by Johnny Waite
Spartan Heads Down Under
This month changed the face of obstacle racing in Australia. While they’ve had a strong OCR culture building over the past few years, the arrival of Reebok Spartan Race has changed everything. Sprints were held in both Melbourne (March 2) and Sydney (March 16th), attracting nearly 10,000 racers, and the feedback has been loud and clear. The perception of Spartan summed up by Australia’s leading female obstacle racer, Deanna Blegg, “It’s the most grueling obstacle race I’ve ever completed!”
The Melbourne race was held at a motocross facility, taking advantage of both the twisting, rolling track and the surrounding
countryside. Participants traveled from all over the country to compete and enjoy the Spartan Race experience. They were not disappointed! Several stars quickly emerged; with Deanna Blegg dominating the women’s field (with many other strong female racers competing for the remaining podium steps) and Matt Murphy besting Shawn Phelps to be crowned Men’s Champion. There was some high drama on the men’s side, as Murphy came into the home stretch with a big lead only to see it evaporate with a missed spear throw and a fail on the monkey bars. It took sixty of the world’s fastest burpees, in full view of the crowd while Phelps sprinted towards the finish, to hold onto the win.
Then Spartan Race outdid itself with their sophomore effort just outside Sydney. Bringing many of the same challenging obstacles, and introducing some new ones, they took over Razorback Ridge with its brutal hills and plentiful water. From the moment participants entered the grounds, passing under the overhead cargo net crawl between two 20 foot high stacks of shipping containers, they knew this was the real deal. Four deep water crossings and a tortuous sand bag carry up an endless hill were the signature trials of Sydney, and at the end the same two racers came out golden, with Matt Murphy and Deanna Blegg remaining undefeated in Spartan Race Australia competition.
And this is just the beginning. Spartan Race next heads to Brisbane, June 22, to host the first Super (14km), before returning to Melbourne for a Super, on October 6th, followed by the inaugural Beast (21km) in November back in Sydney. As one participant noted, “Spartan’s Kids Course is harder than most other obstacle races I have done!! I can’t wait to see what your next races will be like!!”
As is Spartan-like to say, “You’ll Know at The Finish Line”.
Want to learn more about Spartan Races down under? Click HERE.