By Pro Team Member Chris Rutz

“Everything is bigger in Texas” is phrase that Spartan Race was determined to live up to in Austin. The race returned to Reveille Peak Ranch for its third year and drew in excess of 12,000 athletes. New this year was the Super distance. In past year only the Sprint distance race was run. This year the Super was added. All racers on Saturday ran the Super and all runners on Sunday ran the Sprint. This created the opportunity for 2/3 of the Trifecta in one weekend. It also creates the opportunity to earn a Trifecta without leaving the state on Texas. The Dallas Beast will be later this year on 11/1.

The Sprint course was essentially the first 1/3 and last 1/3 of the Super course. The Super course added a number of challenges not seen by those that ran the Sprint. The highlight of the Super course was a hill climb on slick rock that reminded many of the runners of sections of trail near Moab, UT. Much of the added distance of the Super included off trail bushwhacking and stream crossings. In addition the Super racers had an Atlas Stone carry and double the distance on the tractor pull to name a few of the additional challenges.

Both courses had some significant challenges. The climbing ropes seemed to be especially slick. Perhaps it was the Texas mud. The Spear also seemed to have a higher failure rate than normal. In a twist which runners hate and obstacle racers love, most of the “burpee” obstacles were clustered at the end of the course. The Traverse Wall, the Hercules Hoist, the Rope Climb and the Spear were all within the last ¼ mile of the race. Just before entering the festival area where these obstacles were clustered, racers were challenged with a 150 yard swim section. PFD and a bypass were available for non swimmers. This definitely is a favorite venue by most the Spartan faithful.

The Elite heats on each day were won by the same athletes,  John Yatsko of Flagstaff, AZ and Rose Wetzel of the Spartan Pro Team from Seattle, WA.  They each took home $2,500 for their victories, $2,000 on Saturday and $500 on Sunday. Prize money for Saturday’s race was funded by Navy Federal Credit Union. Rounding out the top 3 on Saturday were, Hobie Call (Utah) $1,000 and Chad Trammell (Washington)  $500 and Chikorita De Lego (Mexico) $1,000 and KK Paul (Arizona) $500. On Sunday’s Sprint, home town racer Isaiah Vidal and Elliott Megquier, both on the Spartan Pro Team placed second and third, with Chikorita De Lego and Laura Lunardi taking those same positions for the ladies.

It was a perfect weekend for a race in Texas. The weather was just right, the racers were pumped and the course delivered on the promises of Spartan Race. Next up are the Tri-State Sprints.

See you at the finish line! 

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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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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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