by Leslie St. Louis, Spartan Pro Team
The Tri-State New Jersey Reebok Spartan Super has big shoes to fill this weekend at the Mountain Creek Waterpark. It is just a few weeks after a brutally tough Spartan Super in Virginia and just a few weeks before the Vermont Spartan Beast Championship.
However, if you are one of the lucky participants in New Jersey this weekend: don’t fret. The Tri-State Super is sure to stand its ground and make its own epic impression this 2013 season. There will be some serious challenges from the natural terrain on the ski hill, water park features and man-made Spartan obstacles.
While every Spartan Race is its own unique event, if last year is any indication, this course will likely take at least three hours and have you trekking up and down the mountain, scaling the infamous Tyrolean traverse, tromping through forests, swimming lakes, jumping cliffs, wading lazy rivers…oh and likely heading up and down the mountain a few more times! There are flotation devices available for all the swimming portions and four on-course water stations planned. Also, you may have some obstacles from Mother Nature too, as in 2012 there was plenty of rain, which helped create some extra mud and post-race stories.
In addition, the New Jersey Super will be the very first event offering a Special Needs course designed for individuals with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities (IDD), where “considerations have been set in place to accommodate the sensory profiles, physical and cognitive limitations, and behavioral issues associated with the challenges” faced by these racers.
Expect strong showings from Spartan Pro Team Members Rose Marie Jarry, Andi Hardy, Juliana Sproles, David Magida, Alec Blenis, Alexander Nicholas, Elliott Megquier and Christopher Rutz. Alexander recently took 1st in Hawaii, this will be Elliott’s 34th Spartan and David and Alec will be riding the momentum of podium finishes in Virginia. Last year in New Jersey, Rose Marie and Andi took 1st and 2nd on Saturday and Christopher placed 3rd on Sunday. On the women’s side, other elite racers to watch will be Tri-State New York winner Melinda Branch and past podium finishers Danielle Ross and Gretchen Krueger. On the men’s side, look for Kevin Donohue and LeEarl Rugland to likely place in the top 10.
There should be a few other showdowns this weekend too: in the Team Division between Mud and Adventure and VPX Team Xtreme, and in the 2013 Open Points Division between Stu Klaas and “The Painted Warrior” Stephen Sinek. Current 1st place point earner Sinek is sitting out in preparation for Vermont, but Klaas is only 20 points behind and is registered for the 10am heat.
In every Spartan Race, you need to summon your courage and expect the unexpected. Especially at the New Jersey finish line, you’ll know why!
About the Author: Pro Team Member Leslie St. Louis raced the New Jersey Spartan last year, placing 3rd and 1st on Saturday and Sunday. You can read about her 2012 experience HERE.