by Johnny Waite, Spartan Death Race finisher

Death Race 2013: The Year of the Gambler. Already the rumors are rampant and the speculation is swirling.

How long dare they make it? The last four years have seen it swell from 12 hours to 28 to 45 to 70 – Yes, that is SEVENTY HOURS, without rest! There is a reason why we see less than 10% finish this grueling challenge for survival in the haunting mountains of Pittsfield, VT.

Like every year before, the rumors are running rampant. There is talk of hard cut-offs for time hacks, disrupting many racers strategy of “slow and steady” and of teams being broken up and certain challenges planned to make even the toughest competitor fail. Of course, Joe De Sena and Andy Weinberg Death Race Directors are not talking, except when they are mocking participants and making sure the race mystery and intrigue stresses out the field and increases the chance of failure.

“We’ve gotten really good at getting under people’s skin,” boasted Joe. “We like to study them and figure out what is going to break them.”

Olof Dallner

More people are expected to start this year’s Death Race than ever before but, as usual, only a handful will ever finish.

Some names to watch are; Olof Dallner (defending Champion who also has 2 straight Winter Death Race wins and is looking to add his second straight Summer title for four in a Row and a claim to “best ever Death Racer”), Junyong Pak who finished a strong second last year and is always a threat, and the trio of Don Schwarz, Ken Lubin and PJ Rakoski who were leading last year at 50+ hours when they decided to pack it in (Don, in particular, has been training like a mad man looking to settle a score).

On the women’s side; Amelia Boone is always a threat and is expected to fare well in the mental and physical challenges on tap for the competitors. Nele Schulze came out of nowhere to win this year’s Winter Death Race and is looking to be a woman for all seasons, and Morgan McKay went from unknown to 2012 finisher and now to a woman on a mission for the top spot.

No one, veteran or rookie, knows what to expect or what to prepare for, except pain, exhaustion and utter frustration. That is what makes the Death Race so special. And so brutal. And it all gets underway June 21, 2013 in Pittsfield, Vermont.

Do you have what it takes?  Read more about the Death Race HERE.

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by Carrie Adams

In 2012, the Death Race was themed, “The Year of Betrayal.”  All told, 344 would enter the race and over 82% would DNF (Did Not Finish).  The final finisher would finish in just over 67 hours.  Where 2011 saw a beginning to the race with five hours of lifting stones, 2012 began with an ultra marathon in teams carrying a heavy weight.  Denied their packs with food, water, and other precious self-support supplies, it was arguably the most grueling test to date.

Fans online remained glued to the Facebook updates as the names of those who would not finish the race piled up as the hours marched onward.  Some of our most popular posts on the year came from this remarkable challenge unlike any other on the planet.  No known start or finish time, no clue what will be asked by Race Directors Andy and Joe, it’s something you just hope to survive.

Here are the official 2012 Death Race Results, with winner Olof Dallner putting on an impressive performance (all while rocking his green sunglasses).  In addition to overall results we featured the women of the 2012 Death Race.  Notably, Amelia Boone, who finished third in the Winter version of the event, finished in second place and is planning a return in 2013.  Click HERE for more on the Women of the Death Race.

Finally, Spartan friend and Obstacle Racing Magazine editor Matt B. Davis was onsite and lent his perspective on the event from the ground level.  Awake and reporting for much of the 67 hours, his candid report gives insight into what it is like to bear witness to such a physical, mental, and emotional undertaking for the participants.  His report began with, “Betrayal. I was on site at Amee Farm less than 15 minutes when I was confronted with it directly.  I walked up to Race Organizer Andy Weinberg asking him if he had seen Todd Sedlak. I came to the Death Race to crew for my pal, Todd and I know Andy has a sweet spot in his heart for Sgt. Sedlak. Instead of being met with a smile, Andy quickly dismissed me saying, “Todd’s not here, he is out of this year’s race. If he’s not here by now, he will never catch up and finish on time”.  He then quickly walked away.  I was baffled. I had no idea at the time, but I had walked squarely into the game that was the 2012 Death Race.”

To read his full recap, click HERE.

For those of you foolish enough to want to participate, there is still room in 2013, themed, “Gambler.”  You can take your chance, roll the dice, and hope to cheat Death.  Go to www.youmaydie.com to get signed up.

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