planet. And Noel should know, since he’s had a pretty lofty view.

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by Carrie Adams

Noel-HannaUpdate:  Noel has reached the summit!  His fourth successful ascent to Everest.  Amazing job, Noel!

Update: I just heard from Lynne Hanna this morning at 9:30 CST that the team has left for summit about 10 hours of climbing now to top.

This morning I received an email from Lynne Hanna regarding Spartan Founding Few’s Noel Hanna’s Everest ascent attempt. “All going well.   Noel will leave high camp tonight 5.30 Irish  time for summit …” she told me.

Today, and in just one day, Tibetan climbers completed the preparation of the ascent route.  The rope is fixed up along the whole route to the summit and the way is open. The weather is also holding up, giving an excellent chance for a successful ascent and the wind is within allowable thresholds.

On the scheduled day for the planned ascent, it should not worsen. The whole team (8 members, 8 Sherpa’s, and also 3 guides) are now in a camp at an altitude of 7,800 meters. On May 20, in the morning, they will go to the assault camp at 8,300 meters. And tomorrow, the whole team should go into the assault of Everest. All are doing well.

Keep Noel and his team in your thoughts on such a momentous and courageous attempt on Everest!

Aroo!

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By Carrie Adams

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Noel Hanna

BREAKING NEWS: Noel Hanna, one of Spartan Race’s Founding Few, will be attempting yet another  summit bid for Everest with the expedition 7 Summits Club.  The attempt is scheduled for the nights of May 20 – 21st.

The Timeline:

The Chinese have promised to finalize the route and fix ropes up to the summit on May 20.  May 18, the entire group of 19 people pulled out of ABC (Advanced Base Camp) to the North Col camp at 7000 meters.  On May 19, it is planned that they reach the camp at 7500 meters. May 20 they will attempt an ascent to the assault camp at altitude of 8300 meters. May 21 they will attempt to climb the summit. Now all members of the expedition are preparing for exit.

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Noel and Lynne Hanna

Noel’s wife Lynn tells me, “Noel called me yesterday Irish time 3pm (10 pm for him ) and said his goodbyes.  Well, we never say ‘goodbye,’ just ‘climb safe.’”

Noel won’t be taking a satellite phone to the summit because he is guiding at least two people.  For communication they will have walkie talkies to stay in contact about weather and other critical factors.

According to Lynn, “If all goes to plan, he will begin at midnight Friday and arrive to the summit around 9 am 21st May.”  She adds, “This is a lucky date as he has summated  Everest twice  before on 21st May and Denali also 21st May.”

Noel will not contact Lynn again until he is safe below the North Col at ABC (Advanced Base Camp.)

We will be updating our blog but you can also check out:

www.7summitsclub.com

www.mounteverestnews.com

www.mounteverest.net

We all wish Noel a safe and successful ascent and look forward to hearing his updates!

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View from the Top: Noel Hanna

by Carrie Adams

On a Thursday morning, most people are settling into work behind a desk, looking forward to weekend plans and just trying to make it through the day. Noel Hanna, 44, isn’t most people. I received this email from him this morning:

“At present I am sitting at Everest Base camp in Tibet with 4 clients who are hoping to reach the summit. I have already been to the summit 3 times from both sides of the mountain.”

He then politely offered me a phone number where I could reach him between “2000hrs until 2300hrs my time if I needed anything. Noel’s days often begin this way, and that’s nothing new to the Northern Ireland native.

Recently, Noel Hanna had an ambitious goal. He set out to climb the highest peak on all seven continents. On December 22, 2009, at the summit of Mt. Vinson in Antarctica, he reached his goal and earned himself a World Record for the effort. In addition to his Mt. Vinson assent, Noel scaled Everest, Denali, Elbrus, Aconcagua, Kilimanjaro and the Carstensz Pyramid. He’s seen the world from the highest peaks on all seven continents, but he never stayed to admire the view. Instead, he raced down to sea level by running, skiing, biking, or kayaking over hostile terrain at top speeds. In the process of completing his goal, these peaks, he and his wife Lynne Hanna, an accomplished mountaineer in her own right, raised over 130,000 euro for UCF, the Ulster Cancer Foundation – Northern Ireland’s leading local cancer charity. You can read about his amazing, record-breaking journey on his website 7Summits2Sea Level.

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