Top 3 Males

The Ultra Beast began at 6AM in the dark, when there was fog rolling sharply up the mountains. Lined up were Ultra Beast participants as well as Peak Team Death Racers who had been racing all weekend and would be forced to finish their event side-by-side on the unknown miles ahead. All told, it was roughly 27 miles, sharing 14 of those miles with the Beast course itself. It was a wet, cold, and brutal day on the mountain with a finisher rate hovering at 43%. For an ultra marathong Obstacle course race, the only of it’s kind, there is no shock that the numbers fall as they do.

By the numbers:
585 Registered
252 Finishers
- 43% Finisher percentage

First Place Female, Morgan McKay

108 Elite wave finishers
144 Open wave finishers
15 Female finishers (Last year there were 19 female finishers.)
237 Male finishers

Note: Two of those 15 women, Jackie Rust and Heather Knowles Cammarata raced the Beast the day before. Jackie Rust finished in third place female for the Ultra Beast and Heather placed 4th. Less than a dozen Spartans finished both the Beast AND the Ultra Beast last weekend.

Male winners:
1. Junyong Pak 8:36:28
2. Olof Dallner 8:43:03
3. Ben Nephew 8:54:58

Jackie Rust, 3rd place Female

Female Winners:
1. Morgan McKay 11:31:45
2. Nancy Levene 11:46:07
3. Jackie Rust 13:03:45

Are you ready to tame the Ultra Beast?  Pre-register today!

Tags: , , , ,

by James Korak

When I turned 40, I looked in the mirror. I didn’t like what I saw, my youth had slipped away, I had gained 50 pounds and had a soft body. I was on blood pressure medicine, cholesterol medication and was falling apart. I had just came through a dark time in my life where we lost a daughter, were having struggles in our marriage due to a failed adoption, and communication was weak at best. I was not being the leader of our family, so I started to get my body (temple) back into shape by attending boot camp 3x a week for over a year. Then I was asked by my trainer to run a simple three mile mud race (Ha- simple was not the term I use). I got my butt kicked and didn’t like that because I used to be a professional cyclist in my youth and competed at a high level with very structured training and diet. For me to be at such a high level physically, then go to getting my butt kick in a simple 5k mud run did not settle well with me and lit a fire again in my soul and heart for competition. As I tell my wife today, there are worse things to do when you turn 40 and have a midlife crisis than get back into shape and start competing again.

Then came Spartan. I did my first Beast race and still did not do well, so I upped my training and including running to my regiment of training. I ended up placing in the 25 among all males and 4th in age group in 2012. Now I am currently 1st in my age group and hoping for a top 30 finish by the completion of September’s elite racing season.

What changed? How are things getting stronger at such an late time in ones physical life?

When I started doing more races, and getting further into shape, I now was back to my high school weight, the best shape of my life and feeling no restrictions on what I can accomplish except a longer recovery and sore knees! Ha- The Spartan people challenged me to go harder than I ever had physically in life, and enjoy it.

The second component of my story is my family. My brothers, sisters and of course my mom and friends thought I was crazy and truly feared for my well being. When I started doing events like 24 hour obstacle races in sub freezing temps, the Spartan Ultra Beast, and most recently the 2013 Death Race, they thought I was going to kill myself because I was OLDER and should not be doing those things.

HA again, but when they saw the physical talents that God gave me to not quit and conquer what appeared to be impossible challenges, they now are starting to become believers on what one can do and overcome if your heart and mind is into it. But my wife and kids have and always are my biggest fans. My wife is my biggest supporter and fan and never tells me I can’t do something or its too hard! My kids, Grace and Abbie, cheer me on at the races. Whether I see them at the finish line holding a hand painting sign or out on the course trying to run with me for a moment or two, it gives me an enormous amount of strength and courage to push my body past its breaking point and to finish strong. When I cross the finish line in 10th, 20th, etc. and my wife and kids are there, I feel completely fulfilled in life and they look at me with love and compassion in their eyes making me want to challenge myself further. This is far better than winning a cycling race in my younger days. Besides, I do find some satisfaction on beating youth more than half my age, but it’s still more than all that.

My kids now see what hard work and determination can do; age/health is no longer a factor of limitations, but rather an excuse. I now have been told by friends, family and neighbors all around that I have been a source of encouragement to them, showing them there is no limit on what you can accomplish if you put your mind and body into it. I recently spoke at my daughters FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) to 60 plus kids in Junior High School, to give encouragement on finishing life strong in order to hear the words, “Well done” at the finish in life’s race. Spartan helps me strive to better myself as an individual to be the best I can be in life.

My goal is one of inspiration and encouragement to all ages of life. That when faced with adversity and challenges, how you struggle to find solutions and push through the pain and suffering to finish strong, not just in a Spartan Race, but in life. I believe the two our synonymous and I just want to help others help themselves and be a source of inspiration for them and my family to become active and change who they are!

Now it’s your turn! Register TODAY!

Tags: , , ,

My first Spartan Race was in Ottawa back in June 2011. I signed up with my volleyball team for fun. At the time, the idea of getting down and dirty seemed like such a crazy but fun concept so hey, why not give it a try, right?

I raced in an open heat not knowing what to expect other than lots of mud. Being competitive by nature, I wanted to give it my best shot. I was never much of a runner for fear of bringing back old fencing injuries. I had fenced from the tender age of 9 and put my weapons away at 21, fed up of the shin splints and the stress fractures. The idea of running around was certainly not my priority.

I remember that Saturday morning at Camp Fortune. The intensity of the crowd, my adrenaline pumping! I wanted to run it and give it my all. I was definitely out of my comfort zone but I loved it! I had never climbed walls, jumped through fire and yeah, it was a first to tackle gladiators! And let me tell you, that 5K felt like it was at least 15! I was bruised and had scrapes all over but, WOW! I was on a high!

After that race, all I wanted was to do another Spartan Race. And so, my search began. Seeing the next one was in Vermont but was a “Beast”, I figured I couldn’t do a “green level” Spartan before doing a “blue level” race – aka a “Super Spartan”. And so I signed up for the Staten Island Super and eventually upgraded to the Hurricane Heat.

Through Facebook I connected with other mud obsessed people. It was reassuring to see I was not the only crazy person out there. After reading about the Founder’s HH in Amesbury MA, I wanted to be part of it all… The Staten Island Super Hurricane Heat was LIFE CHANGING. I met my Spartan Family there. I was the sole Canadian girl. My team was the Damn Cannucks – despite everyone (except me!) being American. The people that I met during this HH are some of my closest friends up to this day. They are my OCR family. It’s funny to say because I’m usually more of an individual athlete. I have never been a big fan of team events but that HH changed it all! I was with people that understood me, that got the same high from exerting themselves through mud, barbed wire and carrying heavy buckets and running around doing countless burpees (for the fun of it!)

And so this was the beginning of my love story with Spartan Races. I had to wait quite some time to race again. My first competitive race was Tuxedo NY in June 2012. I finished 5th and then I just couldn’t get enough of Spartan Race. I had to do it all – from the Winter Death Race, to Death Race, to back to back races, might they have been Supers or Beasts… Ultra-Beasts (love the glow in the dark medal!)

Coming from Canada, every trip was and still is, a time for me to see my Spartan Family. The camaraderie can’t be explained. It has to be experienced. Yes… You’ll know at the finish line but it doesn’t end there. Spartan Race changes lives. It changed mine. It has built my confidence and has shown me that anything is possible when you put your mind to it. I never expected to become a ranked top athlete and today I am proud to say I have people looking up to me, especially women. SR empowers people… It has even brought my mother and I closer than ever… That’s probably the most epic moment of my racing life thus far: crossing that finish line with my 72 years-young mom. If you haven’t read about that, well you better click on this: http://blog.spartanrace.com/tag/johanne-di-cori/

Obstacle racing is my passion. It’s my fuel. It keeps me sane even if the races look insane. Sure, winning is of course a great feeling, but above all, it’s knowing you gave it all you got at that time. I know I am stronger than yesterday and that fortitude to improve every day burns within me thanks to Spartan Race.
I could go on and on about the different races I have done but the best part of it all: the friendships I have made. I treasure them.

AROOOOOO!!!!!!!!
Unleash the Beast Within

Tags: , , , , , ,

After three incredible days of Spartan Racing in Tuxedo, NY earlier this month and a week of hosting amazing friends and athletes in my home, I’ve had some time to reflect on how my athletic career has come full circle.

As a child I grew up without the privilege to play on many sports teams so the outdoors became my playground. Running through the woods, climbing trees, building forts, and catching animals with my bare hands is how I began to build my self-esteem and confidence. Unfortunately this wasn’t very popular with my classmates. I ended up taking a lot of grief for it, but I would not let constant ridicule change or deter me. I knew deep down who I was and didn’t want to give up the great feelings my outdoorsy life gave me.

Entering HS, fueled by frustration and anger, I thirsted for contact and to further distinguish myself athletically. I began playing football and I discovered the brotherhood I had always desired. Not only was I able to channel the frustration and pain that had built up from being bullied, but I found true friendships that I still cherish to this day. For the first time in my life I felt truly happy and accepted.
However when HS, College, and Semi-Pro Football came to an end I was left with a void that was difficult to fill. Running and training for Ultra-marathons turned out to be to isolating. Jumping from planes is a quick adrenaline rush but way to expensive and skiing with my pals only lasts a few short months.
Luckily for me I discovered Spartan Race due to a chance in meeting with a local Tuxedo, NY Policeman. Ironically enough, I knew him from the private school where I was bullied.

Now, because of that first Spartan Race I ran in 2011, I have filled a huge part of that void. I was able to rediscover the joy in running, climbing, and chasing things throughout the woods again. I have finally found a sport that gives me the adrenaline rush I was seeking while building friendships with fantastic athletes from all different walks of life.

I’m so grateful to Spartan Race for creating an environment where the athletes have been able to breed a culture of intense competition, built on a platform of respect and camaraderie. It is a culture that has blended the passions of my past into the passion of my present and future.

Tags: , , ,

by Carrie Adams

When we announced early 2012 that we’d be having the world’s first marathon(ish) distance Obstacle Course Race, the response was overwhelming.  Application only, thousands of race resumes flooded HQ with runners wanting to be a part of history.  When all was said and done, we had a line-up of Spartan Ultra-Beast participants that ranged from National Champion Trail Runners and Olympic athletes to first time marathoners.

When all was said and done, 386 were accepted (86 more than originally planned) to compete and on race day 345 would toe the line, 321 as individuals and 24 in eight separate three person teams.  Rules were laid out and it was decided at HQ that athletes could compete in both for cash prizes with the assumption that any Spartan tough enough to win both races deserved both cash prizes.  $5,000 was up for grabs for the top spot of the single and double loop Beast and Ultra Beast for top male and female, $2,000 would go to second place and $1,000 for third.  On the day, $50,000 would be handed out in cash prizes.  Other awards were also presented, making it the highest payday for any single obstacle race ever held.

When several of the Ultra Beast runners wandered off course, the time cut-offs were backed up so allow the runners to finish

the over 27 mile course.  Running as much as six miles extra, some were pulled from the course before they could finish when the dark and rain made it impossible for them to continue.  And when the day was over, 162 finished and 69 of those finished in less than 11 hours.  The Ultra Beast medals are special edition and will never be re-created.  They’re larger with a special ribbon, oh, and they glow in the dark.  That’s pretty badass.  We shared photos on our wall all day with breaking stories on Saturday that you can see HERE.

Some of the most compelling stories on the day were of those who DNF’d the course.  For those who missed cut-offs, dropped out due to injury, excuse, or exhaustion, they shared their candid stories with us that you can read HERE.

Results:

Men’s Ultra Beast Top Finishers:

Cody Moat – 7:01:26

Junyong Pak – 7:29:38

Brakken Kraker- 7:38:47

Female Ultra Beast Top Finishers:

Claude Godbout – 8:09:32

Amelia Boone – 8:35:55

Jenny Tobin – 9:00:46

Want to read the rest of the race report from the Ultra Beast?  Click HERE.   And if you want the Ultra Beast by the numbers including stats on fastest and slowest times, transitions in the pit, and average laps… click HERE. 

Not to be outdone, the Vermont Beast was the true World Championship of the 2012 season.  The monster Ultra Beast certainly captured a lot of attention, but the crowning jewel on the season was wrapped up in the Beast where a lot was laid on the line by those brave enough to race for the cash.

One look at the results board and one thing stands out immediately.  Hobie Call’s name is NOT at the top.  In our review of the male competitors coming to the race that we posted last week HERE, several names were visible at the top of the leader board that we predicted would be.  It would ultimately be Cody Moat’s day two times over, taking the top spot and besting Hobie Call in the Beast (one loop) and then continuing on and winning the Ultra Beast (two loops).  Call, nursing a hamstring injury was second on the day, finishing almost five minutes after Moat.  Other high finishers included Brakken Kraker who took third, Ben Nephew who captured fourth, and Sebastian Monette who snagged fifth.  We talk more about the Ultra Beast, HERE in this blog post published yesterday.

On the women’s side it was a tight race!  We previewed the ladies last

week HERE. The top spot went to Canadian biathlete and Obstacle Racing phenom Claude Godbout, who, like Moat, went on to a second loop capturing both race victories!  Godbout took not only top spot for females, but 7th overall, beating all but six men on the course.  Godbout was our top place finisher in the 2011 Vermont Beast last year and was able to reclaim her first place status.  Amelia Boone was a notable racer as well in Vermont.  The Death Race veteran swept in from the windy city of Chicago and took second place in the Beast and the Ultra Beast.  Like Godbout, she out paced many of our top men, her 14thoverall in the single loop Beast performance landed only 12 men total ahead of her.  Boone was followed by Ella Kociuba in third and Jenny Tobin in fourth a battle at the finish line.

In addition to the elite Beast heat Nearly 6,000 competitors and spectators from across the U.S. and several foreign countries representing every walk of life, age and stage and varying degrees of athletic abilities converged on Killington, VT to tackle the 2012 Spartan Race World Championship. Consisting of a Beast (one loop) 13 + and a first of its kind Ultra Beast (two loop) 26+ mile race, presented by Dial For Men on Sat., September 22nd and Sunday, September 23rd it capped off our season with one hell of an Obstacle Race with $50,000 being handed out before the day was over for the top finishers.  The most EVER given out at an Obstacle Race event.

The Ultra Beast will be making an appearance in the 2013 season.  Stay tuned, details coming soon!  In the meantime? Can’t wait to race again?  We understand.  Click HERE and find your next Spartan finish line.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

by Margaret Schlachter, guest blogger

2010 may have been the start of my Spartan journey when I was one of the original Spartans racing in the first Spartan Race in early 2010. 2011 marked my first podium and an invitation to join Spartan Chicked from the beginning, but it’s 2012 that will forever go down in the history books.

2012 was an incredible year, little did I know that in June when I started my 2012 season I would race nineteen official times and a few laps to help out, amass seven podium finishes and never out of the top 15. Little did I know I would travel throughout the country, race countless miles, make lasting friendships, and change careers all because of Spartan Race. I could write novels about the year but instead condensed it down to my Top 10 Moments in Spartan for 2012.

Top 10 Moments in Spartan Race of 2012

10.       The Perfect Race – finishing my first race with a single penalty burpee in Amesbury, MA Sprint.

9.         Finishing 3rdboth days in the Mid-West Super Spartan. It was an incredible weekend where two great races happened.

Margaret Schlachter and Juliana Sproles

8.         Watching the Spartan Chicked movement grow over 9,000 members. We started with a dozen women brought together with an idea by Carrie Adams and today it’s grown beyond what any could have imagined a year and a half ago.

7.         A Book Deal – Because of OCR and Spartan Race I am working on my first book due out in Spring 2014, dedicated to getting more people into racing and getting over the hurdles that stand in the way.

6.         Racing in Fenway Park – I went to college in Boston and that’s when I first got into baseball. Racing in Fenway was a surreal experience, hugging the Green Monster, burpees on the warming track, and seeing parts of the park otherwise closed to the public was priceless!

5.         The People – The Spartan Community is unlike any other in sport. The bonds and friendships formed are closer than many friendships I have had for years. Some of my biggest competitors are my best friends. The conversations on the trails during races are what sometimes got me to the finish.

4.         DNF’ing the Death Race after 25 hours of racing – More was learned in about myself in that DNF than I could have ever known.

3.         Finishing the Ultra Beast – it was more than a race for me, a goodbye to Killington, Vermont where I started my fitness journey. My last time on “my” mountain before moving to Utah, it was a race that transcended the rest.

2.         Chris Davis – Meeting and helping Chris to train for the Vermont Beast was an experience that not only allowed me to help train another Spartan but more importantly I got a great friend out of it. The first time he got over the 8ft wall in my backyard is a treasured memory of 2012

1.         Turning “pro” – In July, I quit my day job and simultaneously became the first female professional obstacle course racer. My life is my website, Dirt in Your Skirt, racing and training.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

By Carrie Adams

With the inclusion of the World’s first marathon distance obstacle race, the Spartan Ultra Beast, some incredible athletes are throwing their hats in the ring to be a participant.  With limited spots to fill and an application process, the Ultra Beast is going to be one of the most unique and challenging events on the planet.   You can read more about the event and how to claim one of the prized spots in this once-in-a-lifetime experience HERE.

One of the participants is using a non-traditional, traditional approach to train for the Ultra.  An Ironman.  Spartan Beast finisher in 2011, Rick Kraics will be using his Ironman training and ultimately his Ironman event in Madison, Wisconsin 13 days before the event as his training for the Ultra.  Listen to his story and wish him luck in his quest to go beyond the unknown in Spartan’s Ultra Beast September 22, 2012!

Ironman Training: Rick Kraics

My first Spartan Race was the 2011 Spartan Beast in Vermont.  I think the average time out there that day was 5-6 hours on the 13ish mile course.  So I felt pretty good about my 3:35:56 finishing time.  That said it was one of the hardest races I’ve ever done.  In fact, the Spartan Beast was mile for mile tougher than any other race I’ve ever done.  When I finished the Beast my body was trashed, I was completely exhausted, my legs were cramping, my stomach was nauseous and I was just glad I didn’t have to climb up that damn mountain again.  So earlier this year when Andy (one of the co-founders of Spartan Race) asked me if I wanted to step up and race in the Spartan Ultra Beast this year I had a decision to make.  It took about 2 seconds.  I said, “Of course I’m in.  What do you need from me?”  It turns out he wanted a lot out of me before I would officially be accepted into the Ultra Beast but I’ll tell you more about that later.  First a little background on me.

As a kid I ran a number of road races and even a half marathon.  Then I took a 15 year break from running.  I didn’t have a reason why I

Peak Ultra 30 Miler

stopped running other than I had other stuff going on in my life and running itself wasn’t a priority.  But in 2004 I started running again.  I liked it.  So I did my first marathon in 2005.  Then I started doing triathlons in early 2007.  I liked those too.  So in late 2007 I did my first Ironman.  I started trail running in 2010. I really liked trail running.  So I started ultra running in early 2011.  And then in late 2011 I ran my first Spartan Race – the Spartan Beast in Vermont.  I loved competing in the Spartan Beast.  So here I am again trying to prepare myself for what will again be mile for mile tougher than any other race I’ve ever competed in.

What exactly is the Ultra Beast?  The Spartan Web page states, “The Spartan Ultra Beast will be the world’s first marathon distance Obstacle Race.  It will be ONE heat that will feature two loops of the main Beast course.  Races will face the toughest course Spartan Race can bring, TWICE, before finding the finish line.  It’s not for the faint of heart!  For your own safety and for the competitive nature of the event, you will have to apply for acceptance in the Ultra Beast Marathon.”

So, how does one prepare for the toughest course Spartan Race can bring, twice?  Well, the bad news about training for the Ultra Beast is there are only two things I really know about the course.  First, it will involve lots of elevation gain so I’ve got to train by running some hills and living in a place at sea level with no real elevation change doesn’t make that easy.  And second I’ve got to increase my endurance because this race is going to take a long, long time.

The good news is what Andy wanted from me in order to be accepted into the Ultra Beast was for me to compete (again) in the Peaks Ultra, which is a race in Pittsfield, VT. If you know Pittsfield (the location of the infamous Death Race), then you know there are plenty of mountains to run.  I ran the 30 mile race and in doing so felt like a slacker.  You see the morning I started running a fella by the name of Willy had just won the 500 mile Peaks Ultra race.  It took him just over eight days.  Other course options included a 50, 100, 150 and 200 milers. So you’ll understand when I tell you that my 2nd place finish in the 30 miler still feels kind of hollow.  On a positive note though, that race started my hill training again so I’m on my way to being better prepared for the Ultra Beast.

So now with hill training out of the way (wink, wink) I need to focus on endurance training.  The Ultra Beast is going to be the toughest race I tackle this year for sure but that doesn’t mean it is going to be the longest.  According to  Wikipedia  ”Endurance (also called Sufferance, Stamina, Resilience, or Durability) is the ability for a human or animal to exert itself and remain active for a long period of time, as well as its ability to resist, withstand, recover from, and have immunity to trauma, wounds, or fatigue.”  That sounds exactly like what I’ll need for the Ultra Beast!  The part I can train for is the ability to remain active for a long period of time.  What better way to do that than to do another Ironman?  For me I’m guessing an Ironman should take approximately twice as long as it will take to finish the Ultra Beast.  And as it happens Ironman Wisconsin is exactly 13 days before the Ultra Beast in September.  Sounds like the perfect, last long training day before I set my sights on the muddy mountains of Vermont.  Who knows maybe I’ll try to go unsupported and carry all my fuel and water on the run to emulate the Ultra Beast?  Nah, that is just crazy talk.  But seriously finishing an Ironman by itself is no joke.  I know, I bonked and DNF’ed the last one I entered 2 years ago.  I don’t plan on repeating that performance.  Instead, I plan on finishing the Ironman to have fun, race hard and prepare myself both physically and mentally to compete in the Spartan Ultra Beast.

So that’s it.  I’m a runner, triathlete, obstacle racer and Spartan that is dead set on taming the Ultra Beast in Killington this September.  My logic is simple.  I figure if I can handle 140.6 miles of Ironman swimming, cycling and running on Sept. 9th than I should have enough gas in the tank to finish a grueling 26.2 miles of untamed Ultra Beast on September 22nd.  And if I don’t, then you can carry me home on my shield.

Arooo!

If you find yourself on Cape Cod this summer and need someone to train with shoot me an email or send me a message on Facebook.  I’m always up for an adventure!

 

Tags: , , ,