Dear Joe,

My oldest brother Bill Speeg died of a massive heart attack while at the gym training for his first Half Ironman that he was gonna do in March in San Diego.

He was in the navy for 10 years and retired out in San Diego after meeting his wife Kelly of 23 yrs. He worked at the family business where he was the VP. Bill and Kelly feel into a cycle of constant work and let their weight go by eating what ever was easy.

In late 2011, they sold the business and found themselves retired at 44 years old. Bill and Kelly made a pact with each other to get their lives back by eating healthy and working out together. In 2012 Bill discovered Spartan Race and took on the challenge full steam ahead. He completed 6 or 7 Spartan Races in 2012 and attempted the Ultra Beast in VT Sept. 2012. That was when I was finally able to reconnect with my big brother that I had lost touch with, living so far apart as I live in Connecticut. After the Ultra Beast, Bill came down to Connecticut to visit us and if not for Spartan Race, I maybe would have not reconnected with my brother and been able to share the past year and a half with him.

His love for Spartan racing swallowed me whole and we did our first race together in April of 2013 at Citi Field, NY. I was hooked and we signed up for the Beast in Vermont together in 2013. That will be my most cherished memory with my brother as we embarked on our journey and completed the Beast side by side after 12 hrs and 38 mins of pure awesomeness. The Beast was Bill’s Trifecta, as he also completed 2 back to back Supers and a Sprint in, I believe January of 2013 in CA. I was hoping for my Trifecta as well but was unable to pull of a Super in time for the Beast.

My brother was a true example of a Spartan and embodied everything that Spartan stands for. We were going back and forth about doing the Beast again this year, but I wanted him to focus on his Ironman training and he had bought 2 lottery tickets for the Kona Ironman, which is 2 weeks after the beast and wouldn’t have been able to do with me if he get picked. I decided I would train for a Full Marathon this year and we would re-visit the Beast again next year.

Bill (left) with his brother Adam

Ironically, Bill had passed away on Tuesday and on Thursday of that same week I received my email that the VIP reg for the Beast was closing at midnight that night. After a good cry I registered and will be running it with hopes of beating our time from last year and maybe even be able to pull off my Trifecta while finishing.

Bill and his wife Kelly also had a goal in 2013 of completing 13 half marathons, which they did side by side. Bill usually wearing his Spartan shirt and carrying and American Flag the whole way or spare tire.

I am still in shock and disbelief that my brother is gone and will forever be grateful to Spartan Race for not only changing both of our lives but also bringing Bill and I back together. The service was in San Diego and I was excited at the chance of him being recognized as the Spartan he was.

Sorry for being so long and drawn out, but this was a challenge for me as he has done so much and I wanted to tell his story. My sister in law made arrangement for Bill to be driven on the Ironman race course that he would have competed on and will be laid to rest with his IM finishers jersey and bib number that he would have worn on race day. I will be wearing my Spartan Beast shirt while being a pall bearer for him.

Thank you again DJ and I hope to meet you one day soon and be able to thank you face to face!

AROO AROO AROO!!!

Adam J. Speeg

Sign up for a  Spartan Race now and make memories that you will cherish.

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It should be no surprise to anyone who follows my writing that I’m a huge fan and supporter of Spartan Race. In my opinion, it’s one of the best race series in existence, led by a group of people who have truly invested their entire heart and soul into a company which has a mission to get people off of their couch, and out being healthy.

I ran my first Spartan Race in early 2013, at the Miami Super, and instantly fell in love.  I loved the challenge, was impressed with the organization, and most of all, admired the passion of not only the participants, but of those helping to make the event an epic and memorable experience for every singe person.  I couldn’t wait to do another, and just a short month later found myself in Georgia, participating in the Sprint.  With two Spartan’s under my belt, I coveted a chance to earn the Spartan Trifecta.

The Trifecta is earned by anyone who successfully completes all three race distances that Spartan has to offer in one calendar year.  The most common, the Sprint, is typically 3-5 miles in length, with roughly 18-20 obstacles, and tends to offer a slightly less technical terrain than her larger family members. Then comes the Super, which steps up the competition a notch by asking 8-10 miles and over 20 obstacles of its participants.  And finally, the Mack Daddy of them all, the aptly named Beast.  Generally around half marathon length, with 25 or more obstacles, these races are hosted in extremely technical terrain, not only using the obstacles and distance against you, but also using the unforgiving land as a weapon to wear you down.  The Beast does its best to dishearten even the most seasoned athlete, as they typically take the average participant 4 or more hours to complete, and are meant to mentally and physically challenge a person to the brink of giving up.  This race truly encompasses founder Joe De Sena’s vision, as it is all about perseverance, about overcoming your own self-doubt, and about realizing that you can accomplish so much more than you ever dreamed possible. To learn that pain is not always a negative thing, but that it can also make you stronger; and once you achieve the euphoric sensation that is felt once that pain is overcome, it creates a pride in oneself that cannot be matched.

I want to experience this so badly. I want the Trifecta.

Unfortunately I was unable to make it to a Beast last year, but I began 2014 with the resolve that, this year, I would make it happen.

Well it is going to happen, but with an added bonus that I never could have anticipated.  You see, this year I will not be earning my Trifecta alone.  My husband will be joining me, every step of the way.

Why is this such a big deal? Well you see, just a mere month and a half ago, my dear hubby did not think he’d ever complete a Sprint, much less a Beast.  Heck, he didn’t ever think he’d run a 5K!  He was not a runner, not an athlete, and not interested in racing.  That was my thing.  I was the one who loved to run, race, and compete.  He loved the sidelines, taking pictures, talking with people, and making connections.  It worked, and we were happy with things that way.

Perhaps we knew that things needed to change, but we just weren’t willing to actually take the first step toward a change.  Like so many people are, we were stuck in our comfort zone, unwilling to shake things up a bit.  To be honest I probably should have pushed him harder to live a healthier lifestyle, but I didn’t.  I was focused on me.  My husband was overweight, had chronic high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and was experiencing pre-cursors for diabetes.  Looking back, I should have encouraged him to be healthier, for his own well-being as well as for the longevity of our family, but instead I simply let him continue on his path while I pursued mine.  For that, I owe him an apology.  I should have cared enough to want to help him to change.

So what changed? Well a harsh reality check on New Years Day threw both of us into a spin.  It was the type of situation that could ruin a person’s self esteem, that could tear apart a marriage, and that could derail one’s current resolve to reach their goals if they let it.  We had to re-evaluate how we were living life, and had to make a conscious choice not to let one situation destroy us, particularly destroy me.  And instead of pushing away from each other to cope with a tough circumstance, we clung to one another, and step-by-step pulled ourselves out of a dark place, together.

In that time we restructured our marriage, adjusted how we were choosing to live our home life, and changed how we spent our time together.  Adam began walking to clear his head, which slowly lead to running, weight lifting, and walking with a weighted ruck sack.  Date nights for us are no longer spent bellied up to a bar, drinking the night away, but instead we throw on our ruck sacks and walk together under the moonlight for a few miles.  We have focused in on healthier living and cleaner eating. Since then, he has lost significant weight, returned to a normal blood pressure, and has reduced his daily pain immensely. My passion, has slowly but surely become our passion.  We are sharing in a lifestyle that has brought us closer together, and has helped us relate to each other, listen to each other, and love each other more.

Last weekend we shouted “I Am A Spartan!” at the top of our lungs and embarked together into Raymond James Stadium to take on the Spartan Special Ops Sprint.  We stayed with each other throughout the entire race, cheering each other on during obstacles, laughing, joking, and encouraging each other.  When we crossed the finish line, the emotion in the hug that we shared is one that I won’t soon forget.  We had done it, and we had done it together.  It was amazing.  I felt as though we had single-handedly won the race that day, and it was one of the first times in a long time that I did not care how long it took me to run, or where I had placed.  I had watched my husband fall in love with something that means so much to me, and I was a very proud wife as I happily cheered him on through obstacles he never thought he would be able to do.

Since then, he’s decided to not only run the Spartan Super in Miami with me, but he and I are going to take on the Carolina Beast in October. And we are going to earn our Trifecta together.

I cannot think of a better way to earn this title.

Very soon I’ll be sharing my review of the Tampa Spartan, as it will be published in the upcoming monthly Spartan magazine.  Until then, I hope that each of you is also pushing past your fears of what you believe limits you, and I encourage you to rise above what you think you cannot do.  I guarantee you will surprise yourself.  I did.  My husband did.  And so can you.

AROO.

Holly Joy Berkey

www.muddymommy.com

 

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In 2010, Scott Weir decided he’d had enough of the way his life was going. Sure, he’d done a little exercise before – biking, specifically in college and during the first few years of his working life – but eventually, that fire died down to a few glowing embers until it extinguished completely. Reaching a point where he was unhappy with his frame, it was time to start rebuilding.

“After years of living a pretty sedentary life, I’d finally hit a weight and pant size that I couldn’t live with; a size 40 pants and 240lbs”, recalls Scott. “So early summer 2010 the girlfriend and I started the Couch to 5k program. I remember the first day we went out, a total of 6 minutes of running split into six 1 minute runs in like 30 minutes – it was hard. Take those last two miles at your first beast – you’re sucking wind but just keep going on guts alone – that last one minute run was the same. Eventually they got easier and longer, but when I hit 4-5k in, I started getting shin splints. So on a whim I ordered some Vibram FiveFingers and the problem disappeared.”

Progress was slow, as it always is, but it was steady and it was precisely that- progress.

“I didn’t get into racing until the next year at Ottawa Race Weekend, which was a 5K, but things spiraled pretty quickly from there. Around the same time we started running, we also began indoor rock climbing. Having seen some kind of special on MTV where Bam Margera and Ryan Dunn ran the Tough Guy, the sign for the Spartan Sprint at the gym piqued our interest. There were 5 of us that ran it that year, and it was a pretty brutal race – about 40C and incredibly humid with no water on course at a ski resort. We all made it, had a bunch of fun – despite not actually running it together as we were all different speeds -and pretty quickly decided to do it again the next year. 2012 came around and I had started biking again, did my first triathlon, a few duathlons, a few half marathons, and my first trifecta that was completed within a month of start to finish.”

That trickle progress at the beginning was rapidly becoming a torrent of activity and Scott was becoming stronger, leaner and more to the point, he was happier.

In late 2010, he started travelling to his company’s new plant in Chihuahua, Mexico with a lot of regularity, so Scott began signing up for any local race he could find in between travelling. That pattern continued the next two years, with the only difference being that his travelling cut down and his racing grew much more.

“2013 rolled around and I started with Vegas – did the Hurricane Heat and then my heat 45 minutes after we finished, except with an injured shoulder since I somehow managed to blow it out on the 2nd 8ft wall. I wasn’t ready for all of that, so I spent most of 2013 trying to recover as well, but never stopped racing.”

“I had my eastern Canada season pass and raced every venue which was 4 sprints, 1 super and 2 beasts, and transferred a registration for Sun Peaks (British Columbia), so I just needed one more super to do a triple trifecta. I managed to change a work trip around and get to the Virginia Super. Then Mexico announced their beast, and I worked another trip around that – 4th trifecta. That’s where I met Johnny Waite and Andi Hardy.

It was here that Scott had a good long conversation with who introduced him to Dave Huckle. After hearing that Dave was doing 9 Trifectas at the expense of Spartan Race, including flights and accommodation after winning a competition, and hearing there was still one more Super just announced in Guadalajara, not to mention seeing the multi-trifecta medals coming out, he made plans to get a 5th trifecta for 2013. It was here that wheels in his mind started turning and he began thinking about an attack on 2014.

“While I’m fast enough to race in the elite heat, I’m not going to win a race any time soon. So the next best thing? Trifecta record and US SR300.”

“So I began planning around that. The current plan has me going for 11 and hoping to get 10, since the Beast/Ultra Beast in the same weekend is a bit of a tall order. Pretty tough to schedule right now, there’s hardly enough Beasts, given that Sun Peaks is out – same weekend as VT, there’s one fewer in eastern Canada and no schedule for Mexico out yet. Honestly, I think Huckle has been spreading word around more than I have – he seems pretty jazzed that multiple people are out to break his record”

“As far as financing goes – I’ve already got my US and Eastern Canada season pass, so now it’s pretty much just spending my own cash and air miles that I’ve built up over the last few years. There’s lots of races I can drive to as well (apparently 13 hours is my radius), so as much as I can, I’m just avoiding paying for flights. Hard to put a price on kicking your own ass for the whole year, isn’t there?”

A self-financed attempt at a minimum of 10 Trifectas now a very real possibility, Scott is looking at breaking records throughout 2014. Don’t be surprised if you see his face at a race near you and whatever you do, get out of the way if he’s approaching fast behind you. He’s a man on a mission!

See you at the finish line…

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It was a tale of two halves as the 2013 calendar came to a close in Glen Rose at the Spartan Beast. Saturday saw competitors challenged by not only the evil genius of Norm Koch’s 14.8 mile course, but the freezing temperatures not helped by the relentless bone-chilling wind. Sunday saw frost at first, but quickly became an altogether different day as the warm Texas sun smiled upon all those who wanted to challenge themselves.

April Luu saw back to back wins over the weekend.

Familiar faces littered the elite podiums, with April Luu being clearly the happiest of the weekend with back-to-back wins in the female elites. In the males on Saturday, Hunter McIntyre kept up his impressive form by strolling to victory a good 6 minutes ahead of second placed Cody Moat. Isiah Vidal would come in third, but he quickly righted his own personal wrongs by romping to victory the following day. Kioyake KK Paul took the female second place with Rose-Marie Jarry claiming third. On the Sunday, Elliot Megquier gave himself the gamble of competing and forcing a fast time in order to catch a plane home. Spurred by this pressure, he took second place with another Pro Team favorite Shawn Feiock taking 3rd place. Debbie Moreau and Jolene Wilkinson both had impressive runs to take 2nd and 3rdrespectively. With many correctly seeing Glen Rose as their last opportunity to earn some coveted Spartan Race “bling”, the race was awash with people that had challenged themselves to rise above their own personal situation. Social media favorite Amanda Sullivan, accompanied by Pro Team Elite athlete Alex Nicholas, beat her own personal demons by taking the course on in her own inimitable style. With her backpack, knee and wrist braces literally duct-taped to her and her trusty crutches, she battled through taking nearly 9 hours to complete the race to find her boyfriend and friend of Spartan Race, Todd Love, waiting for her at the finish line. As she collapsed at his wheelchair the cheers and applause were deafening.

Waiting for Amanda at the finish line was her boyfriend Todd Love.

All of this after only 3 years ago having been in 2 horrific accidents separated by a matter of weeks that saw her break, “pretty much everything from my skull to my toes”,  Amanda continues build, grow and inspire everyone she meets with her lust for life and the smile she wears that simply refuses to stop shining.
Completing the course only moments before, Louisiana’s own Matt Pevoto had completed his battle against the course.  Despite suffering from Spina Bifida, Matt’s appetite for Spartan Race was tweaked when he completed the Sprint in Burnet earlier in the year. Deciding to go all guns blazing at the Beast, Matt trained rigorously and it showed. His shoulders, arms and chest now visibly bigger and more defined than they were when he finished the Sprint, he waltzed through many upper body obstacles with derisory ease. With his sights now to crash through 2014 like a wrecking ball, his states matter-of-factly that by 2015, he will race at the elite level.

Matt Pevoto refused to let Spina Bifida get in the way of completing the Beast.

 

Other racers of note included Californian Dave Huckle who finally managed to achieve his dream of nine Trifectas. There was the familiar sight of “Thing 1 and Thing 2” – The Unbreakable Joneses -, albeit this time not tethered, blindfolded or carrying sledgehammers. Must have been a rest day!

And in true Spartan Race tradition, staff, runners and spectators saw a marriage proposal by the finish line. Jenna Dalton (completeing her Trifecta) accepted Collin Witte’s hand amongst cheers of support and applause.

One notable finisher was that of James Simpson, the UK military veteran who, after having been forcibly removed from the London Beast after 6 miles due to horrendous weather conditions, made the flight to Texas from England purely in order to complete the Trifecta. In doing so, he is now the first double amputee in the world to have completed this achievement. Helping him along the way, amongst others, were his expat friend Steff Crawford, now living in Texas and military veteran Michael Smith, a right arm amputee from Fort Sam, Houston who, in his parting words as he walked towards the starting line was simply, “be motivated. Realize your potential.” Perhaps wise words we could all carry in the holiday season and into the New Year.

And so, as we go full circle and end another year with a trail of medals, bucket carries, rope climbs and oh-so many thousands of feet of barbed wire crawling behind us, we wish every single runner, competitor, volunteer, spectator, staff member, contractor, security guard and everyone in-between a healthy and prosperous happy holidays and hope that the new year brings in whatever it is you’ve chosen to dream and aim for.

See you in Temecula in January. AROO!

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And so the Reebok Spartan Race juggernaut rolled into Sacramento in Northern California for a second time, but on this occasion having a somewhat more agreeable weather pattern smiling down on all those who took part.

Veterans of the race last year will recall how the rain and hail seemed to come down horizontally, with many people succumbing to the treacherous conditions. This year, with warm sunshine and no rain, the course made for perfect running. 

Cody Moat made the most of these conditions with an astonishing finishing time of 1h 51m. Chad Trammell and Justin Morejohn came in second and third respectively, again, in remarkably quick times of 2h 2mins (Trammell) and 2h 11m (Morejohn).

The ladies elites also posted times that belied the unforgiving rolling land at Rancho Murieta. The familiar face of Tyann Clark smiling from the first place podium with a time of 2h 33m with Rose-Marie Jarry (2h 42m) taking second and Jenny Tobin (2h 56m) taking third.

With yet another showing of a huge sea of green and black shirts, the might of Team SISU and The Weeple Army took the bragging rights for the biggest team of the day. Choosing to forego running for time, they exemplified the ideal of leaving no one behind, choosing to stay as a single unit for the duration of the race.

As a huge fan of road trips, Arizona native Daniel Strebler chose to make the Sacramento Beast his first Spartan Race ever. Liking what he experienced, he vowed to return again, almost certainly in February when the Sprint returns to Arizona.

With more people than ever getting accustomed to the clink-clank of a trifecta medal bouncing against the last medal in the set of red, blue and green, it appears very obvious that more and more people are proudly claiming the title of Trifecta Spartans.

Spartan Race would like to extend special thanks to the US Army for all their help over the weekend.

Next stop, Miller Park. Will you be there?

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by Brenda Perry

This is my transformation story.  The photo on the left side was two years ago (8-2011) a couple weeks after my battle with Breast Cancer Stage 2A.  I had to undergo six treatments of Chemo therapy, a Lumpectomy and 35 treatments of Radiation.  With all this happening I gained weight and found myself at 160 pounds.  That was the heaviest I have ever been in my life.

The right side is me after achieving my Spartan Trifecta (6-2013) and I am at a healthy 129lbs.   I changed my lifestyle to be more healthy and active. These races have given me the push to overcome difficult obstacles both physically and mentally. I strive to do better in the races and this is the push to continue my lifestyle. This is not really a weight loss transformation but it is a lifestyle transformation.

I was not going to let Cancer get me and change me instead I changed my lifestyle and became healthier and active.

What is your Spartan story?  Email carrie@spartanrace.com with your Spartan tale of transformation.

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by Steffen Cook
“My body could not handle all that weight and I could not even walk for 5 minutes without getting tired.”

Elizabeth Rivera reflects on what was a very low point in her life, recalling times that she know views as pages in the book of her life that are better left turned to happier chapters.

“May 2013 marks my one-year anniversary since I had gastric bypass surgery. I decided several months ago to mark this milestone in my life by testing my limits running in the Spartan Sprint. I remember rolling around in the mud was one of my favorite things to do while I was in the Air Force.”

Elizabeth was honorably discharged from the Air Force for being unable to maintain weight standard. She didn’t know that Type 2 Diabetes was knocking on her door and was about to dictating a rather militant period in her life. She explains,

“I tried so many diets and various exercise programs, but nothing really seemed to have a lasting effect. My health just got worse and the complications from diabetes started to appear. I had several emergency surgeries because of diabetes, two cortisone shots in my left hip, and I had to take a high dose of pain meds twice a day because of a labral tear in my left hip. Not to mention a slight bulging disc and tear in my L5/S1 of my spine. These are just a few things I had to go through because of my weight and diabetes.”

Many different approaches to get the Diabetes under control were tried. Insulin of course eventually appeared, but the result of this was weight gain. Doctors explained how battling in removing the weight would help alleviate the problem, then eventually Elizabeth tried something else.

“My job changed health care plans and I decided to see if gastric bypass surgery was covered. To my surprise it was, but of course there were a list of criteria’s that had to be met. I went through the process required by my insurance and May 2, 2012 was the day I had gastric bypass surgery. At first I was not sure I made the right choice because it was not an easy recovery while in the hospital.”

Rivera talks about her recovery, “With each step I took, things got easier. Everything about my life changed and I no longer focused my life around food.”

Approximately six weeks after recovery, Elizabeth decided to join a gym and begin work with a personal trainer. As is normally the tale with these situations, at first, everything proved difficult and progress was slow. Not very long afterwards, strength began to appear and very quickly, she found herself stronger and fitter than ever before.

“It was my trainer who told me about the Spartan Race and how I should work toward that as a goal. I remember after a session there was an advertisement for the Spartan race flashing on a TV at the gym and I thought one day I would be a Spartan.”

The hard work in the gym was paying off and Elizabeth became a new person. Elizabeth 2.0! Fighting fit and ready for more, she came out of a battle thirsty for more challenge.

“My highest weight was 250 pounds and now I am 125 pounds since my surgery. At 5’ 2” tall no wonder I had so many issues with pain. My body could not handle all that weight and I could not even walk for 5 minutes without getting tired. Gastric bypass was a tool that helped me save my own life and it was the best decision I ever made for myself. I no longer take any medication for diabetes or pain and I believe I am in the best shape of my life for just turning 40. I can do things now that I have not been able to do in a very long time.”

No excuses, no blaming something else, no procrastination. Just out there getting the job done and gleefully accepting challenges that you can sink your teeth into. That’s the Spartan Race way and Elizabeth is now following that lifestyle and couldn’t be happier.

“I have done a few other challenges, but being able to do the Spartan Races is a major milestone. I plan on working toward gaining the Spartan Trifecta and motivating others to get off the couch and start moving. After surgery I could barely walk for 15 minutes and now I am playing in the mud. It takes starting with a few steps to work toward better health.”

See you at the finish line…

Find a Spartan Race near you.  Register today.

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by Delaine Anderson, Spartan Chick

The Beginning

Call me Jane Doe. I was your average, … well, maybe never average, but I was definitely not what you’d refer to as an athletic “40-something” year old female. The year was 2010, and I decided I wanted to try running. It always seemed like something I might like to do, but I tended to be more of a “gym rat”, drawn to working out with weights. “Mix it up,” I thought; so I signed up for my first 5k.

By the time Christmas rolled around, I was filling out my wish list for my personal Santa; and I came across a Mud Run ad and knew that sounded like something I needed to do. Running 5k’s and road running just didn’t hold a “thrill” for me. Santa came through in flying colors that year (thank you, Mark Giffune)! I couldn’t have been more excited nor more nervous and nauseous at the same time.  With that race, I got hooked into the world of Obstacle Course Racing! I had never experienced such an endorphin high as when I was taking on the obstacles, running the switchback trails, and encountering “teamwork” in the truest sense of my life.

Spartan Race

Still on the high from my introduction to my new obsession, I registered, along with my first team, for the 2011 GA Spartan Race. This race was different for me; I still had that “high” but I felt like Spartan Racing was “home”. The obstacles felt like more of a true challenge of my physical abilities, my determination, and my endurance. How could I not want to invite everyone I knew to run these races with me? I’ve worked in sales in the past and knew that if my heart wasn’t in it, it would be a hard sell. I am PASSIONATE about this!

When I heard about the opportunity to be a part of the Spartan Street Team and read about the cool swag and opportunities for promoting Spartan Race, I knew I had to be a part (who doesn’t like swag and free races, right?)!

Trifecta

As I continued on in my personal quest for the Trifecta Tribe in 2012, my travels took me to Virginia for the MidAtlantic Super where I had the opportunity to meet Spartan Race enthusiasts from around the country. I was also privileged to meet the Elite Runners in person who I had read about and admired (Hobie Call, Andi Hardy, Margaret Schlachter, and Alec Blenis) and to see the spectacular entrance of Team X-T.R.E.M.E. and progress through the final 3 obstacles. What I really started to learn at that race was the true sense of community in Spartan Racing.

Two months later, I journeyed on to complete the final leg of my Trifecta in South Carolina at the Beast. The thrill I felt at finishing that race and receiving that Trifecta Medal can be compared to few moments in my life. I had done it! And I made a lot of new friends in the process at the campsite, online through the Street Team FaceBook page, and at the venue.

My ride to the Carolina Beast was with Matt B. Davis. He told me something on that trip that has stuck with me. He told me how people in the Spartan Race community “pay it forward”; they help one another out, whether it’s through great discount codes, free races, carpooling, sharing hotel rooms, encouraging one another, and just being a team. I’ve come to truly understand that in the time since then…

Next week we’ll feature the rest of Delaine’s story.  Are you ready to find a Spartan finish line?  Register today. 

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by  Jose Ortiz, guest blogger

Where it Began

In 2000, I made a decision to serve my country in the most honorable manner I knew possible; I joined the United States Marine Corp.  After serving honorably in operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, my commitment to the Marines came to an end in 2004.  Returning to my home of Long Island, I settled with my wife in Wantagh, New York, a suburb about 35 miles away from New York City and I became a corrections officer.

 

Needing a Change

Once I was home I was looking for something to take the place of the daily PT routine I had in the Marines.  A friend of mine introduced me to two of the best things I have discovered since my wife, Spartan Race and CrossFit Lighthouse.  As soon as I listened to my friend’s story about Spartan Race I started to track down pictures and watch videos…I was hooked.  I signed up right away for the Spartan Sprint in Tuxedo, NY and started doing the Workout of the Day (WOD).  Soon after, I wanted to workout with some great people who could push me and I met Dan Luffman and Jack Sandhaas, owners of Crossfit Lighthouse.  These two guys are HUGE fans of Spartan Race and they took me on as their pet project immediately.  They showed me how the integration of movements in the gym would translate into a healthy lifestyle and top performance in a Spartan Race.

A New Life

Once this journey began, I set my sights on the Spartan Race and my CrossFit coaches did the rest.  I am proud to say that I dropped 30 pounds of unwanted body weight.  I was inspired by the Chris Davis story and followed his journey as I embarked on my own.  I found that once my body became acclimated to the workouts, nutrition also became a huge focus.  Now, everything was part of my Spartan Race/CrossFit lifestyle.  It was something that I lived and breathed every day.  It wasn’t just a workout or a healthy meal; it was a commitment to my wife, my family, and myself to say that I was taking control of everything that was good and productive for me.

The First Spartan Experience

After months of lifting, stretching, running, and healthy living, my first Spartan Race arrived.  The cannon sounded and before I knew it and I was at the starting line staring at my goal that I set months prior.  I was finally here.  One obstacle after the next, training and muscle memory took over, rope climbs and wall climbs and hurdles were second nature.  I am proud to say that I did not have to do one penalty burpee, but if I did, I was ready.  The motto is true, “You’ll know at the finish line.”

Now, with that race under my belt, I have become a permanent staple at CrossFit Lighthouse and Spartan Race.  I am training every day towards my new goal, the Trifecta Medal.

Semper Fi.

Are you ready to test your Spartan mettle?  Find an event near you and get signed up today.

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What is Obstacle Racing? Obstacle Racing is  an emerging sport and for Spartan, it’s a series of  races held internationally to give racers the chance to push themselves and find their finish line in one of the most challenging series on the planet. It’s a race. That means different things to different people. A  race  motivates, sets goals, allows for healthy competition and like the finisher medals serves as a badge of honor for all who are willing to take up the challenge.  But most importantly, it’s about finishing what you start.

Our races include two forms of competition. When registering you have two options: Individual and Team.

SBVT_BD_0090Individual: Each individual is given a racing chip where their official race time is captured. There are established competitive heats where times are used to award prizes and for the most competitive in the field but not every wave of competitors is showing up to compete. We have a place for everyone.

Teams: You can race with a team – build it as big and as bad as you like – your team’s SR-Facebook-103first four finishers will be your official team time. You still get to race as an individual so you get your own time established as well. Fastest teams can race in any heat and their award will be determined at the end of the day once all teams have had a chance to race.

The Ultimate Spartan Challenge: The Spartan Trifecta
Take on each of our three obstacle racing distances in a year proving that you are the Ultimate Spartan!

There are three distances: Sprint, Super, and Beast.

clip_image001Red Spartan Sprint: A Spartan Sprint is a 5K (3.1+ mile) race with a dozen or more obstacles designed to test your speed, agility, and strength. This is your Spartan Gateway. It’s an opportunity to see how quickly you can get through the race, or a first step into obstacle racing. You’ll never look at a 5K fun run the same way again after our Spartan Sprint.

clip_image002Blue Spartan Olympic Distance (Super): The Spartan Olympic is an 8+ mile race with roughly 15 or more obstacles throughout designed to test your endurance and strength as you transition through even more obstacles. This is the second step in the Spartan Trifecta. It’s a chance to see how far your training has brought you and the added mileage will make you really push through and find the finish line.

clip_image003Green Spartan Beast (Ultra Distance): The Spartan Beast is a 10 – 12+ mile race with roughly 20 or more obstacles throughout designed to test your endurance, your mental strength, and your ability to persevere. The Beast is considered our Ultra distance and is the third step in the Spartan Trifecta. The World Championship for Obstacle Racing will be a Beast, held in Vermont in September in 2012. This race will show you your weaknesses, your strengths, and your commitment to finishing what you start.

SPARTAN_RACE_LEVELS_DEATHSpartan Race does have one more challenge for those of you bad enough and committed enough to face it: The Spartan Death Race. There is only one Death Race and it’s not a distance event but an ultimate test of endurance. Not an official part of the obstacle racing series, the Death Race is a pure mental, physical, and emotional challenge that seeks to break over 80% of the field to failure. It’s not for the faint of heart and the most recent event held in 2011 took 45 hours to finish with only 35/155 finishing and 6/155 finishing with all the required challenges completed. Please only consider this race if you have lived a full life.

Each Region of the United States will have a Sprint, Super, and Beast in 2012 giving Spartans a chance to race in their distance of choice, work towards a Spartan Trifecta, or even qualify for our World Championship. The Top 10 male and Top 10 Female Racers from each race will earn an invite to World Championships.

Want to join the Spartan movement that’s sweeping the globe and find your own Spartan Glory?  You’ll know at the Finish Line.

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Here is our most up-to-date 2012 Calendar of Races.

Spartan Obstacle Racing 2012 Season

Questions?  Check out our FAQ page or Contact page for more information.

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