by Chris Rutz, Elite Spartan Athlete

Did you know that Spartan Race was international? 2013 continues the global positioning of the Spartan Race. Last month racing kicked off in Mexico and this month it has moved to Australia. The first in a series of races kicked off in Australia on March 2 with the Melbourne Sprint. Like all Spartan Races, the best talent shows up at the startline to prove their worth on the course. The Elite heat ‘down under’ produced a 1-2 finish by Matt Murphy and Shaun Phelps.

We had a chance to catch up with them to find out a little more about them and their thoughts on Spartan Racing.

Matt is 28 and lives on the Central Coast on NSW. He was a professional triathlete for 4 years in Europe and the US. When asked why he ran the Spartan Race he replied “I love obstacle racing and to me Spartan are at the top of this industry.” His favorite obstacle was rope climb and his least favorite was the spear throw. Like most Spartans, he has goals for the season. He wants to nail the spear throw every time and to be at the finish line in the top 3 for each Spartan race for the season.

He went on to say, “I just love to compete against a bunch of great guys and girls who have the same interest as me and hang out with them after. Having something to train hard for is just so great.”

Shaun is 40 and lives in Kinglake, Victoria, Australia. He played AFL footy for many years, He moved onto gridiron at the age of 21 years, however, was injury prone whilst playing this sport-knee, shoulder, neck. He then moved onto triathlons. Family life took over towards the end of his 20s and he pretty much did nothing for around 10 years. Last 3-4yrs he has gotten back to the gym, running, group fitness, but it has been fairly sporadic and inconsistent. Then about 12 months ago he caught the OCR bug and is now hooked.

He signed up for a Spartan Race because he liked the idea of penalties for in completion of obstacles, “I like the physical challenge Spartan has to offer” He admits he is not as fast as some of the other competitors, but makes up for it at the obstacles. He has been following the US version for a number of years. His favourite obstacle was the cargo net, rope climb, traverse wall, spear throw. His least favourite was 100metre barb wire crawl.

His goals for the season: Have fun, complete as many OCRs as possible, continue to be part of the amazing OCR community, achieve a Spartan trifecta more than once, remain in Australia’s top 20 Elite Obstacle Course racers. Qualify for the Australian Spartan team and be part of the International Spartan Race Championships.

Spartan also just wrapped on a Sydney event this past weekend with nearly 5,000 Aussie’s participating!  Check out some photos from Sydney HERE. 

Looks like we will need to keep an eye on both of these guys both in Australia and at the Championships.  Learn more about our International Races, click HERE. 

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by Geishel Valverde, Miami Race Manager

Hot, Hot, and more Hot

The Reebok Spartan Race was held in beautiful sunny Florida with partly sunny, warm temperature in 82°F at Oleta Park, Florida’s largest urban park.  Located on Biscayne Bay in the busy Miami metropolitan area.  Although it offers a variety of recreational opportunities, the park is best known for miles of off-road bicycling trails, ranging from novice trails to challenging trails for experienced bicyclists. Along the Oleta River, at the north end of the park, a large stand of beautiful mangrove forest preserves native South Florida plants and wildlife. Canoeists and kayakers can paddle the river to explore this amazing natural area.  It also makes for an epic course for Spartan Racers!

Known for our fire jumps, Miami’s Mile 7 presented an unprecedented Spartan challenge in the form of a forest fire!  Ever resourceful, Spartan staff and crew mobilized quickly and worked alongside Dade County officials to safely keep the race going throughout the Saturday heat times and avoid the unexpected flames!

Notable Participants

Pamela , Captain of team The Phalanx was the biggest team bringing in a total of 55 Spartans at this year’s Super Spartan. This is a group of athletes that train together all year round and have built a network via word-of-mouth that started from family and has evolved to co-workers and friends.

The Biggest Loser was another success; Chris Davis ran the whole course alongside Mayra Dumenigo, a diabetic with MS who still attempts to live her life to the fullest.  Dumenigo says, “it was exciting and a real inspiration,” who also said “the best part was the crossing of the river and the ocean.”  She was also very thankful to say she could not have accomplished the Traverse Wall without the help of the team, concerned she might pass out.  Her finish was inspired.

Spartan also wants to make a shout out to Downtown Athletic Club and thank them for inspiring our Spartans to train all year round and find a support group. The Spartan Group X Training Two Day Workshop and Certification was held at this location this month by Jeff Godin, Ph. D., C.S.C.S., C.I.S.S.N. For more information Take the Spartan Fit Test.  Click HERE for more information on Spartan Coaches. 

The Spartan Kid’s Race was adorable, as usual!  Spartan Races are for the whole family and the little ones who competed were incredible and the proceeds for those races benefit the Kid’s Fit Foundation.  

We’d like to thank our volunteers, medical staff, and Dade County for their support in the largest Florida Spartan Race to date!  We couldn’t do it without your help!

Coming Soon

Heading into March, we’ve already had a busy month of racing, but we’re just getting warmed up!  This weekend, we’ll be hosting our inaugural Australian Spartan Sprint race in Melborne March 2nd with another Spartan Sprint in Sydney scheduled for March 16th.  Spartans are international you know!

In the States, we’re staying out East with the upcoming, The Reebok Georgia Sprint, and the Reebok Carolina Sprint but we’ll be returning to Florida more than once in 2014.  We’ll be invading Orlando for a Spartan Sprint in January 11 and our Super Spartan now in April 12 & 13 in Miami, Florida. Where will you find your Spartan finish line? Sign up today.

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