In light of the new 12 our Hurricane Heat that now stands as part of the qualifying for entry into the Death Race, Spartan Race are proud to announce the arrival of the new Hurricane Heat coordinator, Spartan Pro Team athlete and Death Race veteran, Anthony Matesi. 

Clearly very excited about his role at Spartan Race, Anthony said, “I bring with me the knowledge gained from hosting three 20-25 hour events that I built around the idea of Death Race preparation. Trying to break as many racers in less time to simulate the experience. That knowledge will be translated into a 12 hour event that will break you down and, if you don’t break, build you back up.”

Drawing on not only his experience as a Pro Team and Elite racer, but also from taking part in the Death Race, Anthony knows what the Hurricane Heat is about, what it needs and how those choosing to taking part expect to happen. (link)

“Those who want to complete a HH better know and possess the 7 pillars of Spartan; stamina, power, athleticism, readiness, tenacity, attitude, and nutrition,” he explains.

“Team work and individual challenges that will test you ability to adapt and react. The typical heavy lifting, off course exploration and camaraderie development will remain the staples of what an HH is.”

The Hurricane Heat is for experienced competitors and first timers alike. The same sense of camaraderie and togetherness is how people will get through. For those unfamiliar with the Hurricane Heat, Anthony explains, “there are no timing chips. Challenges will take place on and off the Spartan course and will often times require a team effort. You will do burpees. You will carry heavy objects, both individually and as a team. Mental toughness and quickness will be tested. You may have to memorize something individually or as a team. You can expect a HH to go up to 4 hours so you’ll need food and hydration and an HH12HR will obviously go up to 12 hours. 

For more information about the Hurricane Heat, click here.

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by Isaiah Vidal

Why Obstacle Racing? Drastic change is what I call it. In 2011 I was in a downfall situation in life, but when Spartan Race entered my timeline at Glen Rose, Texas I completely changed my life upward. Spartan Race taught me look at different views and philosophies. Life is an obstacle race and it can be perfectly smooth at one moment, but then one hits issues. Overcoming the obstacle just depends on the person you truly are. Spartan Race was my adventure to an awakening life. Participating in obstacle racing is a constant reminder to never back down and to keep overcoming the chaotic scenarios in my daily and social life.

When I get scrapes and cuts from races, the comments I get from most people are that I’m crazy. In reality it doesn’t matter what anybody thinks of me, because I’m being the athlete I was born to become. There’s a lot of people that don’t have this view when hitting an obstacle in life, one starts to question the issue by saying, “Why did this happen? Why-why-why?” Spartan race has taught me to not complain about any issues, but to have the wisdom and the courage to overcome the obstacles themselves when presented. It has brought out a unique athlete in me.

I am also pushing forward to open the minds of young adults. I want to make it clear that there is more to life than just partying and getting wasted on the weekends. By doing a Spartan Race on a typical weekend is more beneficial. By sending this clear message it is my goal and there is no telling what could happen in the future for every human being.

I enjoy competing against other amazing athletes at Spartan Races. The camaraderie and the relationships I have been able to build with people is a true blessing. Being able to surpass my accomplishments at 20 years old, by finishing the 2012 Spartan Death Race and also placing in the top 10 at every event I’ve attended is a big advancement in my life. When I was young I thought that I would be playing college football or soccer, but no, God had different plans for me than just being some average jock. I have begun to quickly display that I am an elite obstacle course racer.

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My story is constantly changing and has so far, for the most part, been filled with a great deal of struggling. I have grown up with all the reasons to quit and all the excuses to justify doing nothing but sitting on the couch for the rest of my days. However, I cannot and will not settle for that, the thought of not being able to achieve my dreams disgusts me in so many levels. And my dream is to be the best version of myself in every aspect of my life.  Spartan Race is a big part of that.

The first Spartan Race I ever did unexpectedly altered my life in many ways. I had been running seriously for about two and a half months before the race and I stumbled upon the advertisement for it and decided to enter. I had no idea what to expect, as I stood there in the chilly winter morning, with the rain penetrating my face, nervous as could be, but I went out fast.  Before I knew it, I was accomplishing tasks I had never done in my life. I was climbing walls, carrying heavy objects, crawling under barb-wire, and climbing ropes. Throughout the entire course I had one of the biggest, silliest, smiles slapped on my face (especially after I won it). And since then, with every race that I do, I find my face in a constant grin even with all the injuries I accumulate.

From breaking my back in two places while training for a horse race to suffering from a stress fracture in my tibia during the Death Race of 2012, I am way too familiar with being sidelined. But the camaraderie of my fellow competitors has been outstanding, the support I receive has shredded light on some of the darkest moments of my life and it has given me the strength to push aside the pain and reach new limits.

I can recall busting my shin open during the Pennsylvania Sprint in 2012 and just as soon as I finished, I fell to the ground and was immediately surrounded by several athletes giving me their hands. At every race, no matter how intense the competition gets, or hard the course turns out, we all reach our hands out to each other. Spartan Race has given my life something beautiful, it has given me the chance to be able to live my dreams. There was once a time where walking was questionable for me and where I was completely unable to get out of bed, go to school, ride my horse, and more importantly I was unable to smile due to the pain. And with that being said, Spartan Race has given me my smiles back, my life back and it is constantly redefining what it takes to be unbreakable and I love that challenge. I love the sacrifices, the work, the patience you must endure to become the best you can be. And Spartan Race will challenge you to become the best you can be, so make the best of it.

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by Michael Mills

On March 9th, I became the first ever paralyzed person to complete a Spartan race. On that day, history was made by Team Pushharder. Without my team, this would have been extremely difficult. I received a lot of feedback from people both positive and negative on the accomplishment. The positive was reassurance that something amazing happened on that day and that it proved that anyone could do anything as long as you put your mind to it. The negative was that people felt that my team carried me the entire way and that I did not put forth real effort. It troubled me to think that people felt I did not do the work to earn the title of being the first paralyzed Spartan athlete. So, I thought to myself, “what more do I need to do to prove myself in OCR?’ Then it hit me.. I would do something most able-bodied people wouldn’t even think of doing in their wildest dreams. I needed to prove myself once again and this time I want to go all out. So, that leads me to today.

I am pleased to announce that I am now officially going to be part of the 2013 Summer Spartan Death Race. I am the first ever paralyzed athlete to enter this event and I am going in it to be the first ever paralyzed person to complete a Death Race. This will be the hardest test of my life, but I will say this, I will leave every inch of my heart and soul out there to prove yet again, I am worthy of this title. Expect nothing less of me!

About Michael Mills:
Michael Mills Adventure/Endurance Athlete.

At the age of 16, I was hit by a drunk driver which left me paralyzed from the waist down. I was 16 and did not know what to expect out of my life. Not long after my injury I realized that this was a gift. It was a gift to be different and make Life worth Living. I am now 36 years old, married with three lovely children, work a fulltime job and an athlete in two sports. I have raced in over 150 road and track races in my career. I have traveled all over the world and have had the opportunity to represent my country in three events.

Competitive Bio Highlights:
Nationally and World Ranked in the 200/400/800 and 1500 meter events
2005 Selected as Most improved Athlete Lakeshore Foundation, Birmingham, AL
2005 Selected to Represent Team USA World Wheelchair Games, Rio Brazil
2007 Selected to Represent Team USA World Wheelchair Games, Taipei, Taiwan
2005 to current Team Captain, Shepherd Rehabilitation Center Wheelchair Racing Team, Atlanta, GA
2010 Selected to Represent Team USA Oita ½ Marathon, Oita Japan
2013 First Paralyzed Athlete to climb Stone Mountain, Stone Mountain, GA
2013 First Paralyzed person in History to compete/ complete a Spartan Sprint Race

Upcoming Events:
2013 First ever Paralyzed person to sign up and compete in a GoRuck Challenge (12 hour navy seal type event on 05/25/2013
2013 first Paralyzed Person to attempt to climb Curahee Hill, Tocca, GA on 06/01/2013
2013 First official ever Paralyzed Person to sign up for a Spartan Death Race to be held on 06/21/2013
2013 First Paralyzed Person to compete in the R3OPS Obstacle Course race on 07/20/2013
2013 First Paralyzed person to compete in the 2013 Mid Atlantic Spartan Beast on 08/24/2013
2013 First paralyzed person to compete in the 2013 Gulf Coast Spartan Beast on 10/19/2013
2013 Marine Corp Marathon while carrying 100lbs for 26.2 miles
2013 First Paralyzed person to compete in the 2013 Spartan Carolina on 11/19/13

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by Margaret Schlachter, guest blogger

2010 may have been the start of my Spartan journey when I was one of the original Spartans racing in the first Spartan Race in early 2010. 2011 marked my first podium and an invitation to join Spartan Chicked from the beginning, but it’s 2012 that will forever go down in the history books.

2012 was an incredible year, little did I know that in June when I started my 2012 season I would race nineteen official times and a few laps to help out, amass seven podium finishes and never out of the top 15. Little did I know I would travel throughout the country, race countless miles, make lasting friendships, and change careers all because of Spartan Race. I could write novels about the year but instead condensed it down to my Top 10 Moments in Spartan for 2012.

Top 10 Moments in Spartan Race of 2012

10.       The Perfect Race – finishing my first race with a single penalty burpee in Amesbury, MA Sprint.

9.         Finishing 3rdboth days in the Mid-West Super Spartan. It was an incredible weekend where two great races happened.

Margaret Schlachter and Juliana Sproles

8.         Watching the Spartan Chicked movement grow over 9,000 members. We started with a dozen women brought together with an idea by Carrie Adams and today it’s grown beyond what any could have imagined a year and a half ago.

7.         A Book Deal – Because of OCR and Spartan Race I am working on my first book due out in Spring 2014, dedicated to getting more people into racing and getting over the hurdles that stand in the way.

6.         Racing in Fenway Park – I went to college in Boston and that’s when I first got into baseball. Racing in Fenway was a surreal experience, hugging the Green Monster, burpees on the warming track, and seeing parts of the park otherwise closed to the public was priceless!

5.         The People – The Spartan Community is unlike any other in sport. The bonds and friendships formed are closer than many friendships I have had for years. Some of my biggest competitors are my best friends. The conversations on the trails during races are what sometimes got me to the finish.

4.         DNF’ing the Death Race after 25 hours of racing – More was learned in about myself in that DNF than I could have ever known.

3.         Finishing the Ultra Beast – it was more than a race for me, a goodbye to Killington, Vermont where I started my fitness journey. My last time on “my” mountain before moving to Utah, it was a race that transcended the rest.

2.         Chris Davis – Meeting and helping Chris to train for the Vermont Beast was an experience that not only allowed me to help train another Spartan but more importantly I got a great friend out of it. The first time he got over the 8ft wall in my backyard is a treasured memory of 2012

1.         Turning “pro” – In July, I quit my day job and simultaneously became the first female professional obstacle course racer. My life is my website, Dirt in Your Skirt, racing and training.

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by Carrie Adams

Growing up in Peoria, IL, Andy Weinberg, 41, always loved the water.  He swam competitively in high school and college, and when he did his first triathlon in high school, he fell in love.  At the time there weren’t many people doing them, and after college Andy spent a couple years really hitting the triathlon circuit.  He burnt out with swimming after a few years and decided to focus on running instead.  Admittedly never “super-fast,” he trained consistently and did 11 marathons in one year alone.

Then, after running into a hometown acquaintance at an event who told him about ultra-marathons, Andy caught the bug.  He has now completed over 40 ultras, mostly 50-mile and 100-mile distances.  Through the challenge of running extreme distances, Andy learned what it felt like to push himself and succeed.  Of course it wasn’t long until he had to try an Ironman, a double Ironman, even a triple.

andy1Weinberg met Joe DeSena through mutual friends in 2005 where they completed the Vermont 100.  When Andy came back to Vermont for an all-night snowshoe, the two soon found themselves talking about how racers can become “soft” because they always know what to expect.  “An ultra isn’t an easy race, but when you know it’s 100 miles, you can train for that.  You can prepare for that,” Andy said.  He and Joe spent the night talking about a new kind of race.  A race in which participants wouldn’t know when it would start or finish, or even what the race would consist of.  In other words, a race that no one can train for.  Racers would simply need to summon the courage and show up.  So the Death Race was born.  Andy began putting on races in Vermont with Joe and three years later he moved his family to Vermont to teach and race direct full time.  (By the way, he biked the 1200 miles from Peoria to VT in seven days, mainly because his friends said he couldn’t.)

The Spartan Race is born out of the same spirit.  The Death Race is the most extreme and designed for only the most extreme athletes but Spartan isn’t a walk in the park.  It’s there to attract serious athletes who want to compete.   Andy says, “Spartan Race is unique because the team involved, the whole company is athletes.  They run races, they’ve traveled the world, they know racing and they know athletes.  Most of the other obstacle races can’t say that.  And Spartan events are races… not parties.  It’s about going as hard as you can.”  On a personal level, Weinberg feels that Spartan Races play a role in preventing illness by inspiring people to get off the couch and get active. “Our nation is at its absolute worst place.  Childhood obesity and diabetes are both preventable as long as you make good choices.  You just have to get out there and exercise a bit.  Why not let Spartan help you get there?”

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by John McEvoy

[Editor’s Note: John McEvoy is a 2011 Death Racer and 2011 Amesbury Spartan Sprint Finisher.  He owns a CrossFit Box CrossFit Craic in Maryland.  He is currently registered for the 2012 Death Race June 15, 2012.]

Are you ready? for a Spartan Race… right now?

315974_10150389170636488_737781487_10570256_910949538_nIn a previous post I did on my website, I talked about General Physical Preparedness or G.P.P and what exactly that means. As a follow on from that, I wanted to talk about preparing for a Spartan Race.

I hear a lot people saying, “Spartan Race sounds badass, I’m going to train for it next year.”

Screen-shot-2011-06-26-at-3.27.04-PM-300x162Next year? Why do you feel like you have to wait until then? Personally, I view G.P.P as ALWAYS being ready. I do not have a ‘season’ and I do not follow a program geared towards anything specific. In short, I am always ready. If the Spartan race was tomorrow I would be psyched. If the Death Race was tomorrow, I would be psyched. Would I like a little more notice? Sure, but I would welcome the challenge tomorrow if the opportunity presented itself. My goal in life is to always be prepared for whatever happens and roll with the punches as they come. There is no program in life. You simply deal with shit as it happens.

296068_10150389170561488_737781487_10570255_2139627314_nI pick heavy stuff up off the ground and put it over my head, I sprint, I carry stuff for distance – ALL THE TIME and I think you should all do the same.

Get your asses out of the office and go put yourself through some self induced hardship.  You’ll be glad you did.

I competed in a CrossFit competition called Beast of the East (www.thebeastoftheeast.com). I registered for this event months ago having no idea what the events will be. On Monday they released 3 of the 6 events. Event 1 will be a 5km run. Event 2 will be a max weighted Turkish get up (click here http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=vE27BjOqA0g to see a tutorial.)

Event 3 will be As many reps as possible in 2 mins of Deadlift @275lbs for men, 185lbs for women.

How do you train for events as broad as the above? You have to do everything.

For those of you are on the fence about doing an upcoming Spartan Race, go and register right now and start training.

Always be ready. 

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