by Chris Rutz, Elite Spartan Racer

Hobie Call

This weekend, Reebok Spartan Race arrives in the Arizona desert. The 2013 Arizona Spartan Sprint moves to a new venue that captures the beauty of the Sonoran Desert and ramps up the difficulty level of the course. McDowell Mountain Regional Park is located northeast of Phoenix and provides a rolling terrain with miles of tight single track for the elite racers to challenge one another.

This is the first Spartan Sprint distance race since the Reebok/Spartan Race partnership was announced in late January in New York City.  Two weeks ago the SoCal Super went off at Vail Creek Lodge in Temecula, CA.

Many of the top athletes from the 2012 Season will be racing in Arizona this weekend for their share of the $7,500 cash purse generously provided by our partners at Navy Federal Credit Union for the Saturday Elite wave. We asked a few of them how they feel the Navy Federal Credit Union prize money impacts the sport of Obstacle Course Racing?

Hobie Call, resident Spartan elite racer  said, “…I want NFCU to know that I truly appreciate their sponsorship. Every little bit helps, and this year is looking even better than last.” and “As cool as the helmets and swords are, elite athletes follow the money. End of story.” 

Female elite racer Corinne Kohlen noted how it’s drawing new talent to the field, “I think the money is great. It is luring in exceptional athletes and runners such as TyAnn Clark (and many others) who may not have been as interested in this kind of sport before.”  

That sentiment was also noted by elite female Andi Hardy when she was quoted as saying, “Money brings more elite competition.” 

Jenny Tobin

Last year’s female point’s winner Jenny Tobin also had something to say about the infusion of cash prizes, “I’m all about making money for my exercise habit, I’d still do it but it is nice to make a little money and see different parts of the country.” 

The field is ripe with talent.  Male elites Hobie Call and Hunter McIntyre, first and third respectfully in the SoCal Super are scheduled to be at the race. In addition, look for the 2013 debut of Christopher Rutz, Elliott Megquier and Nick Maynard. Christopher and Nick, along with Arizona native Chase Stewart have the home trail advantage and will be ready to tear up their desert. Beyond the Arizonans, watch out for 2012 Top 10 Spartan Racers Dallas Bessette and Shawn Feoick.

On the women’s side, SoCal winner TyAnn Clark, multiple 2012 Spartan race winner Rose-Marie Jarry and winner of the 2012 Texas Sprint Ella Kociuba are schedule to race. Those three alone will make the race for the podium very interesting. By no means do they have a lock on the top three places. Expect to see some of the top names in the sport including Juliana Sproles, Ang Reynolds, Andi Hardy, Corinne Kohlen, Sue Luck and Shaun Provost literally give them a run for their money. As usual, the women’s race will be exciting to watch.

Get out to the Arizona Spartan Sprint this weekend and watch these athletes smoke through the course. After the finish, they would welcome the opportunity to share their passion for obstacle course racing (OCR) with you in the festival area. 

2013 has Spartan stepping up the game considerable.  With prize money, Reebok, and an incredible crop of top racers, it is shaping up to be another exciting weekend of obstacle course racing.   See you at the races! 

Not registered yet?  What are you waiting for?  Join the expected 500,000 Spartans that will cross one of our finish lines this year.  Find an event near you HERE

 

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by Tom McCormack

In 2012, we issued a challenge to the Spartan Community.  We asked for teams to come out, in force, and that the biggest team of the year would be handsomely rewarded.  We had quite a showing, but none more so than a team from the West Coast, going by the team name, “Weeple Army.”   The Weeples were not just the biggest team on the year, they were the biggest team at THREE events in 2012.  They were the biggest team at the SoCal Super, the Sacramento Beast, and the Malibu Sprint earning a Biggest Team Tri-Fecta in CA!

Captain:  Dave Huckle

Final 2012 Biggest Team Results

Top 5 teams for 2012 based on the amount of finishers at every event.

Malibu Sprint Weeple Army

150

Mid-West Super Spartan Chicago Spartan

146

Sacramento Spartan Beast Weeple Army

144

Pennsylvania Spartan Sprint Team Limitless

139

Indiana Sprint Spartan Race 2012 Midwest Collegiate Street Team

134

 

Malibu 2011 was the first of the three Weeple Army appearances.   They arrived with 20 team members and participated in the Hurricane Heat.  Just 60 days later, they arrived at the 2012 SoCal Spartan with 73 members, many of them again participating in the Hurricane Heat at 6am.  They were hooked!

The Weeples are focused primarily on mud and obstacle races, 5ks, marathons, but while having fun and enjoying the event, regardless of their finish times.

David Huckle, Weeple Army team captain did 39 events throughout the course of the year finishing all types of throughout the year and in some cases two events per weekend.  The Weeple Army Running Group now almost 800 members.  From racers that are running their first 5k mud run, all the way up to the Ultra Beast and Death Racers.  They are a varied and dedicated crew.  In fact, two of the Weeple faithful are now Spartan Race employees!  Matt Trinca and Steffen “Cookie” Cook.

Ricky Ignacio, another Weeple,  started his journey with the Malibu Hurricane Heat by showing up late and taking a beating from Joe D. and the Spartan staffers but he finished Ultra Beast less than a year later.  Spartan elite racer Ang Reynolds is also a proud Weeple. We featured one of her blogs recently for Spartan Chicked Tuesday.

Six Weeples arrived at the Spartan Death Race, and four of them finished!  Not too shabby! Congratulations Weeple Army, and keep a lookout for team captain Dave, who will be traveling to a number of 2013 events around the world, paid for by Spartan Race.

Think you’re ready to put a team together?  Get signed up today.

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Brands Launch New Collaboration with Reebok Spartan Race Times Square Challenge” in New York City; a Celebration of America’s Newest Sport: Obstacle Racing

Canton, MA [January 17th, 2013] – Reebok, the global fitness brand, and Spartan Race, the world’s leading obstacle racing series and Outside Magazine’s Best Obstacle Race in 2012, have today announced a multi-year partnership. The collaboration marks Reebok’s commitment to one of the world’s newest and fastest growing sports – obstacle racing.

As part of the multi-year collaboration, Reebok will be the title sponsor for the global race series beginning with the first race of the season at Vail Lake Resort in Temecula, CA on January 26th and 27th, and the official apparel, footwear and accessories supplier for the Reebok Spartan Race series. In addition, the Reebok Spartan Race will be featured in the brand’s upcoming global marketing campaign – the first time obstacle racing has been featured in a major campaign. Reebok also plans to develop a range of products specifically created for the demands of Reebok Spartan Race athletes, which will be available in fall 2013.

The partnership was launched with a traffic-stopping live event in New York – The Reebok Spartan Race Times Square Challenge. Times Square’s first ever extreme obstacle race saw hundreds of contestants take part including actress/model Brooklyn Decker; former NY Giants All-Pro Tiki Barber; Spartan Race Champion Hobie Call; and Spencer Hendel, winner of the Obstacle Course event at the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games.  The Times Square course featured a 7 ft. wall climb, a mud crawl with barbed wire, a 10 ft. high Hercules Hoist, a 75 ft. sandbag carry, and other obstacles..

The tie-up between the two brands is built on shared values about the future of fitness. Reebok’s mission is to change the way people perceive, experience and define fitness and empower them to be physically, socially and mentally fit for life. Spartan Race is the perfect partner to help spread this message. Founded in 2010, the race series expects to attract 500,000 athletes in 2013, up from 350,000 in 2012, many of whom are people looking for a new alternative to more traditional forms of fitness.  Spartan Race currently has more than 2.3 million “likes” on Facebook and is one of the fastest growing series in the sport of obstacle racing.

Spartan is a timed event series featuring races at three escalating distances in locations worldwide. The series culminates in a world championship finale with a prize fund of over $500,000. As well as the competitive elite heats, Spartan Races are set up for all levels and ages of athlete to take part and engage in a new form of fitness.

“At Reebok, we recognize that the fitness landscape is changing. More and more, people are beginning to see fitness as part of their lifestyle rather than simply an activity, said Matt O’Toole, Chief Marketing Officer at Reebok.  “Spartan Race is at the forefront of this movement. It enables people to come together to experience fitness with a community of like-minded people – to take part in something that is challenging and daunting, but at the same time, inspiring and fun. This is what makes it so rewarding, and is a large part of what is fueling the incredible growth of the sport.”

Adds Spartan Race founder Joe De Sena, “Reebok shares our vision – they think, act, and live exactly like we do down to the last detail. Both organizations believe that through fitness, ordinary people can realize their full potential and reap benefits throughout their lives.

“Reebok will help us expand globally, pursue our goals of making obstacle racing an Olympic sport, share the healthy living we promote, and rip people off their couches and do what human beings were made to do: run, jump, sweat and climb,” De Sena said.

About Reebok

Reebok International Ltd., headquartered in Canton, MA, USA, is a leading worldwide designer, marketer and distributor of sports, fitness and casual footwear, apparel and equipment. An American-inspired global brand, Reebok is a pioneer in the sporting goods industry with a rich and storied heritage in running, training and fitness. A subsidiary of the adidas Group, Reebok operates under the multiple divisions of the Reebok brand, Reebok-CCM Hockey and the Sports Licensed Division.  Reebok is the exclusive outfitter of CrossFit and the Reebok CrossFit Games and main event partner and official apparel and footwear supplier for the 2013 Red Bull X-Alps. For more information, visit Reebok at www.reebok.com. Or, discover Reebok at the following locations: http://reesha.re/plus; http://facebook.com/reebok; http://twitter.com/reebok; and http://youtube.com/reebok

About Reebok Spartan Race

Reebok Spartan Race, voted Outside Magazine’s Best Obstacle Race in 2012, is the world’s leading obstacle racing series and the first of its kind to have global rankings. With 350,000 participants in 2012 and 60 events planned for 2013, Reebok Spartan Race is making this one of the fastest growing sports in the world. Reebok Spartan Race is a timed event series featuring races at four escalating distances in locations worldwide that culminate in a World Championship Finale with cash and prizes for the champions – with a half-million dollars in cash and prizes awarded in 2012 alone. While featuring competitive elite heats, Reebok Spartan Races are for athletes of all levels and abilities and are geared toward ripping people off their couches and into the outdoors.

You’ll Know at the Finish Line – A Spartan Guide to the Sport of Obstacle Racing, a new e-book from Spartan Race co-founders Joe De Sena and Andy Weinberg that inspires readers to find and unleash their inner warrior, is available for free on the company’s website.

Go to http://www.spartanrace.com/ for more information, a schedule of events or to register for a Reebok Spartan Race. For videos, please visit www.spartanrace.tv.

Spartan Race

Alfred Schreiber

Mobile: (646) 320 -5142

Jeff Blumenfeld

Direct: (203) 655-1600

Mobile: (203) 326-1200

jeff@blumenfeldpr.com

Reebok

Dan Sarro

Direct: (781) 401-4443

Daniel.sarro@reebok.com

Richard Barker

Direct: +1.646.619.2805

Mobile: +1.917.287.9992

Richard.barker@mcsaatchi.com

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by Carrie Adams

The Spartan Chicked movement began in August of 2011 and has since grown into a movement of incredible women all over the planet.  Over 130,000 women have crossed a Spartan Race finish line and in 2011, only roughly 25% of Spartan Race competitors were female.  We saw those numbers increase to 32% on average and in some races closer to 40% female in 2012.  With Spartan Chicked gear and emerging female champions and advocates the Spartan Chicked campaign is set to grow into new heights in 2013.

One of the most treasured rites of passages involves a Spartan Chick “losing her sparkle” which means she does her first Spartan Race.  Malibu saw many a Spartan Chick lose her sparkle and Meghan Henry told me her story.   When she had signed up for the race she was unemployed and ready for a challenge.  ”The Malibu Spartan Race on December 2nd was a long time coming for me….well, at least it felt that way.”

As the race neared, the panic began to set in, “I started feeling entirely unprepared.I landed a job, didn’t have as much time to train and was just generally freaked out.”

Her fears even infiltrated her sleep.  She found herself having nightmares about the race, “…several nights in a row.”   She knew she had to buckle down saying, “Finally, a couple weeks before the race, I resigned myself to the fact that a) I would survive and b) if I could just finish it would be a huge accomplishment.”

On race day, she was no longer nervous about what lay ahead, she was excited.  ” There was a buzz in the air, the smell of BBQ, Spartan’s “AROO”ing as other racers headed off into the hills.”

Henry wasn’t alone on race day, “My sweet mom came to cheer me on. ( I don’t think she had a clue of the scope of the Spartan Race before she arrived).  She took the obligatory “pre-race” photos of me and then 8:45 arrived.”

She also had some inspiration before she even began, “As we were waiting I spotted Margaret Schlachter and Chris Davis up on the main stage.”

One of the first obstacles dumped the racers into a chilly pond, and after the smoke-filled start, Henry said she was able to jump in without any hesitation.  More obstacles lay ahead, Henry recounted, “We climbed some walls, Hobie hopped up a hill, navigated through some crazy terrain, carried sandbags, conquered the slippery wall and (of course) did some burpees….seriously, those Monkey Bars are slippery!”

Nearing the finish, Henry knew she was coming close to the end and the final fire jump before the gladiators.  ” I gracefully leapt over the fire and then met with some ANGRY gladiators.  They jabbed at me (totally okay) and then one side swiped my leg (not okay) .  I fell to the ground and my ankle totally gave out and I could feel the sprain.  Not my finest Spartan moment.  I got up, limped (pathetically) towards the finish line and got my medal. I was battered and bruised, but the first thing that went through my mind was “Can I go run it again?”

And just like that, she lost her sparkle… and she gained some hardware (a few bruises) and the pride that comes with crossing a Spartan finish line.  She’s headed to SoCal in January and can’t wait to take on the extra mileage in the legendary Temecula course.  Want to join her?  Get signed up today.   

 

 

 

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by Ben Killary

Team Life as Rx, SoCal Super 2012

LifeAsRx (the underground apparel company for the CrossFit Community) , Gymnos Productions, and Spartan Race have banded together to put on a first-of-its-kind event: WODstock.  On January 26th and 27th, 2013, SoCal will be a part of history as CrossFitters and Spartan Racers unite in this weekend-long competition. Saturday’s race event at Vail Lake Resort will feature an all-day long CrossFit Competition, hosted by LifeAsRx and Gymnos Productions (limited to 1,000 competitors). Sunday’s race will feature 1,000 plus CrossFitters grinding it out on one of the gnarliest Spartan Race courses on the planet. Competitor’s overall scores will be a result of the combination of how they perform in the CrossFit competition and how they perform on the Spartan course.Spartan Race was founded in 2005 with the goal of ripping one million people off of the couch and getting them out, active, and living a fit, healthy lifestyle. Spartan Race prides itself in being the World’s only competitive international obstacle racing series and strives to align itself with like-minded businesses and individuals. It was a no-brainer when we crossed paths with the guys at LifeAsRx (who ran with us in SoCal – you can read about their experience HERE) and Gymnos Productions that we needed to unite our two worlds in the name of fitness.

Sound absolutely brutal? While we anticipate a large gathering from the elite athletes of the CrossFit community, this competition is for CrossFit athletes of all abilities. We will have an RX’d (as prescribed) division and a scaled division for athletes to compete in. Sign up RX’d and complete your workouts as prescribed on Saturday, and then crush the entire SoCal Super Spartan course on Sunday (8+ miles). Sign up in the scaled division and complete your workouts as designed and scaled by Gymnos Productions, and then complete one of the SoCal Super Spartan Relay loops on Sunday (4 miles). Either way, there is an event for everyone!

Hacks Pack Ute, Super Spartan SoCal 2012

The big draw to this unique event is the team competition. Spartan Race’s own Tommy Hackenbruck, member of the world champion CrossFit Games affiliate cup team, and the rest of “Hacks Pack UTE,” will be competing in the team competition.  We told you all about his team’s experience in this year’s games in this blog post.  This is your chance to compete alongside the “World’s Fittest Team” and other elite athletes of the CrossFit Community.  Hacks Pack UTE competed in last year’s Beast as part of their CrossFit Games prep!

So, how will this all go down?  Teams consist of 4 athletes, 2 males and 2 females. Sign up RX’d and compete with the likes of “Hacks Pack UTE”, or sign up for the scaled division and compete with hundreds of your CrossFit Community peers. Same rules apply as signing up individually; scaled teams will split in half and each half will run a loop of the SoCal Spartan Race relay course (4 miles each loop).

Spartan Race HQ is thrilled to join forces with LifeAsRx and Gymnos Productions for a weekend that promises to be one for the record books. With less than six months until the event, there is plenty of time for everyone to train.  Get to your local box and sign up for our Spartan WODs to be prepared for race day . It’s time to take your endurance to the next level,  you’ll need it out on the Super Spartan Course. When contemplating signing up, remember these 3 words:

WODstock OR BUST!. Sign Up now! 3,2,1…GO!

 

 

 

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by Beth Connolly

[Editor's note: This piece is part of our Spartan Military Profile series, in which we tell the stories of Spartans who serve their country.  Check out the first post in the series here.]

Nick and friends on race day (Nick is 2nd from left)

If any first-time racer could run an eight mile Super Spartan course, break his ankle twenty feet from the finish line, and still cross it in relatively good humor, it would have to be Nick Nakamura, 31.  Whether it’s the L.A. County native’s laid back California mentality or his military training after nine and a half years in the Navy is anyone’s guess.  All I know is that during our phone interview, when I asked him to tell me how he broke his ankle, he cracked up and said, “It was pretty funny…I think it was funny, anyways.”

Read the rest of this entry »

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