By Spartan Pro Team Member: Amelia Boone

It may be short, but don’t call it sweet. There’s nothing quite like the Pacific Northwest, and this weekend all eyes will be on Washougal, WA, as Spartan hosts the Pacific Northwest Spartan Sprint for the third year running.

In previous years, the 3ish-mile, 15-20 obstacle course has been an all-out sprint for the Elite waves, with top finishing times last year in the mid-30 minute range. With an expected length of 4.75 miles this year, what twists and turns and added terrain can we expect from Spartan? Set on one of the most gorgeous motocross courses in the nation, the single track hills and short climbs will test racers legs and lungs.The legendary uphill barbed wire crawl will likely be out in full force, as well as the obstacle gauntlet at the finish line.

Barbedwire Crawl Sprint PacNW Spartan Race Washington WashougalSet to be the third Spartan Race special to be aired on NBC Sports, competition will be stiff as the Elite waves grapple for standing heading into the World Championship. On the men’s side, it looks to be a repeat battle from Pennsylvania a few weeks back, with John Yatsko, Brakken Kraker, and Matt Novakovich squaring off again, with the addition of the newest Spartan Pro Team member, local Chad Trammell, looking to chase them down. For the women, Spartan Pro Team members (and all with Northwest roots) Rose Wetzel-Sinnett, Amelia Boone, Tiffanie Novakovich and Jenny Tobin look to duke it out. All are familiar with this terrain, with this race last year being Rose’s first foray into the beginning of her domination on the Spartan circuit.

Because of the filming, all racers should note that the men’s elite wave will run at 7:30am, and the women will head off at 8:30am. No other waves will be affected.

As always, we’ll see you at the finish line. 

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By Spartan Pro Team Member: David Magida

The Washington, DC Spartan Sprint is in the books, and what a phenomenal race it was. Competitors encountered 4.8 miles of rocky trails, challenging obstacles and mud. Lots and lots of mud. The kind of mud with the consistency of wet peanut butter and clings to the shoes, making the feet slow and heavy.

The event featured a mud pit swim in the middle of the Over, Under, Through obstacle, followed by a long run through a creek bed. Just about a mile in racers encountered a gauntlet including the Inverted Wall, the Heavy Tire Drag, the muddiest barbed wire crawl in recent memory, a cargo net climb and the obstacle that gave people the most trouble all day, the Hercules Hoist.

David Magida First Place Finish Washington DCThe rest of the course was full of rocky, muddy trails with rolling hills, interspersed with a sandbag carry, a rugged tractor pull, and rolling mud pits that were nearly impossible to escape. Factor in a very muddy traverse wall and a spear throw right after and this course was a recipe for many, many burpees.

Spartan Pro Team Athlete, Orla Walsh, finished first in the women’s race, blazing through the course in a time of 53:03. Next across the line were rising star Corinna Coffin (54:31) and Amanda Auger (56:34). This was Orla’s first victory of the season and her 4th podium finish in 2014.

On the men’s side, Spartan Pro Team Athlete and local favorite David Magida crossed the line in first place. Magida completed the course in a time of 42:12 for his 3rd victory of the 2014 season. He was followed by McCauley Kraker  (46:00) and Kevin Donoghue (46:24).

Herc Hoist Spartan Race Sprint Washington DCWith the DC race a wrap, Spartan Race stops next in Washougal, WA for the Pacific NW Sprint this weekend for another NBC Sports televised event.

Think you have what it takes to get your trifecta? Go to www.Spartan.com to get full results and to see what Spartan Super and Beast events are near the DC area.

About the Author: David Magida is a DC native, a member of the Spartan Race Pro Team, and the General Manager of Elevate Interval Fitness. He has run over 60 obstacle races in his career. 

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After years of waiting, Washington, DC will finally host a Spartan Race. Well, actually, Maryland will, but the District is buzzing about the opportunity to compete in the “Washington, DC Spartan Sprint.”

The only other time DC had a race this close was the 2012 Super Spartan in Leesburg, VA, an extra long, 10.5-mile course featuring a 400 meter tractor pull and a mile that contained over 30 horse hurdles.

David Magida will look to add to his podium count.

The course this weekend, however, should be quite different. Hosted in Charlotte Hall, MD, the 4-5 mile course is expected to be hot, hilly and full of trail running. But if you’re reading this hoping for some clues as to what to expect this week, don’t hold your breath. Whether we get the twists of a super long tractor pull, an extended log carry, or even a surprise bucket brigade at the end of the course, like we had in Pennsylvania, is to be determined. At Spartan Race, prepare for the unexpected.

The one thing you can expect, of course, is top-notch competition. And this race is no exception. On the women’s side, look for up-and-coming stars Orla Walsh and Corinna Coffin to battle it out for victory. On the men’s side, Brakken Kraker, Elliott Megquier and Kevin Donoghue are prepared to challenge for the win. Stephen Vassallo, fresh off his 3rd place finish on Sunday in Pennsylvania, will be looking to contend for another spot on the podium. And look for DC local David Magida, the champion on Saturday and Sunday from the Atlanta race, to shoot for another victory on his home turf.

After the race Magida will be running the course again with Team Elevate, a group of Spartan Training clients from his Washington, DC training facility, Elevate Interval Fitness, who have spent the last three months preparing with him for this event. For most of them, this will be their first Spartan Race, but they have embraced the challenge and are eager to prove themselves and earn the title of “Spartan.”

Have what it takes to become a Spartan? Sign up now! And check out Spartan Coaching in your area!

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Would it be fair to assume that having the opportunity to get something extra is a good thing?

Say, you expect ABC, but all of a sudden, D, E and F are there, wouldn’t you want to try those, too? Well Spartan Race believes that offering just that little bit more is something that all Spartan racers would like to embrace, and as such, we’re adding dates to already existing venues.

In September, when we come to Chicago, we’ll have a Super and a Sprint over that weekend. In October when we visit Carolinas, there’ll be a Sprint and a Beast. 

But that’s not all. Sacramento has a Sprint as well as a Super and we’ve also added another date to the event in Dallas. There’ll be a Beast and a Sprint for you to get your teeth stuck into. Go on! Take a bite!

Here are the updated races:

Chicago – September 27th – Super
Chicago – September 28th – Sprint

Carolinas – October 25th – Beast
Carolinas – October 26th – Super

Sacramento – October 25th – Super
Sacramento – October 26th – Sprint

Dallas – November 1st – Beast
Dallas – November 2nd – Sprint

If you needed more options to fulfill your Trifecta, then this will help you. Perhaps you’re even aiming a little higher? Some of you are going for Double and even Triple Trifectas! We can only stand back and admire the tenacity and focus you seem to possess. AROO!

With the addition of these extra races, you can now convince family and friends that feel they might not be ready for a Super or a Beast, to try out a Sprint. Once that mud and water hits their legs and the dirt goes under the fingernails, they’ll understand what you already know.

Why not run with these first timers and guide them along?

Click on any of the links above and sign up today for extra races and the opportunity to not only get more race time under your belt, but more medals, more mud and perhaps best of all, the chance to run with someone and finally introduce them to something you could never explain with words.

Sometimes you just have to get under that barbed wire or up that rope to truly understand. Of course, there’s one sure fire way of “getting it.” You’ll know at the finish line.

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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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By Pro Team Member Tiffanie Novakovich

One of the main aspects of the Spartan Race that is hammered home time after time is that if you choose to take part, you should expect the unexpected. You can watch past videos, you can check out the dozens of online photo albums and you could even talk to experienced racers. It will give you a vague idea of what to expect. Bring those expectations to the start line and you’ll immediately be on the back foot. If the race isn’t what you were expecting, the terrain wasn’t what you thought it would be or the obstacles are not how you envisioned them, you were not prepared for the unexpected.

Bearing that in mind, the inaugural Connecticut Spartan event, held in the beautiful town of Uncasville, is now in the books, with medals around the necks of thousands of competitors.  Hosted at the Mohegan Sun Hotel and Casino, the race seemed to stay more true to the resort’s lavish atmosphere, with just a modicum of Spartan torture.

The course started and ended in the resort parking lot, between zig-zagging through the parking garage, along flat stretches of small-town streets and highways, and through picturesque leaf-covered trails.  The course was mostly flat and favored speed runners, totally flying in the face of some events where mountains, hills and incline after painful incline tested the Spartans.

However,  many staple Spartan obstacles were present, including over & under walls, tire flip, atlas carry, rope climb, slick wall, barbed wire, herculean hoist, and traverse wall. Conspicuously absent was mud!  The barbed wire crawl was shorter than what is considered “normal” and was on grass. This surprised many racers who thought they knew what to expect. The water pits under the rope climb and the slick wall were lined with tarps, preventing any grime on the rope or mud in the eyes obstacles.

The course was no cake-walk though. The sand in the buckets/bags at the Herculean Hoist was saturated with water, making the obstacle significantly and surprisingly heavier than usual.  Several top racers failed this usually doable obstacle, resulting in unexpected burpees near the end of the race. Complacency and thinking you know what to expect again catching people out.

In the end, racers enjoyed a spectacular scenery in a beautiful place, but were still tested to their limits on a course that was a little different than most Spartan events, but just as grueling. In the men’s elite race, Matthew Kempson ran away with a narrow victory of only 7 seconds over Junyong Pak. Elliott Megquier completed the podium in third place. On the women’s side, Elise Fugowski bested the field by over two minutes, with Karlee Whipple finishing second and Orla Walsh in third.

As with all Spartan races, you never know what you might or might not encounter when you sign up, show up and never give up.

But one thing’s for sure: You’ll know at the finish line!

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Arguably one of the most anticipated, popular, and well-visited venues of the Spartan Race calendar is the glorious surroundings of Vail Lake, Temecula in Southern California. Boasting not only mountains and hills that simply refuse to quit, but a range of different types of terrain that will constantly keep you guessing. It’s the ideal place to test Spartans that are serious about their goals. Rocky trails, brush trails, sand, grass, swampy areas, even the beautiful lake from which it takes its name; even if you think you know the venue, it will always throw up surprises to make sure you don’t  – or can’t – become comfortable. Best of all, while all of this is going on, the famous Californian sun will kiss you while those wine valley zephyrs dance over your skin.

Running across the landscape of Temecula is a joy.

But priorities for the travelling Spartan are, as always the first thing one must consider – accommodation. Good rest the day before. Temecula is nestled north of San Diego, but much closer, you’ll find that it’s sandwiched between Hemet and Escondido. As such, you have the choice of three places all well within spitting distance of the venue that has ample parking, regardless of whether you are aiming for the Beast on Saturday or the Sprint on Sunday. Maybe you’re considering the 12-Hour Hurricane Heat. Either way, you’re covered.

One thing that is a nailed-down certainty is that after burning hundreds and possibly thousands of calories over the picturesque scenery, you’ll want to eat heartily .Thankfully, Temecula has more than its fair share of restaurants and diners. But as any knowledgeable Spartan will appreciate, Temecula is famous for something a little different. Set in the heartland of wine country, it would be remiss to not sample what it has to offer. When in Rome, as the expression goes. There are many places to see and visit in the area and thankfully, what could be a wealth of information that actually saturates to the point of confusion, is actually neatly arranged in this website right here. Check out the various activities, too, as well as places to stay, eat, and of course, tickle those taste buds with a nice glass of wine or two.

Of course, if wine isn’t your thing and you much prefer shorts, or maybe just a good old-fashioned beer, there are a wide range of places where your thirst can be quenched. Check out the range of places right here and choose which sounds best to you, based upon the reviews of past patrons and customers.  If you’d prefer to keep up with the big game, there are a range of Sports bars, too. Maybe you just want to shake your stuff after claiming your finishers medal and who could blame you? Check out this link for places to celebrate at. The folk of Temecula like to party, so why not join in with the festivities?

Temecula encompasses all types of terrain.

Regardless of whether you prefer the grape or the grain, the responsibility of any Spartan remains the same. If you’re drinking, don’t drive. Use one of the taxis in the area that will make sure you get back to your accommodation safely and without being a bother to road users or pedestrians alike. Remember that when you wear that finishers shirt, you set an example that other athletes look up to!

Remember that Temecula is renowned for having those warm winds whip up the sides of those hills, bringing the sand and dust with it, so prepare for a long, warm, dry race. Consider wearing a camelback as, while there will be water stations, some folk may find the need for more fluids than others. Remember to never leave a fellow racer wanting. Share fluids, gels and salt packets. No Spartan left behind.

See you at the finish line!

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By Pro Team Member Tiffanie Novakovich

Brace yourselves, Nutmeggers! Spartan Race will make its Connecticut debut June 28, 2014. Hosted at the Mohegan Sun resort, a lavish Vegas-style hotel and casino, this Spartan Sprint will prove to be a first-class muddy event. The tourist town of Uncasville is located in the foothills of Eastern Connecticut, along the Thames River, adjacent to Trading Cove. As it’s less than 100 miles from Boston, MA, Hartford, CT, Providence, RI, and just a 2.5 hr drive from New York City, the race is expected to draw visitors from all over New England. Approximately 8,000 competitors and 5,000 spectators are expected to attend the Saturday-only Connecticut Spartan event.

As with all Spartan Sprints, the race will include 15+ obstacles over 3+ miles, run through the breathtaking Connecticut woodlands of the Mohegan Tribal Reservation land. The venue includes a variety of terrain, including single-track and Thames River-view trails. With the Trading Cove body of water so close by, I’m sure you can expect to get wet and muddy at this race!

Being held on a Native American Reservation will give the race a special feel, marrying the warrior philosophy of Spartan Race with the warrior heritage of the land. Kevin Brown, Chairman of the Mohegan Tribal Council says, “I am very glad to hear that our reservation land has been chosen for the Reebok Spartan Race.  Let’s face it – the Mohegan Tribe traces a lineage and a heritage of brave Native American warriors who lived, worked, and fought in these Eastern Woodlands. The race will bring a modern challenge into historic territory – it’s a great fit.”

Some familiar faces are expected in the men’s Elite race.  Expect Elliott Megquier to be racing for a podium spot. He’s coming off of an impressive showing in the Tri-Cities New York Spartan event, where he raced four times in nine days, pulling in two second- and one fifth-place finish. Also expected to show some dominance is Spartan Pro Team member and Ninja Warrior extraordinaire Alex Nicholas, who pulled off an impressive 12th place finish at the highly-competitive NBC-televised Tri-Cities Sprint. Expect some speedy New Englanders to fight their way into the top 10 on this low rolling-hills course.

With the Utah Beast (held on the same day as the CT race) drawing the attention of many left-coast pros, several top spots in the women’s elite race are up for grabs. Some East-Coast race favorites include Karlee Whipple, who took first place in the first Saturday race of the Tri-Cities Sprint and eighth place in the NBC-televised second Saturday race. Don’t be surprised if Orla Walsh, who recently moved to Vermont to train, shows up to test her grit. She’s had impressive finishes lately in the Colorado Springs Military Sprint as well as the NBC Tri-Cities Sprint.  Don’t forget East-Coast staples Laura Messner and Amanda Ricciardi, who may throw their hats into the ring this weekend. And you never know what pro-team members might decide at the last minute to show up and dominate!

Also on the docket for Saturday are the Spartan Kids Race and the Special Needs Spartan Course. The Kid’s race includes two distances for younger and older kids and always proves to be one of the many highlights of every race. The Spartan Special Needs Course is a new addition being included at several events this year. There will be a course designed especially for intellectually and/or developmentally disabled individuals who want to challenge themselves against Spartan obstacles and also want to challenge what is “normal.” Spartan Pro Team members will be participating as mentors and volunteers in the Special Needs Race. As Spartans, we defy the perceptions of “normal” at every race, while our special needs competitors do the same everyday in a way that is highly impressive and honorable.

If you haven’t already registered, do it now!  You don’t want to miss the beautiful scenery and punishing obstacles of Connecticut’s first Spartan Race. Put yourself to the test and . . . You’ll know at the finish line.

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Spartans like a challenge. Of that, there is no doubt. That’s why you are here, reading this page and preparing yourself mentally and physically for the next race. Spartan Race will always continue to push boundaries and that’s why we’re challenging those who are aiming for a Trifecta, to do it in one day.

That’s right. Think you can run a Beast, a Super and a Sprint all in one day? Then Ohio is the location for you. Held at The Wilds Safari Park and Conservation Centre, the terrain will not only be testing, but beautiful, too.

As you grapple with the obstacles and gnarly surfaces with that goal in mind, stay focused and that holy grail of a Trifecta in a day could be yours! If you need a heads-up of the day, here’s a full guide of what’s in store and how you can set about tackling what could be a very exhausting day for you. But that’s what the training is for, right?

Naturally, planning is key. Establish yourself a base at one of the many hotels and places of accommodation Columbus has to offer. Expedia has a great site that means you can filter your search to best suit your needs. Additionally, it also lists local points of interest, should the inclination take you to visit some historic landmarks or other places to see.

The venue is only a short car ride away from the city of Columbus, whether it be your own vehicle, taxi or hire car. Despite the huge sprawling event area, the road and traffic network in the area is very good. Naturally, the taxi option will also come in very useful for when you accept that free beer at the finish line! Spartans don’t drink and drive; they set an example!

Regardless of whether you feel like attacking the Trifecta or not, one decision that you may like to consider is making a longer stay of the area. Columbus is teeming with life and vibrancy and it would well be worth taking in another day or two to take in this beautiful city.

Dining isn’t an issue as restaurants are heavy in number and the range of choices is wide. By using this site put out by Urban Spoon, you can adjust your search to the specifics that tickle your fancy. Whether it be a steakhouse, pizza or one of the many vegetarian or vegan options, there is something to satisfy everyone’s palate.

Of course, celebrating your finish – or finishes, as the case may be – is only natural, so it will be useful to take note of the reviews on Yelp in the area. Find a bar near your hotel or wherever you are staying and you can check out the nearest and most reasonable or appealing settings to toast your latest addition to the medal hanger.

But the adults can’t have all the fun. If the kids are with you and still have energy to burn up after conquering the Kids Race, why not treat them to a visit to one of the amusement parks in the area? Fun for all the family and a pretty sure-fire way to get them exhausted for the evening, meaning you get a good night’s sleep!

Of course, you may be without children or younger ones, which means that if bars and other types of nightlife aren’t your thing, you could always see if Lady Luck is by your side and check out a casino. Remember to gamble responsibly! But when all is said and done, if you’ve finished a Spartan Race, it’s pretty much a guarantee that your body will by a little sore and you may have developed all manner of knots and pulls in those muscles. Why not treat yourself to a massage? Crossing a Spartan Race finish line is an award in itself, but why not indulge yourself with a prize of a nice, long pampering? You know you deserve it!

Whatever you decide to do at Ohio in terms of taking on all three levels, or whether you are happy with less than that, have a great time, watch your footing and we’ll see you at the finish line!

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