by Cody Moat, Spartan 2012 World Champion and Spartan Pro Team member

The Road to becoming a Spartan Champion Part 1 –Before Spartan Racing
After a lifetime of being involved in competitive sports, I decided to take a break after my fifth and final year of college running. I was burned out and ready to conquer goals other than running. I got a teaching job and started a family. I had a burning love of the great outdoors and I spent many hours up in the hills. I wanted to spend more time at home with my family and still be able to roam the mountains. I realized the only way to make that possible would be to run the mountains instead of hike them. Then I could be home in a quarter of the time and still see the same outdoors. So that’s what I decided to do. I would run the trails and sometimes “bush-wack”, facing a lot of natural obstacles along the way. After a few years of this kind of training I realized that I was in pretty good shape and set out to get signed up for my first trail marathon (also my first marathon). After my first trail marathon I was hooked on racing and would have done more but was hampered by a bad case of plantar fasciitis.

The Road to becoming a Spartan Champion Part 2
“Do you want to be on my team for the Utah Spartan race?”
That is how I got started racing Spartan races. My friend, Wade Poulson, called and wanted me to join his team for the Utah race. I told him I would try to train, but that I’d been battling a foot injury for two years and there were no guarantees that I’d be able to run on race day. This answer seemed to suffice and he signed me up for his team.

I still didn’t know what a Spartan race was so I looked it up online and was thinking, “This is not really what I had in mind.” But I’d already agreed so I started training. I mostly trained for that 1st race by running, doing push-ups, pull-ups, and making natural obstacles on my trail runs. I ended up taking 2nd place and Spartan called a few days later and I haven’t stopped since. Thanks, Wade, for that first invitation!

The Road to becoming a Spartan Champion Part 3
My next experience with Spartan after the Utah Beast in 2012, was the World Championship race in Killington, Vermont. I was invited me to come, but I wasn’t sure what would be covered. I had been training, just how I knew how, running lots and some natural obstacles. I knew I was the underdog coming into the race, which is how I like it. I had, after all, only run one Spartan race.

This was the first time Spartan had ever done an “Ultra” Beast (26+ mile OCR race) and it was to be done right after the “Beast”. I was entered in both races but I was really gearing my sites on winning the “Ultra” Beast. I wanted to be in the top 3 for the Beast and then come back and win the Ultra, so I wasn’t planning on going out fast. After the start of the race, though, I realized the pace wasn’t too fast, so I just stuck with the Hobie, visiting with him the majority of the time. The last 3 miles he had about 100 yard lead but we hit a huge mountain that was straight up and I caught back up with him. Then about 800 meter from the top I started to leave him. I took off down the other side which was 1.5 miles straight off to the finish line.

That is my story on becoming the World Champion Spartan racer for 2012. In 2013 I’ve been on the podium several times and joined the Spartan Pro Team as well. The 2012 Race was a great experience and I loved the course. It was a beautiful area to run a race, in the middle of fall. I’m looking forward to the upcoming World Championships in Vermont September 21, 2013. Join me! Register HERE.

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