Spartan Race Logo Spartan.com Spartanrace.com Reebok Spartan If you’re from Pennsylvania, chances are you are already Spartan tough, just have a look at these eight signs that you’re a Pennsylvanian Spartan.

1. If there’s someone at the gym in a Redskins or Cowboys shirt, you WILL out-lift, out-jump and out-swim anything he or she does. And joggers wearing a Redskins or Cowboys shirt are just ASKING for a race.
Philadelphia Pennsylvania Spartan Sprint

2. You only carry cheesesteaks in your pack/ruck, usually at night close to 0300 as that is the optimum cheesesteak time of day.
3. When you see a staircase you absolutely must sprint to the top with your arms in a V, while humming the Eye of the Tiger.
Philadelphia Spartan Race Sprint4. Every single one of your runs passes at least 3 Wawa’s.Philadelphia Sparan Race Sprint Teamwork5. Your favorite workout song of all time is “High Hopes.”
6. You know precisely how many burpees a Tastykake requires.
Pennsylvania Spartan Race Palmerton Blue Ridge Mountains7. You only want Yuengling as your free beer. If that’s not available, you ask for Wooder Ice.
Pennsylvania Spartan Race Sprint Palmerton PA Finish
8. Even when it seems to be gloomy, it’s always sunny in Philadelphia.
So whether or not you are from Pennsylvania sign up for Spartan Sprint coming to Pennsylvania July 12th and we’ll see you at the finish line!

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If you’re from the PacNW then being a Spartan comes quite naturally, just have a look at these eight ways that you know you’re a PacNW Spartan:

1. Rain makes it better.

2. You have seen possible sightings of Sasquatch while training.

3. Chopping wood has always been a normal exercise activity.

PacNW Spartans fill hydration bladder with coffee

4. You have coffee in your hydration bladder.

5. Rocky beaches are preferred over the ones covered in sand.

6. You get anxious if you are not within two hours of a mountain.

7. It’s not a family vacation if you are not hiking or camping.

8. Regardless of the weather, the prettiest day of the year is when Spartan Race comes to town.

So whether or not you are from the PacNW sign up for Spartan Sprint coming to the PacNW August 2nd and we’ll see you at the finish line!

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40 Reasons Why You SHOULDN’T Run a Spartan Race
1. You hate adventure.
2. You dislike the feeling of excitement you get when you try something new.Women Spartan Race Tuxedo New York
3. You don’t enjoy challenging yourself.
4.Fitness is not important to you.
5. You don’t enjoy getting together with friends.
6. You want nothing to do with camaraderie or teamwork.
7. You despise the idea of being outside.
8. Seeing people having fun makes you angry.
9. You don’t appreciate or enjoy exhilarating scenery.
10. You would rather see a pre-installed computer desktop background of a mountain or forest than witness it in real life.
11. The idea of strengthening your social network makes you cringe.
12. Developing the trust and loyalty of another human is absurd to you.
13. You don’t like free beer.
14. You hate seeing chiseled men and fit women in tight clothing.
15. Free stuff like bananas, Clif Builder’s Bars, and Core Power Protein Drinks are not your thing.Reebok Spartan Race New York Tuxedo Rope Climb
16. You hate having memories to tell your children and grandchildren about.
17. You have no interest in seeing the view from the tops of mountains and hills.
18. You hate earning medals and accomplishing tasks.
19. The idea of satisfaction makes you feel ill.
20. The idea of setting goals and seeing them through is stupid to you.
21. You have no desire to turn exercise into something fun and enjoyable.
22. Traveling and seeing the country/world is of no interest to you.
23. Experiencing life, culture and the sort is just not on your to-do list.
24. You prefer to have bathroom selfies over epic professional photos of yourself.
25. Free t-shirt is not in your vocabulary.
26. You don’t like helping others accomplish their goals.
27. You have no faith in mankind or the kindness of strangers.
28. You have no interest in learning new skills.
29. Party atmospheres with fun challenges is something you find boring
30. You don’t see anything inspiring in watching veterans with missing limbs conquer courses.
31. Watching folk with Spina Bifida, Cerebral Palsy and MS do the same thing is something that makes you yawn.Tuxedo New York Spartan Race Reebok Cargo Climb Obstacle 32. Watching the joy in children’s faces doing a kids race is something you find repulsive.
33. …and seeing their eyes light up when they receive a medal is just plain stupid.
34. You have no interest in helping charities.
35. You hate cheering strangers on. What is the point of that?
36. You’d rather not witness nature up close and see animals you’d never otherwise see.
37. You are allergic to all of or some of the following; mud, wind, sand, water, grass, fun.
38. You hate the sound of laughter and cheering.
39. Bumping into the occasional celebrity and grabbing a photo opportunity is boring.
40. You have nothing left to learn, as you know everything, so learning something new about yourself when your body is pushed is a complete waste of time.

If this is not the case, then we’ll see you at the finish line!

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We all know being a Spartan is sexy already. It’s just the natural effect of pushing your limits and cranking out relentless, unspeakable quantities of burpees. While “sexy” might be relative in the world of Spartan it’s quite synonymous with many of the activities we perform on the daily. As it just so happens to be, there are some things that get a fellow Spartan more riled up than others. Quite often it’ll be the subtle things that we take for granted once we become engrossed in the world of Spartan.

Spartan Obstacle Race Women and Men Compression clothing

THAT TIGHT COMPRESSION GEAR

You walk up to the starting line of any heat and you’ll see it, all the tight little outfits. Clothing so tight that hugs those chiseled muscles ever so carefully, in a manner that almost naturally urges you to stare. Fabric so tight it gives all the right curves a proper lift; all the talent of a Spartan that lies beneath accentuated to the nth degree.

What might appear as showing off one’s physique to the untrained obstacle racer is in all actuality a testament to a Spartan’s dedication to their performance on the course. Those tight spandex provide many benefits to a racer including their unbelievably quick drying abilities; compression gear doesn’t retain moisture much, meaning none of that sloppy, saggy, heavy feeling you get with a lesser material like cotton. Tighter fitting clothes also mean less chances of getting snagged up in an obstacle such as the barbed wire crawl. It’s not all about a look in obstacle racing, there’s a great many more benefits to all that tight clothing that’d have your great grandmother and great grandfather rolling in their graves.

HITTING THAT DOWNWARD DOG ANYWHERE AND EVERYWHERE

Take it easy lad, we’re talking about the yoga pose. It’s actually quite easy to drop down almost anywhere in a downward dog and many a Spartan will do so without hesitation. It’s a great way to loosen up the joints. Honestly, it’s just one of those odd somethings that Spartans do, much like the now classic Burpees in public epidemic. Are you feeling tight or sore? Then it’s time to stretch it out! That’s how a Spartan decides when and where they stretch. Don’t be surprised if you spot a Spartan on the side of the road or trail with their backside in the air, they’re just making sure those hamstrings get nice and loose so they can complete the Spartan WOD.

spear throw obstacle race spartan race spartan chicked

ALWAYS PERFECTING A TIGHT GRIP

You may have never thought about it, or perhaps you have, regardless grip strength is one of the most important elements to being successful at a Spartan Race. Your ability to hold-on-tight is tested over and over again from pulling a heavy bag up to the very top of the Hercules Hoist, to holding on for dear life at the rope climb, your grip is tested in the worst of conditions. Many Spartan obstacles test your grip, like the traverse wall, or the unforgiving nature of the slippery ropes they provide to pull yourself up the equally slippery wall. There’s no doubt about it, Spartans know how to hold on tight and in more ways than one. We hear they are pretty good at it.

CARRY BIG BALLS AND HEAVY SACKS

Get your mind out of the gutter, we’re talking about the Atlas Stones and Sandbags, shame on you Spartan. Those who are part of the Spartan lifestyle will commonly practice carrying sandbags of all shapes and sizes and various stones to simulate the challenge of the Atlas Carry. If you see a Spartan carrying a heavy sack, shout out a good ol “Aroo!” in support.

Man Atlas Stone Carry Spartan Obstacle Race

HERCULEAN GRUNTS AND GROANS

Have you ever listened and paid attention to what it sounds like by the Hercules Hoist? Honestly next time you’re near this obstacle, give it a listen. You’ll hear the grunts and groans of what might sound like an old Spartan pastime of our ancient brothers and sisters but I assure you, only feats of strength and tenacity are being tested here.

SMELL OF SPARTAN COURAGE

Get close to a Spartan and give them a whiff. Smell that? That smell is what we call the Courage of a Spartan. Take it all in the next time you get a chance. Be warned, it’s not our fault if you become radically turned on by those pheromones infused with a taste of that Sparan courage. Spartans with this smell know what it means to sign up, show up and never give up. They already figured out what it means to Spartan UP!, now it’s your turn. Remember we warned you their smell could lure you in forever. So what are you waiting for? Sign up for a Spartan Race and put your courage to the test.

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Spartan Pro Teamer Isiah Vidal takes us through how to complete the inverted walls and gives tips and coaching advice for how to prepare for them.

Beat the obstacle and avoid the burpees!!

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Just the words “Virginia Super Spartan Race” sends shivers down the spines of many who witnessed what course designer Norm Koch prepared for them last year. One of the most brutal courses in the history of Spartan Race left many competitors really experiencing what it meant to “know at the finish line”. Those Blue Ridge Mountains just seem to go on and on, don’t they?

Virginia 2013 was also notable for the emergence of Matt Novakovich, who exploded from nowhere to not only win, but dared to beat the legend, Hobie Call, by around two minutes. The Alaskan has since gone on from strength to strength and is now a regular podium finisher and a staple of the Spartan Pro Team.

So, what’s in store this year? Well, let’s just say that while, as per usual, we’re not giving anything away, we’ll just tell you that having good leg muscle memory will be useful to you. With the race being a Super, there will be at least 8 miles of obstacles and trails. We’re going to put down 3 water stations for you, but if you don’t think that will suffice, by all means bring your own means of carrying fluids. Cramping and dehydration aren’t fun things to experience and bear in mind that Nellysford experiences average temperatures in the mid 80’s in August, as with most things Spartan related, if you fail to prepare, then prepare to fail.

For those making a road trip to the beautiful surroundings of the Wintergreen Resort in Nellysford, the first priority is somewhere to stay. By clicking here, you can have a browse through which hotels tick your relevant boxes. If you’d prefer something a little cheaper, there is a hostel close by that might be able to help you. With the accommodation in the area all boasting good reviews, you can be safe in the knowledge that you’ll be well looked after.

There’s also the option of the good old-fashioned bed and breakfast, should you choose to go down that route. With all the establishments with reviews scoring either 4 out of 5 or higher, it’s clear that making travelers and strangers welcome is something that Charlottesville excels at.

The same goes for when you want to either carb up or replace all those calories you’ll have burned off on the course – because trust us, you will!

There are almost 450 restaurants and places to eat that are featured on Tripadvisor’s site and thanks to their site, you can select the style you are looking for, if you have those pangs for something particular. Whether it be your typical American steakhouse, or if it’s something a little more exotic, such as Greek, Indian or Thai cuisine. With so much on offer and such a broad range available, there will almost certainly be something that will fill whichever hunger hole you have.

Some of the best terrain is waiting for you.

But if having a drink and possibly shaking your stuff is something that is high on your list of priorities, that’s well covered in the reviews section on Yelp for the area. Additionally, you have a selection of wine bars, nightclubs and even “dive” bars, if you prefer that kind of thing. Again, with many scoring very high and positive reviews, having a good time is an almost certainty.

Naturally, the responsible Spartan makes sure there’s a designated driver if alcohol passes the lips, but if not there are some local taxi companies that will be able to make sure you get back to your accommodation safe and sound.

For more information about the area, there is a very useful website that is all about Charlottesville. Have a look here and you’ll find out about things to see and do, just in case you choose to make a long weekend of it after celebrating your Super finish.

See you at the finish line!

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If you’re struggling with the J-Hook, here’s another way you can conquer the rope climb and avoid those penalty burpees!

Remember that using your feet and legs will always help you. You legs are generally stronger than your arms, so let’s make use of them! “Standing” on the rope is so much easier than hanging from it!


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How many times have you stared longingly at those people at Spartan Races that effortlessly scamper up those climbing ropes and ring the cowbell with effortless ease?

There you are, hugging that rope with your hands clenched around that knot, hoping that if you can get just above the one in front of you, you’re part of the way there. Then what happens? You slide back into that muddy water and curse the whole thing to Hades.

How do they do it? It looks so easy when they do it!

Never fear – the Spartan Race Pro Team are here!

In this episode of “How to…” the Barbed Wire Queen of Green, Andi Hardy, is going to show you how to employ the “J-Hook” technique when climbing a rope. Gone are those frustrating times of shaking an angry fist at that cowbell you can’t reach.

Just watch this tutorial video made on course at a Spartan Race and all will be revealed!

Learn the technique and sign up without fear of failing it again!

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Joe Desena isn’t keen on lethargic attitudes and procrastination. Putting something off because you, “just want to see the end of this episode of Storage Wars” doesn’t cut it. Get out. Move. Do what a human is supposed to do. Work, sweat and get dirty.

The Spartan Race founder shakes his head when he sees the state of not just America but of the world today. He observes how mankind as a race has allowed itself to become accustomed and content with comfort, quick fixes and the easy option.

Fast food may be quick, but it’s no good. Sitting around and not moving may be easier than going outside and getting things done, but it hides one fast track you don’t want; the fast track to a heart attack. Avoiding a struggle or something that is difficult is largely the root of what we today see as the biggest problem. Not wanting to work for something is how we got into the mess we’re in. As Flogging Molly once sang, “…and we find ourselves in the same old mess, singing drunken lullabies”.

Having had his fill of what he has seen, Joe has written a book that reminds us what it means to be human. It’s time to revert back to what mankind did before. What we were built for. What we were actually meant to do. As he puts it, it’s time to “Spartan Up”.

Sign up right here for a race and start living, not just existing. 

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Jo Pearson doesn’t recall very much of her life before she turned 27. It’s not that she suffered a terrible accident or violent traumatic experience, it’s simply her coping mechanism.

“All the days I spent before that life-changing year are cloudy memories that I have stored in the recesses of my mind.  I’ve locked them away from others and myself because they are just too painful to remember and they do not bring any light or love to the life that I lead now”, she explains.

Deciding to change her life has not just made Jo a new person on the outside, the one within shines a thousand time brighter, illuminating her outlook and focus.

“The life I have now is one worth fighting for – it is one filled with joy, success, love, energy, zeal, and passion.  However, it also one that forces to me to suffer at times, to feel the pain of defeat and the frustration of setbacks, and to feel the weight of the world on my shoulders.  The old me would have cowered at these type of tribulations and hid among the darkness.”

That new found radiance has permeated her attitude and zest for life, but also her mentality of how she approaches life.

“That woman that cowered is gone.  I have evolved into a warrior – a woman who will fight for what is right, just, healthy, and good in this world and who believes in her ability to make a difference in her own life and the lives of others.  I am proud of my journey for the small steps I have taken along the way are the ones that help me stand strong at the foot of mountains and keep me poised to carry on with strength, courage, grace, and honor.”

There was a point in her life when Jo weighed around 415lbs and wore a size 28. Despite being a young woman in her prime, she felt that she hadn’t even begun to live and experience life. Travelling anywhere by flight wasn’t an option because she couldn’t fit into an airplane seat. Amusement rides provided the same difficulty. This meant she rarely went out to enjoy happy times with her family or friends. This led to a vicious circle of staying indoors. Accusatory and mocking looks, pointed fingers and stares led her to feel isolated, with only family and a tight, small circle of friends being around her.

“Physically, I can remember not being able to walk up the 16 stairs at my parents’ house without feeling like I had just ran a marathon.  And, I never ever contemplated setting foot into a gym because it would have been too embarrassing.  I had become a person that wasn’t truly alive and that was sad and depressed.  I knew that I ate poorly and that I didn’t get any exercise, but for years I wasn’t ready to make any changes. I chose instead to eat huge amounts of fast food, sodas, sweets, and processed foods and then not exert any type of physical activity.  I had fallen into a black hole lifestyle that kept me shackled underneath hundreds of pounds of weight – taking a toll on my body and my soul.”

Her epiphany came one day as she looked back at the woman that greeted her in her mirror. Tired of feeling so sad all the time and craving something better, the blanket of doubt that had stifled her for so long was beginning to lift. Jo began to move. Slowly at first, but it was a start.

“I began walking late at night around my parents’ neighborhood so that no one would see me walking.  I was too afraid of being made fun of to actually do my exercise in the light of day.  I was still hiding in the shadows, but I was making my way out – slowly, but surely.  I cut out sodas and fast food entirely and began researching ways to eat healthy.  There wasn’t one magical diet or workout plan that I followed in the beginning.  I was just taking baby steps to becoming healthier.  But, changing the way I ate and incorporating moderate physical exercise, helped me shed pounds over the first couple of months.  I kept up my walking and healthy eating for about 6 months and I ended up losing about 60 pounds.  Once that initial weight came off and I could begin to see a different face and body in the mirror, my whole attitude changed. I knew I could do it. I knew I could make even more progress.”

Home workouts were the next phase. Scheduling set exercises to work out to gave her something to work with. Still fearing what she believed to be the glare and audience that was a gym, she avoided the gym. This was one fear she wasn’t ready to face – yet. Not before long, she’d shed 100lbs. She took this as the signal to employ a trainer to help her push further.

“I found a local trainer, Jonathan Smith, to help me continue on my journey.  He incorporated muscle confusion, strength training, cardio, boxing, and outdoor exercise.  I lost nearly 115 pounds by combining training like this, along with another BeachBody program, P90X, in about a year.”

By the end of her turnaround, Jo had lost around 215lbs and dropped from a size 28 to a 10. The confidence this journey gave her then shifted to another aspect of her life. The classroom. Harnessing the willpower she’d shown throughout her weight loss journey, obstacles were no longer things to fear, but opportunities to conquer. While she attended law school, she knew that the stresses and strains she experienced in an academic sense could be alleviated with a good diet and continued physical exercise.

“So, in my last year of law school, back in 2013, I decided to get another trainer.  I was able to find Jason Johnson, through Independence Gym in Scottsdale.  Jason has helped keep me in shape and believe that I am more than just a woman who has lost weight.  I am an athlete that has been hidden for so many years.  He incorporates high intensity interval training with both boxing and heavy strength training.  I have defined muscles now that I never knew even existed! Through his training I felt poised to take on a challenge that I never thought I would ever have a chance to even think about. The Spartan Race.  I decided that my law school graduation present and the best way to celebrate passing the Arizona bar exam and becoming an attorney was to finally compete in the Spartan Race!”

Training for it with the same precision and determination she had shown throughout her weight loss victory and graduating from law school, she prepared herself for what lay ahead. She was ready.

“On February 8, 2014 I approached the starting line of the Arizona Spartan Sprint ready to face my biggest physical challenge ever.  My fiancé, Jules Demetrius, who is battling Stage 3 colon and liver cancer, had hoped to be in those spectator bleachers cheering me on, but due to his diminished physical capacities, he was unable to do so.  But, he voiced his support all over social media, touting his love and admiration for what I have accomplished.  Every day he endures horrible pain as he fights against cancer and his strength and courage only spur me to continue to face my fears and give 100% to everything in my life.”

“As I crossed the finish line I began to cry.  It had been the biggest physical challenge I had ever faced and subsequently conquered.  Years of hard work, determination, and struggles had culminated in the completion of this 4.5 mile race.  And as Arisotle penned, ‘We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.’ I have truly embraced the Spartan code of never quitting and never accepting defeat.  I will carry those virtues with me for the rest of my days, for I am, and always have been a fighter.  AROO!”

Jo knows now what it means to know at the finish line. Do you?

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