Reebok Spartan Race is officially set to conquer France. November 24, 2013 the Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet will host the premiere of the Reebok Spartan Race first appearance in France. Thousands of participants are expected to be there for the inaugural event. We are promising that more races will be coming to France in the future.

Our international growth was inevitable. In 2013 alone more than 750,000 participants will complete a Spartan Race in the US, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Great Britain, Slovakia, Czech Republic – and now France. The commitment of Reebok to be the global title sponsor of the Spartan Race Series proves the importance of this emerging sport. And France is just one of the many countries being added to the global Spartan community in the near future.

On Sunday, November 24, 2013 the Circuit Paul Ricard and thousands of participants will start their fight to overcome not one but two challenging courses with obstacles that will take all their stamina, strength, endurance and willpower to find the finish line. The Reebok Spartan Race at Circuit Paul Ricard will offer two different distances: the Spartan Sprint with a roughly 6k course of and 15 or more obstacles. And the Spartan Super, a roughly 13K course that will introduce the worthy Spartans to 20 or more obstacles. Participants will not have access to a map prior to racing. So they will not know the exact distance, or number of type of obstacles until they face it- just like the Spartans in ancient times. Expect the unexpected!

The two Spartan Races will challenge the participants, it will be a difficult challenge, but in the end they will join hundreds of thousands of other proud Spartans. Spartan Races are for everyone; young or old, avid runner, beginner, or hardcore obstacle racer- this will be a unique experience for everyone and we’re pleased to be bringing that to France!

The spectator friendly Spartan Race grounds will feature a festival area with music, entertainment – and the opportunity for spectators to test themselves on stand alone obstacles and contests. The course also allows opportunities to see friends and families in action on the course! The Spartan Juniors race will create the next generation of Spartans on a course dedicated for children ages 6 – 13.

The Circuit Paul Ricard offers ideal conditions for the first Spartan Race in France. Featuring a state of the art race course in the middle of a stunning landscape that will welcome the athletes and spectators before they head off to the switchback trails of the backwoods, forest, trails, rivers and a very challenging hilly terrain.

Spartan Race founder Joe De Sena says, “We’ve been in Great Britain for three years but we’ve wanted to expand our Spartan footprint for some time. We get requests every day to bring a race to new places – and at Spartan we’re listening! We are thrilled to announce that we are expanding deeper into Western Europe with the help of our partners at SPCGE. We said we were growing globally, and this is a great example of how we’re making that happen. The sport of Obstacle Course racing is a global movement and we’re dedicated to reaching every corner of the map.”

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by Andi Hardy, Spartan Elite Athlete

Tucked among the steep, wooded mountains, two hour’s drive from Mexico City, lies a beautiful, small, colonial city called Valle de Bravo. Just outside that city the first Mexico Super Spartan Race was hosted on May 17, 18, and 19, 2013. And a SUPER race it was. The venue was amazing, getting to it was an adventure. The people of Mexico were so accommodating and supportive. The competition was strong.

Eight American Spartan Race elite athletes had the opportunity to experience this superb Super. Hunter McIntyre, Christopher Rutz, Miguel Medina, David Megida, Brad Fredricks, Dave Huckle, Margaret Schlacter, and Andi Hardy were the contenders all hoping for a taste of Mexican podium and the money that went with it. All they were promised was an experience of a lifetime.

After the first ever Mexican Spartan Race in February 2013, a sprint, the Mexican nation had fallen for this sport. Once announced, this Super sold out in less than 48 hours. In fact, another day had to be added to the already two day event just to accommodate the overflow of registrations. 9:00 Saturday AM was the elite heat start time for men and 9:30 AM for women. And elite competitors they brought, Olympians, major marathon winners, tough local athletes to name a few.

The Mexican atmosphere was crazy intense. Spartan Race held back nothing. The festival area was filled with sponsors and vendors, companies like Salomon, Chevrolet, Sport Beans, Garmin, Monster Energy, Coleman, WODBOX, Jumex Sport, City Express Hotel. There were many food/drink choices, festival challenges, merchandise, race information and registration to name a few. Costumed Spartan gladiators were all over the venue adding flavor to the photo ops. Volunteers were everywhere, all with huge smiles on their faces. Race officials were all patient and upbeat.

The start line was grand. Roman columns lined the gates, the announcer made the anticipation nerve-wracking as could be, interviewing competitors, and making Spartan speeches. A large clock counted down the seconds and minutes til the start. Several tubes of Spartan smoke were thrown out there to create even more of a dramatic beginning.

Once the last Aroo had gone off, we were on our way for our experience of a lifetime. Right off the start, the terrain posed to be an obstacle within itself. Grassy clumps arose some 2-3 inches off of the ground. One had to watch every step as a face-plant was not out of the question. The first mud crawl was like none I’d ever experienced. The mud –so black, its density – so thick, the smell was so foul. And it sucked you in and didn’t want to spit you back out. Crawling out of 3 ½ feet of sucking mud was a challenge, and then round the corner, more of this followed, then shortly after a nice, mucky barbed wire crawl. Out of the barbs and up what would be a series of steep mountain slopes. The mountains were over 9300 feet in elevation. If that alone didn’t shut racers down, the obstacles would finish them off. Needless to say, burpee penalties were not in anyone’s plan.

Obstacles as we know and love were placed at all the right places throughout the race. Not once could you get into a comfortable running pace because a wall would appear or a bag of sand to haul through an uneven single track circle, or a dusty, bumpy upgrade of a tractor pull, another slope that had to be bear crawled. Looking up was not a great option as the discouragement took over at the size of the incline. Through a river, up more inclines, wall after wall, rope climb, traverse wall, log presses, balance beams, and the biggest obstacle; the thin air for us Americans who train at sea level. This caused oxygen deprivation that made our legs feel like cement blocks. Dizzy spells and muscle cramping added to the pain. “Vamonos, vamonos” was common encouragement from the volunteers and fans.

Finally, up the final clumpy hill to the spear throw. Mexican spears were a bit different from our well-practiced familiar ones in the states. But burpees this far into the race would be a killer at this elevation. After spearman, another muck crossing had to be conquered, then a wall to slide down while being doused with a fire hose. Lucky for those who came through alone, the highly pressured water didn’t leave your face even for a breath of air. High pressure water followed loners through th

e slippery wall climb until you made a mad dash to jump the fire and on to the cargo bridge. Once across the cargo, six hard hitting gladiators stood between your tired gasping body and that hard earned medal.

At the end of the day, we got what we were promised and more. Not only was this Mexican Super Spartan an experience of a lifetime, we found meaning way beyond a podium placement and a check in Mexico. Smiles of achievement and bonds of camaraderie don’t need translation either.But a Spartan Race wouldn’t be complete without a Kid’s Race. And because we are just big kids, several of us joined in the excitement. One grabbed a pugil stick, his job was to stay on his feet while being targeted by water balloons. Another rabbited the races and loudly cheered on every single child. Yet another grabbed the hands of scared, crying tots and helped bring smiles of joy to these young faces. Others cheered from the sidelines.

Want to learn more about our international races?  Click HERE to see our line-up.

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by Carrie Adams

What’s better than a Spartan Race or a vacation?  A Spartan Race AND a vacation. February 16 and 17th 2013 Spartan Race is heading south of the border!   Spartan Race is proud to announce the inclusion of a Sprint event in Mexico City, Mexico!  The race will take place at an incredible horseback riding club called “Club Ecuestre Los Monteros” that boasts an altitude of 9200 ft.  Sequestered in in the middle of a lush forest surrounded by small rivers and mountains and is wide open and promises to provide a challenging Spartan battleground.

Because of the terrain and natural features, the location lends itself to ensuring that a primal feel takes over this international Spartan experience.  With “natural obstacles” other than man-made construction.  The terrain is covered by tree canopies and thick jungle features.  Not far from the city, yet removed enough to feel remote and peaceful it’s the perfect combination.

The location is close to Santa Fe, which is one of Mexico City’s major business districts. The district consists of universities, residential areas, hotels, shopping malls and local business buildings.

Additional locations are Valle de Bravo, a popular weekend getaway for many people who live in the city and like water sports. It’s a typical Mexican town surrounding a lovely lake, which makes it a perfect site for outdoor activities like a Spartan Race. Be on the lookout for more races in this area in 2013.

Spartan is excited to bring our race to Mexico, demand has been high, higher than any other international location!  Think about making your next trip south of the border a vacation with a Spartan twist!   It’s also just in time for Valentine’s Day, so bring the one you love for a romantic, muddy getaway!

Mexico City is the host of many races throughout the year so athletes will be excited to try out a different kind of race, which pushes them to their limits.   Head over and get registered TODAY!  

We’d like to thank our sponsors that we’ll be partnering with in Mexico City!

Sport Beans: http://www.sportbeans.com

RX Magazine: http://www.rxmagazine.mx

Runners World

WODbox: http://www.wodbox.com

 

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