Ryan Fishbein is a fifteen year old junior from Huntington, New York. He attends Half Hollow Hills High School East on Long Island. Ryan’s high school counselor had posted Spartan Race pictures on Facebook in 2012 and Ryan thought this was a cool sport for him to try. Ryan is a long distance track runner. He participates in winter and spring track with his school so his training already consisted of running long distances. Ryan signed up for the Spartan Sprint in Tuxedo, NY for 2013. Ryan watched previous race videos to learn and study the obstacles; he tried to mimic as many obstacles as he could in his training. Although Ryan made up many of his own training workouts he added in a few Spartan WODs here and there.
Tuxedo, NY in June 2013 was Ryan’s first Spartan Race planned. However, on a last minute whim, a friend of his pulled him in to race at Citi field in NYC in April. Tuxedo ended up being Ryan’s second race. But the Spartan Race bug had caught Ryan! Ryan went on to race the Valley Creek Super in New Jersey in early September. Why stop there? Vermont was just a few weeks away and that race would secure a trifecta for Ryan.
Killington, Vermont was no walk in the park for Ryan. He had to work hard for it and he struggled up every incline. Being a runner, Ryan found himself hiking much of the inclines. Ryan almost dropped out around mile seven, like many other racers, he didn’t expect the cold water and cool air temperatures to overtake his body like they did. Ryan also sprained his knee, but he pushed through the misery and pain to earn not only the beastly medal, but also his first trifecta, becoming the youngest Spartan Race participant to complete this feat.
Ryan’s favorite obstacles are the 6-7-8 foot walls. With his 150 pound frame he can leap right up and over. Ryan also enjoys most other obstacles that require some upper body strength. However being just a buck and a half, Ryan’s weakness is the Hercules’ Hoist. That huge block of cement seems to weigh about as much as him. The mile-long sandbag carry during the Beast was another of Ryan’s nemesis, and not one he particularly enjoyed.
Although Ryan is the only of his peers to participate in Spartan Racing, his buddies are all supportive and quite impressed by what he does. Ryan isn’t one to brag or talk much of his abilities so they simply don’t discuss a whole lot. Ryan’s family is also quite supportive. His dad travels to races with him cheering him on the entire time. Ryan’s mom is equally supportive and wants him to enjoy himself, but is an active worrier always wanting Ryan to, “Be Careful!”
Besides the obstacles being a great addition to running, the community of Spartan Race really stands out in Ryan’s memories. He said that there is a brotherhood like no other out there on course. He has made friends at every race. He says that there is “someone always there to help you out,” and that is something pretty amazing. Ryan would love to see Spartan Sprints included in High School Sports. He thinks that it would be quite popular.
Ryan is done racing for this season, but we will be seeing much more of this youngster in 2014. He will be strong and ready to attack courses all over the Northeast.