by Chris Rutz, Elite Spartan Racer

Hobie Call

This weekend, Reebok Spartan Race arrives in the Arizona desert. The 2013 Arizona Spartan Sprint moves to a new venue that captures the beauty of the Sonoran Desert and ramps up the difficulty level of the course. McDowell Mountain Regional Park is located northeast of Phoenix and provides a rolling terrain with miles of tight single track for the elite racers to challenge one another.

This is the first Spartan Sprint distance race since the Reebok/Spartan Race partnership was announced in late January in New York City.  Two weeks ago the SoCal Super went off at Vail Creek Lodge in Temecula, CA.

Many of the top athletes from the 2012 Season will be racing in Arizona this weekend for their share of the $7,500 cash purse generously provided by our partners at Navy Federal Credit Union for the Saturday Elite wave. We asked a few of them how they feel the Navy Federal Credit Union prize money impacts the sport of Obstacle Course Racing?

Hobie Call, resident Spartan elite racer  said, “…I want NFCU to know that I truly appreciate their sponsorship. Every little bit helps, and this year is looking even better than last.” and “As cool as the helmets and swords are, elite athletes follow the money. End of story.” 

Female elite racer Corinne Kohlen noted how it’s drawing new talent to the field, “I think the money is great. It is luring in exceptional athletes and runners such as TyAnn Clark (and many others) who may not have been as interested in this kind of sport before.”  

That sentiment was also noted by elite female Andi Hardy when she was quoted as saying, “Money brings more elite competition.” 

Jenny Tobin

Last year’s female point’s winner Jenny Tobin also had something to say about the infusion of cash prizes, “I’m all about making money for my exercise habit, I’d still do it but it is nice to make a little money and see different parts of the country.” 

The field is ripe with talent.  Male elites Hobie Call and Hunter McIntyre, first and third respectfully in the SoCal Super are scheduled to be at the race. In addition, look for the 2013 debut of Christopher Rutz, Elliott Megquier and Nick Maynard. Christopher and Nick, along with Arizona native Chase Stewart have the home trail advantage and will be ready to tear up their desert. Beyond the Arizonans, watch out for 2012 Top 10 Spartan Racers Dallas Bessette and Shawn Feoick.

On the women’s side, SoCal winner TyAnn Clark, multiple 2012 Spartan race winner Rose-Marie Jarry and winner of the 2012 Texas Sprint Ella Kociuba are schedule to race. Those three alone will make the race for the podium very interesting. By no means do they have a lock on the top three places. Expect to see some of the top names in the sport including Juliana Sproles, Ang Reynolds, Andi Hardy, Corinne Kohlen, Sue Luck and Shaun Provost literally give them a run for their money. As usual, the women’s race will be exciting to watch.

Get out to the Arizona Spartan Sprint this weekend and watch these athletes smoke through the course. After the finish, they would welcome the opportunity to share their passion for obstacle course racing (OCR) with you in the festival area. 

2013 has Spartan stepping up the game considerable.  With prize money, Reebok, and an incredible crop of top racers, it is shaping up to be another exciting weekend of obstacle course racing.   See you at the races! 

Not registered yet?  What are you waiting for?  Join the expected 500,000 Spartans that will cross one of our finish lines this year.  Find an event near you HERE

 

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by Carrie Adams

When Team X-T.R.E.M.E. stepped out onto the Leesburg field, escorted by a bagpiper, the festival area that is normally buzzing with activity suddenly quieted and turned their attention to the eight figures crossing the lawn.  What would follow as the team took to the course, two wounded warrior athletes included in the effort was unlike anything we’ve seen at a Spartan Race.  Hands down, this was the most widely read story we published in 2012.

It was the first time the team would take on a Spartan course, but it wouldn’t be the only time we’d see the team, complete with blacked out gas masks, run in 2012.  They’d return to the Carolina’s Beast and will also be onsite in our upcoming Times Square demonstration.   They’ll be coming with two of their wounded warrior athletes, Eduard Lychik (single leg hip disarticulation), and Marine Corporal Todd Love

(trimembral amputee of both legs above the knee and left arm below the elbow.)  Love was a part of the Leesburg team and his performance and determination throughout the course was nothing short of inspiring.

I had the privilege to see them in action on that day in Leesburg and the blog post from that day was our biggest of the year.
What’s your excuse now?  Get registered TODAY.     To read about that memorable and emotional day, click HERE.

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by Carrie Adams

With Hurricane Sandy bearing down on the entirety of the East Coast and already effecting 50 million people, at Spartan Race HQ, we’re paying attention.  In New York, Sandy is flooding Battery Park, leading to mass evacuations, and excessive storm surge threatening to run rampant in lower Manhattan at high tide tonight.  As New Yorkers are preparing for power outages and possible food shortages Spartan Race is preparing to put on our first public demonstration of Spartan Race in Times Square Thursday, November 1st from 11AM – 2PM.

With billions of dollars of damage possible, markets closed, and schools and businesses on hold,  Hurricane Sandy, a Category 1 Hurricane being dubbed a “Super Storm” is proving to be a formidable weather event for the heart of the East Coast.  And Spartan is no stranger to Hurricanes.  It’s how our infamous Hurricane Heat was born and it nearly destroyed our Headquarters and town of Pittsfield, VT, not to mention the home of our new HQ presence in Boston, MA.

Amesbury 2011 Hurricane Heat

Our experience with hurricanes is storied.  When news of the impending landfall of Hurricane Irene began to circulate in the summer of 2011, Spartan HQ worked diligently to keep race doors open for the weekend of our first ever two-day event at that time in Amesbury, MA.  When the State of Massachusetts shut down the site and the venue for Sunday’s August 28, 2011 day of racing, and declared a state of emergency we were forced to cancel the heats.  Amidst the disappointed racers and staffers, no one was more upset than our own owner, Joe DeSena and the crews, course designers, and builders ready to race in Amesbury.

Plans for possible Sunday heats evaporated when we were notified that streets would be shut down and the Sunday permit would no longer be valid.  A new plan was necessary.  Phone calls, site visits, and last minute adjustments were made and SR staffers managed to negotiate an alternative for a few Spartan athletes brave enough to take on the challenge.  By noon on Friday, an invitation went out to all Sunday racers giving them the chance to try Spartan’s course with a unique twist.  An early morning run through the course led by some of the Founders of Spartan Race.  And just like that, Running with the Founders: The Hurricane Heat was born and has thrived ever since.

Hurricane Irene then descended on the East coast and ravaged Spartan HQ in Pittsfield, VT and nearby Killington, VT where the Spartan Race World Championship Beast and Ultra Beast race was held in September 2012.  The towns became islands, stranding the people who ultimately were helped by the Air National Guard, (one of Spartan’s partner sponsors) who assisted 14 other towns in the same stranded circumstances that were they were airlifted supplies and supplied necessities as the roads were being repaired to allow access into the battered towns.

K-1 Baselodge In Killington 2011, Post Hurricane Irene
It has since been repaired

As you can see, the lodge at K1, where a thousand Spartans earned their green medal, collapsed due to the effects of Hurricane Irene.  The Pickel Barrel, where hundreds of athletes gathered with their turkey legs and celebrated their completion of the BEAST, has suffered flooding. The bridges up and down Route 100 have collapsed, making it impossible to travel through the heart of the Green Mountains, by car or by foot. In fact, Pittsfield has become an island because of the destroyed bridges, entering and exiting the town line.  The destruction of the bridges in Pittsfield has made the town unreachable, for there is absolutely no way to get in or out, except by helicopter!  In fact, one of these collapsed bridges was located just outside of our office.

Vermont and our HQ hunkered down and rebuilt, though effects from the storm were still visible at our 2012 Beast and Ultra Beast event.

The New York Times had some good news early Monday morning about Times Square, saying: “…even an impending monster storm like Hurricane Sandy has not kept the tourists away from Times Square. In a post, one of its reporters says, “The approach of Hurricane Sandy may have shut down Broadway theaters on Sunday night, but it did not blow all of the tourists out of Times Square.

Late into the evening, hundreds of people milled about in the cool, fresh air, bathed in the glow of electronic signs and giant TV screens.”

It will be a rough few days for the East Coast and Spartan Race wishes all residents and visitors to the East Coast a safe week with the impending storm and storm surge.  We are vigilantly watching the “Super storm” at HQ for all those in the path and hope to be out en mass in Times Square on Thursday as scheduled to bring some Spartan spirit to the people of New York.  Our entire organization has been trained in Hurricane event management over the last two years, Sandy will be no different

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by Carrie Adams

With all the trails, mountains, and gnarly terrain we’ve tackled, we’ve yet to take on one landscape – the URBAN jungle!  That’s going to change ONE WEEK from today!  Spartan Race is headed to Times Square!

For the first time, Spartan Race,  will take over New York City’s famed Times Square, not for a race, but a very special public demonstration of the best that Spartan has to offer.  There will be obstacles, some familiar Spartan faces, and even MUD at the famed Crossroads of the World!

Want to come check it out?  The public is welcome to come down and watch elite and local athletes test themselves against our most love (or feared) obstacles and cheer them to victory!  Dubbed The Spartan Race Times Square Challenge, we’ve created an invitational demonstration featuring some of New York’s fittest competitors, some special guests, and, of course, our crazy obstacles.  Thursday, Nov. 1, from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., we’ll be rocking it out at Duffy Square (between 46th and 47th Street), in Manhattan.

Our good friends from Team X-T.R.E.M.E. will be on hand including always inspiring Marine Corporal Todd Love, trimembral amputee

Claude Godbout, Spartan Champion

of both legs above the knee and left arm below the elbow.  Claude Godbout will also be in attendance.  The Olympic bi-athlete from Canada is the only Spartan in our history to win a Spartan Race at every distance we offer!  That’s better than even Hobie Call or Cody Moat can claim!  A Sprint, Super, Beast AND Ultra Beast.  Godbout even headed overseas to Slovakia and took the top spot at our first race there earlier this year!

Other elite Spartans from our 300 group will be taking part in the demonstration alongside some other inspiring Spartans.  John Ulsh, car accident survivor and PA Spartan Super finisher will be one among the lucky 100 who will be showing the crowd some of our most beloved (and feared) obstacles!

For the next week, we’ll be counting down to New York on our blog and Facebook.  There may not be a ceremonious ball drop at the end, but who needs a ball when you have 8 foot walls to climb and traverse?  So, mark your calendars and get ready for some urban Spartan mayhem in the city that never sleeps.  See you at the Crossroads of the World November 1st!

Ready to get off your couch and race with us?  Get after it already!  Click HERE to find an event near you!

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by Carrie Adams

As our Spartan Race 2013 season just kicked off with a Beast in the Carolinas and preparing to head to Fenway in November (we’re not scared of a big Green Monster), we’ve got something special in between!   Where the urban jungle meets primal Spartan… A treasured landmark will be the backdrop to a Spartan demonstration like nothing we’ve done before.   That’s right, Spartan Race is headed to Times Square!

For the first time, Spartan Race,  will take over New York City’s famed Times Square, for a public demonstration of the best that Spartan has to offer.  The public is welcome to come down and watch  elite and local athletes test themselves against our most love (or feared) obstacles and cheer them to victory!  Dubbed The Spartan Race Times Square Challenge, we’ve created an invitational demonstration featuring some of New York’s fittest competitors, some special guests, and, of course, our crazy obstacles.  The date is Thursday, Nov. 1, from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., at Duffy Square (between 46th and 47th Street), in Manhattan.

Think we can’t do mud in Times Square?  Think again.  We sure can.  We’re Spartans after all!   We’ll be joined bysome familiar faces, Team X-T.R.E.M.E. will be on hand with with U.S. Marine Sergeant Jonathan Mozingo, amputee of the left leg below the knee, and Marine Corporal Todd Love, trimembral amputee of both legs above the knee and left arm below the elbow, and spectators will love the opportunity to see it all go down in one of the beloved New York city locations!    No charge for spectators, just head on down and watch it unfold.  There will be plenty of surprises to keep everyone, even the pugil-wielding Gladiators, on their toes!

The week leading up to the event we’ll be counting down to New York on our blog and Facebook.  There may not be a ceremonious ball drop at the end, but who needs a ball when you have 8 foot walls to climb and traverse?  So, mark your calendars and get ready for some urban Spartan mayhem in the city that never sleeps.  See you at the Crossroads of the World November 1st!

Ready to get off your couch and race with us?  Get after it already!  Click HERE to find an event near you!

 

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