by Stephen Reid aka Steve-o Bones

Memorial Day is a holiday that takes on a special meaning for me. It is a day that is meant to honor and remember those who served our country with military service. Some lost lives. Others lost limbs. Many others lost their youth and innocence to the horrors of war. This is a debt that can never be repaid. Yet their sacrifice can be remembered and our gratitude and respect can be displayed even through small gestures like putting out the flag or attending a parade.

I hail from a family of veterans. My father served in the US Navy on the USS Croaker during Vietnam. His father was a decorated MP in the US Army during WWII who saw action in Germany. My mother’s father was an Army Captain who was killed in action in Germany during WWII. At that time my mom was a year old and my uncle was a newborn. Here is a summary of his military achievement:

REILLY, WALTER J. (KIA) The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) to Walter J. Reilly (0-400672), Captain (Infantry), U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving with Company K, 71st Infantry Regiment, in action against enemy forces on 18 November 1944. Captain Reilly’s outstanding leadership, personal bravery and zealous devotion to duty at the cost of his life, exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

I joined the NYPD at age 21. I felt it was my calling and enjoyed police work. By the time I was 28, I was promoted to Detective. A few years later, on September 11, 2001, our country was attacked right in front of my eyes and my life was changed forever. Since this day our military has ceaselessly fought a War on Terror. So many young men and women have since gone off to fight this war and defend our country from those that do not appreciate our way of life. Many have come back forever changed. They have given so much of themselves.

I have a very strong bond with the Men and Women of Operation Enduring Warrior, formerly Team X-T.R.E.M.E., a non-profit organization whose mission is to honor, empower and motivate America’s wounded military service members. These warriors took the time to bring me to Ground Zero after the NYC Spartan Demo. Many enlisted post 9/11 and these are the ties that bind us. I have forged a great relationship and have a lifelong bond with many of them.

This Memorial Day, I implore you to take the time out from your barbecues, your pool parties, and your trips to the beach to reflect on the gravity of this day.  Thank a Veteran.  But please, remember the reason for this day.  Take a moment to think of all those who didn’t come back when they left home for hostile battles in foreign lands, those brave men and women who made it possible for you to have your freedom; it has been paid for through their blood, sweat, and tears.

[Editor's Note: Spartan Race wishes to say a collective thank you to all those who have served and who serve still.  Thank you.   And this Memorial Day we honor those who have given everything and paid the ultimate sacrifice so that we can all breathe free.   Flag Photo courtesy of Kevin High Photography.]

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by Stephen Reid aka Steve-o Bones

Photos Courtesy of Kevin High Photography

awe·some /ˈôsəm/ Adjective
Extremely impressive or daunting; inspiring great admiration, apprehension, or fear.
Extremely good; excellent.

One word sums up the Spartan Sprint at Citifield that was held on Saturday, April 13th. AWESOME!! There was nothing that day that did not reach the level of awesomeness that I had anticipated. The weather was just right, the mood was infectious…everything was perfect.

The last time I had as much fun as I did today, I was at another Spartan Race. Today, I had the honor of running as a Team X-T.R.E.M.E. Community Athlete (TXCA) with TEAM X-T.R.E.M.E., a non-profit organization that honors wounded veterans. The vibe could not possibly have been any more positive. We set out together as a team and finished as a team. This race was not about my finish time, but rather about remembering, honoring and empowering the wounded warriors that have given so much to our grateful nation.

It was a stunning and beautiful thing to see everyone come together and see the mission through to the end. The energy was electrifying. All the TXCA’s fed off of each other’s energy and drive to finish.

I had the distinct honor of carrying TEAM X-T.R.E.M.E.’s American Flag. This same flag has been to every Spartan Race that TEAM X-T.R.E.M.E. has been represented at. At the end of the race, the team mustered up and formulated its plan of attack for the big finale. Once again, I had the flag and took point. We ran and pushed hard. The gladiators near the finish line looked ready to give us a fight but the momentum of the team driven on by the cheering crowd was so great that they did not even slow us down as we approached the finish line. The crowd went wild as our group and its mission was announced while we were crossing the finish line.

One spectator contacted me after the race to tell me how moving the finish was for him:
“I was headed towards the rope climb and saw you guys headed for the finish and stopped dead in my tracks to watch you guys finish. It was very cool. Thank you for representing those that have fallen and those that are still standing.”

Simply awesome.

Team X will be back in action at the Mid-Atlantic Spartan Race in August!  Join them!  Register HERE.

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by Joe Desena, Spartan Race CEO

Todd Love, Leesburg, VA Super Spartan

A New Year is the chance for a New YOU.  It’s never been easier, and we can tell you why.  Spartan Race has been able to keep 82% of those committing to a new years resolution on track with their health goals. It is a simple technique that has been proven effective over the last three years at Spartan.

What is it?

It’s simple.  Don’t go it alone.  Committing to a race with friends will keep you on track each day training and eating healthy the same way the Spartans did knowing they WOULD go to battle.  We can help.  Get daily workouts – we can send them directly to your inbox www.spartanrace.com/wod, and your daily workout will be waiting for you each day.  No excuse not to train.  Getting daily food tips, www.spartanrace.com/fod and you’ll get healthy, delicious food ideas sent to you as well so you can fill your table and your stomach with the fuel you’ll need to stay on track, lose the weight, get stronger, faster, and better in 2013.

Sign up for a Spartan Race, even if it terrifies you.  Especially if it terrifies you!  Your fight or flight mechanisms kick into gear, and you’ll be sure to get moving. Once signed up, you and your friends will have a goal and a reason to start taking your health seriously and it works 82% of the time which is an amazing statistic.  We call it the Resolution Solution.

With the support of your community of friends and family, healthy recipes and food ideas, and workouts that will get your body in shape, you can accomplish more than you thought possible.  And you’ll never have to be alone in the process.  When you feel down, have a bad day, don’t want to eat healthy, you’ll have the reasons you need to stay on track, to get outside and run, to get to the store and buy something green instead of something fried.  It’s time for a change.

Once friends are involved they act like a vice grip, should you start to go back to your old ways. Not only are you training to get through the event you signed up for…but you are training for them and they are training for you.  In signing up, they aren’t just holding you accountable, they are depending on you for the same support.

Not enough?  How about some proof?

How is losing 430 pounds?  Spartan Chris Davis did just that and finished the Spartan Beast (and several other Spartan Races) in Vermont after five grueling months in Pittsfield, living, eating, and exercising with our team at HQ.  You should see him carry a sandbag now!  He sure couldn’t when he arrived.  Chris resolved to lose the weight and finish the race and he got it done.  It’s amazing that he began his journey at 696 pounds.

Spartan Chick Andi Hardy started following the Spartan WODs and is in the best shape of her life.  One of the Spartan elite athletes in our 300 group, with 21 races completed she had an incredible eight first place finishes in the 40 – 44 division in 2012, three of those first OVERALL female.  Not too shabby!

Todd Love, triple amputee from Georgia alongside his teammates from Team X-T.R.E.M.E. took on a Super Spartan and a Spartan Beast all while donning a blacked out gas mask.  Despite his injuries from an IED attack in Afghanistan while serving as a Recon Marine, he completed the races.  How is that for inspiration?

So, now what’s your excuse?

It’s all here waiting for you, you just have to decide it’s finally time to do it.   Get signed up for a race, get signed up for our FREE workouts and FREE food tips and you’ll join the 82%.

Sign up, show up, don’t give up!

[Editor's Note: Need extra motivation?  Spartan founders include Guinness World Record Holders, Triple Iron Man finishers, former professional Adventure Racers (AR).  Check out our Founding Few Bio Page to learn more of their incredible stories.]

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