5 Ways you are a Spartan Chick – even if you’ve never raced

By  Heather Kokesch Del Castillo

1. You overcome obstacles every day. Whether you’ve set a new PR on your back squat, made a tough decision at work, or were faced with the challenge of having to be two places at once, Spartan Chicks overcome daily obstacles with the drive and courage that makes us strong in both body and spirit.

2. You think “I could never do that!” You, yes you, are a Spartan Chick! The Spartan Chicked community is backed by strong women not only physically, but also strong in will, heart, and willingness to lift up others. One woman in our Spartan Chicked community even defined the meaning of being a Spartan woman as “Doing things you never thought you could!” Even if you’ve never done an obstacle course race, you can work up to it with the encouragement of our empowering women’s community. There are plenty of Chicks who have yet to lose their sparkle and compete in their first Spartan Race.

3. You enjoy connecting with other women on all things female.  Camaraderie:  a feeling of good friendship among the people in a group. Among this group you can ask anything. Which shoes and calf sleeves are best for an OCR? What should I do if my partner doesn’t want to run a Spartan Race with me? How should I eat in preparation for a big race? You name it, and the Spartan Chicked group has discussed it. From racing, relationships, injuries and recoveries, to weight loss goals and accomplishments including some great before and after pictures and beyond, Chicks are here to showcase and share their powerful, smart, and capable attributes.

4. You’re driven by accomplishing goals. You are strong, competitive, fearless, and always looking for new ways to challenge yourself.  If in your workouts you are inspired by a variety of movements, a Spartan race will keep you guessing at every turn and ultimately test your limits. Exercise while setting the example that women are a force to be reckoned with as you pass men on the course; that is after all what it means to truly be “Chicked” – Spartan Chicks dedicated to passing dudes on the course, racing the planet, and promoting radness at every opportunity!

5. Life has handed you some serious personal challenges and you’ve lived to tell your story. Have you suffered through various health issues or injuries, survived beyond the end of a relationship, or witnessed a family member struggle with life’s ups and downs? Guaranteed you are not alone, the Spartan Chicked community has thousands of strong women who have endured all of life’s challenges, and in some cases many times over. These women share their stories daily and use their wisdom to guide others who’ve found themselves in the midst of a challenge. Whether you need some guidance or support, or have your own advice to share, you are welcome here.  When I’ve asked the group to define a Spartan woman, this response made me especially happy, “It’s simple. You say, ‘I think I can.’ Spartan chicks say, ‘You will.’ Then you do. Now you are part of the growing inspiration.” Join us and share your story too!

You can join the Chicked community by joining our Facebook group of more than 10,000 women. To register for a Spartan Race you can go to the website and challenge yourself to a race near you, or travel to one of many awesome destinations to race with other amazing Spartan Chicks.  I hope to see you on the course! Go Spartan Chicks!


Heather Kokesch Del Castillo – Spartan Chick, CrossFitter, Educator, and future Health Coach studying at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.

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by Beth Connolly

Intense athlete, Spartan Chick, and up-for-any-adventure girl Shannon Roche is the only racer I’ve ever interviewed who talked herself down.

“Are you sure you want to interview me?  I’ve fallen off the wagon,” she wrote in an email before we spoke on the phone.

Then, at the end of our interview, she brought it up again.  “Am I intense enough?  I don’t feel like I measure up to the other athletes you’ve profiled on the blog.”

Chatty and modest, Shannon most certainly does measure up.  This 36-year-old real estate agent, who describes herself as 36 going on 26, just takes her challenges in stride to such an extent that they don’t seem like a big deal.  At least not to her.

She’s always been athletic, starting from her school days of track and volleyball.  But after college graduation, she moved to New York and realized that she needed goals to keep her motivated in her fitness.

So, back in 2006, she started training for a half-marathon.  Having successfully completed that, she moved on to a marathon in 2007 and a triathlon in 2008.  Then, in 2009, she really got serious and signed up for the Escape from Alcatraz, a unique event in San Francisco that she describes as the best racing experience she’s ever had.  To begin the race, a ferry drops off 2000 people in the frigid San Francisco bay  (she estimates temperatures were around 55 degrees F when she did it).  After a 1.5 mile swim to shore, racers face an 18-mile hilly bike, and an 8-mile run over hard and soft sand, including a timed 400-stair climb.

After her Alcatraz adventure, Shannon found herself “bored” once again.  So she decided to join Warrior Fitness Boot Camp in NYC midtown, where she met Kat Dunnigan, who told her about the Spartan Race.  That was all it took for Shannon to sign up for the 8-mile Super Spartan taking place in September 2011 in Staten Island.  “I feel like I’ve done everything else and I’m wanting to try something different,” she said of her decision to compete in a Spartan Race.

Shannon thinks that Warrior Fitness Boot Camp is the perfect way to train for a Spartan Race.  “It has all the elements,” she said.  “Nothing I’ve ever done has pushed my heart rate as much.”  The Boot Camp is an indoor obstacle course run by former Marines who “yell at you with a smile on their faces and push you.”  When she first started last fall, she couldn’t climb all the way up the six-foot tall wall and she couldn’t make it all the way across the monkey bars.  But after just one or two weeks, she noticed improvements in her performance at the course and felt herself getting a lot stronger every day.

Beyond the physical improvements, Shannon loves the camaraderie and encouraging atmosphere she has found at Warrior Fitness, and she’s even convinced her friends to join her as well.  I bet we’ll see them this September, too.

If Shannon’s past performances are any guide, I think that she’ll blow the Super Spartan out of the water.

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