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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Spartan Race returns to Glen Rose, Texas, for the last race scheduled in the 2013 calendar year. Hosted by Rough Creek Lodge and Resort, a venue of 11,000 acres in the foothills of the Texas Hill Country, this Spartan Beast is sure to test newcomers and Elites alike with a minimum expected 10-12 mile distance of ruggedly formed Obstacle Racing arena from Hell.

With much attention on the recent 2013 Reebok Spartan Race World Championships appearing on NBC Sports, many will now find themselves ready to put Texas mud to the test on what is unquestionably the next toughest course Spartan Race has to offer. Although the venue does not offer the step-mountain slopes that can be found in Vermont; Texas soil is well-known for a harshness in terrain that will dishearten any of those that may take it for granted. This venue yet stands as the only previous location to have hosted another Spartan Race World Championship not long ago in 2011. It was also the location of one of the biggest showdowns in the following year as several Elite racers battled relentlessly to gain much needed points, officially ending the 2012 Spartan Race Elite Points Series.

Spartan Pro Team athlete Shawn Feiock.

Without any doubt, we can expect to find an element of the unknown to awaken from the plotting minds at Spartan Race. As a new twist, and perhaps a chilling testimony on what is to come, this year’s Texas Beast course has been designed by the mastermind of the 2013 Vermont Ultra Beast, Norm Koch. Most racers are expected to spend longer than 3 hours to complete this course, some up to 7 hours. And as if the terrain and monstrous obstacles that this Beast has to offer wasn’t enough to already weaken your spine, temperatures have plummeted in Texas over the last few weeks enough to offer a glimpse of what also put so many athletes’ determination and willpower to the ultimate test in the recent Reebok Spartan Race World Championships.

Many returning champions will attend this race that has been nothing less than a spectacle to behold over prior years. On the men’s side, no one has yet been able to defeat the champion of the Texas Beast, Hobie Call. Strong numbers and some of his most fierce competition including Cody Moat, Hunter McIntyre, Brakken Kraker, David Magida, Elliott Megquire, Christopher Rutz, Joseph Kauder, Anthony Matesi, and Matt Novakovich are expected to attend and threaten mercilessly his reign on the Texas podium. And just as impassioned on the female’s side, the previous years’ prowess of Jenny Tobin and April Luu will be challenged by expected competitors such as Rose Marie Jarry, TyAnn Clark, Jackie Rust, Tonya Stogsdill, Andi Hardy, and Daniell Ross. Texas is also home of some of the most resilient Spartan Elite talent including Isaiah Vidal and Ella Kociuba, as well as the infamous Spartan Race couple Shawn Feiock and the ‘Mini Beast’ Sue Luck.

Spartan Pro Team athlete Shawn Feiock will be in attendance with several local Texas Spartan Racers personally recruited and trained ready for the Texas Beast. New and returning racers such as Michael Mauk, Chris Rust, Jeremy Dinges, Kyle Lee, Evan Williams, Paul Drew, JB Gerhart, Ben Pelg, Bryan Thompson, Amanda Thompson, Christina Armstrong, Kristine Iotte, and Jessica King will be coming in after months of rigorous training for their shot at a victorious finish. Other big Texas teams including the Lone Star Spartans, Cowbell Spartans, and Team SISU Texas, will surely forge their own paths in the ruthless terrain and unforgiving hills that await in Glen Rose, Texas.

This race will prove you not only ‘Spartan Tough’, but also ‘Texas Tough’. This is the TEXAS SPARTAN BEAST… Step up and get out of your comfort zone, don’t miss your chance to push yourself to the limit!! Many will arrive, but few will leave! Are you ready for a Spartan Race? Look through our future events and sign up here.

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The Texas Reebok Spartan Race is set to pit two UFC fighters, Jamie Varner and Johny Hendricks in a head to head match-up on the heels of both athletes getting sponsored by Reebok Athletes. The course will consist of more than 4 miles of grueling obstacles and challenges. While both men can adminster a beat down, how will they fare on our course? Between the two, only Varner has experienced an actual Spartan Race taking on the Super in Vegas and finding a high finish in the open heats saying after, “It was probably one of the toughest things I’ve done in my entire life.” Then quickly added, “But it was so fun…crossing that finish line was one of the most rewarding things ever.”

Competitive in nature, Varner is setting his sights on Hendricks in Texas and in a statement to Fighters.com, said, “I anticipate the Texas course to be very tough and am hoping I can beat the hometown favorite Johny Hendricks with my experience.”

Varner plans on using his first race experience to help him in Burnet explaining, “The first event I competed in was a Spartan Super (about 8 miles), this will be a Spartan Sprint (about 4 miles), and I look to finish off the trifecta with a Spartan Beast ( about 13 miles) later this year. Staying in the competitive mindset between fights is big for me. I hope to finish in the top 5-10% of the field.”

Fighters.com recently published a story indicating that Hendricks’ next MMA test comes in the form of a title fight for the sports biggest prize, but he has to get through UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St-Pierre to collect it. To stay in shape, and support his sponsors, Hendricks says he is really looking forward to the course. “This is going to be a great experience. We have been training hard for this event and I even have a few teammates from my gym set to compete in the race. I have heard nothing but great things about these events and I look forward to the course kicking my ass, says Hendricks. He concluded, “Jamie might be one up on the experience but I have got the home cooking!”

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by Shawn Feiock, Spartan Race Pro Team Athlete

Spartan Race is gearing up for another Texas showdown that you won’t want to miss. It is time for the Spartan Sprint at Reveille Peak Ranch in Burnet Texas, a favorite venue by many top racers. Expect to see last year’s winner Hobie Call there to defend his title from last year. Hobie says, “I love this venue. Gentle rolling hills, single track and dirt roads. And……warm weather guaranteed!” Hobie finished in less than 45 minutes last year, with most racers having a hard time coming in under one hour. It was highly anticipated to see him go up against Quentin Ledbetter who won the race only one year before, this time falling short against the seemingly unbeatable champion. It is unknown whether Quentin will return for another chance.

Texas is also home for Spartan Elites like Isaiah Vidal and Ella Kociuba, as well as the infamous Spartan Race couple Shawn Feiock (me) and Sue Luck. Isaiah dominated the most recent Spartan Sprint in Colorado getting onto the podium both days. He was able to pull off a second place finish Sunday at the Texas Sprint last year, and also at the Texas Spartan Beast in December. He will likely be one of the strongest competitors on the course against Hobie, with the advantage of the well-known terrain that Texas has to offer. With a very similar record to Isaiah, Elite female Sue Luck (aka Mini Beast) just came from two inspiring finishes at the Spartan Sprint in Colorado, and also had a podium finish Sunday at the Texas Sprint coming in second-place female last year. Ella Kociuba and Shawn Feiock will be at the Race to cheer on fellow racers and to meet new faces at the “Meet the Spartan Team” tent, be sure to stop by and say hi after you’ve crossed the finish line!

Other Spartan Men Elites and favorites to watch for are Elliot Megquire, Michael Mauk, John Taylor, Joe Kauder, Brian Hoover, Evan Williams, and the father & son team Andrew and Eston Jones (aka Thing 1 & Thing 2). Spartan Woman Elites and favorites attending include TyAnn Clark, Jackie Rust, Corinne Kohlen, Janice Ferguson, Tonya Stogsdill, and Juliana Sproles. There is also speculation that Ultramarathon Jungle racer Johnson Cruz will be appearing for his Spartan Race debut, and first race on American soil. Many of the racers already listed can testify that he is a strong competitor after racing against him on Isla de Ometepe earlier this year.

Don’t forget that UFC Lightweight Contender Jamie Varner and Welterweight Contender Johny Hendricks will be on-hand to Fight It Out at the event. Look for sparks when they collide.

Last year the Texas Sprint sold out quickly and it looks again like the course will be full of people looking to get a taste of the Texas mud. There will be some favorite obstacles and some less favored returns like the deadly Boa Constrictor tunnels that got our attention last year. But be ready for new surprises too as the Spartan organizers never fail to bring a good challenge, and an amazing course wherever they step foot. If you and your friends haven’t already registered, sign up now on the events page while there is still time! Adventure, competition, camaraderie, accomplishment… this is a race that can change your life!

Connect with Shawn Feiock, Spartan Race Pro Team Athlete and create your own Spartan Page HERE.

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by Carrie Adams

thebeast-20Since his emergence on the Spartan scene in February of 2011, Hobie Call has come to exemplify the Spartan spirit.  Winning more Spartan races than any other individual male or female, he leads the way in performance, ability, and discipline.  He’s had a target on his back for most of his ascent, but he’s rarely been bested and often left a gaping hole for those trying to catch up.  He took home the Spartan World Championships and the $10,000 pay day that went along with the victory.

photo (9)A familiar face has emerged as a challenger and he’s taking on Hobie Call in Texas where all of Sparta will undoubtedly be watching the showdown.  Quentin Leadbeter won two Spartan Races in 2011, both events Call was notably absent but Leadbeter was disappointed in that fact.  The naval academy student was quoted as saying after his Virginia victory, which he won in just 22 minutes, “Well, when I signed up for the race, I knew he [Hobie] was on his quest and I figured it would be fun to run against him… It would have been fun to run against him and give him a little competition.”

A little more about our challenger: Leadbeter is a Midshipman at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, where he just completed Freshman year. He still has three more years of school and then can commission as either a Marine or Navaal officer.

A competitive wrester, the 2010 Northern High School graduate of Owings, MD owned a 147-16 career record and was a four-time state place winner (6th, 3rd, 5th, 3rd)  Leadbeter also placed sixth at the National Wrestling Coaches Association Championship while wrestling at NAPS.

Check out these links for more details: http://www.navysports.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/leadbeter_quentin00.html and http://www.athletic.net/TrackAndField/Athlete.aspx?AID=644254

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by Carrie Adams

On May 7th I headed down south to meet up with Texas Spartan women Anja, Sierra, and Lauren and to compete in the Run the Jailbreak event in Austin, Texas. They say everything is bigger in Texas, and as we learned last weekend, that applies to mud as well. Race Director Tim Scriver knows how to throw a muddy party and we have the shoes to prove it.

We met a lot of Spartans who ran our Austin Spartan Sprint on March 26th, met several already signed up for our December Super Spartan in Glen Rose and the Jailbreak in Dallas on September 17th and introduced ourselves to the neighborhood. Of course we ran the race too. We don’t show up and not throw down. The Jailbreak had us hopping cop cars, diving through mud puddle after mud puddle, and our personal favorite, the slip ‘n’ slide near the end of the course. Overall, it was 3.1 trail miles of pure fun!

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by Carrie Adams

Shaun Bain: A Legacy of Living Out Loud

“Working harder, living fuller, and loving stronger.” – Shaun Bain

Spartan Founding Few member Shaun Bain is living life out loud, learning from the past, and leaving a legacy in his wake. When Bain’s friend and racing partner David Boyd, M.D., died on Blanca Massif near Alamosa, Colorado, on September 3, 2008, Bain was devastated. The two men were racing partners and had run countless races together. Bain aided in the search and recovery operation for his dear friend, and then delivered the eulogy at Boyd’s funeral.

“What we did as a race team was not all about play and fun….we grew as people. Our races packed a lot of life experiences and emotion in a short amount of time. He enjoyed the challenge and dynamics involved in making HIS team and teammates the best that they can be and the challenges we faced as a team gave him a huge boost in self-confidence that helped him handle whatever life had to throw at us. Our experiences made us better people and we became stronger. Working harder, living fuller, and loving stronger.”

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by Carrie Adams

Stepping Up

We’ve heard a lot of trash talk on the Facebook page and at races about Hobie Call being beatable.  There have been idle threats filled with over-the-top bravado and little else from wanna-be competitors, but we have yet to see someone officially step up and challenge Hobie… until today.  We launch our official Challenger Series with a former Dartmouth College and University of Texas track star from New Jersey, Michael Carmody.

The Challenger: Michael Carmody

Age: 25

Occupation: Advertising

Current Home: Austin, Texas

Profile: Michael Carmody has never shied away from a challenge and he’s always pursued excellence on the track.  Running middle distance at Dartmouth and U Texas Austin was an opportunity for Carmody to race and train alongside the best.  “Even getting beat up at practice every day was part of the reward of running with the best,” says Carmody.

He’s out to dethrone current Spartan phenom Hobie Call and his amazing pursuit of $100K in the Spartan race series.  Regarding Call, Carmody says, “I’ll give him a run for his money.  I’ll push him.”  His credentials are pretty solid – in 2008 he set an indoor school record at Dartmouth for the 800.  He qualified for the US Nationals in his fifth year in Texas and had a PR of 1:47 in the 800m.

On sizing up his competition, Carmody says, “Hobie seems like he’s fit and he’s doing a good job, but I think I’ll perform well in the 5K distance.”  A recent Tough Mudder finish where he crushed the other runners in his wave has given him some additional confidence.

“I’ve always tried to push myself and run against the best and not hiding away from the best athletes out there.”  Well, Michael, here’s your chance.

Watch more video of Mike Carmody on flotrack.org

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