by Jeremy Bongiovanni

I think I can officially call myself a Spartan after this weekend’s race in Tuxedo, NY… That was definitely a challenge, but so much fun! There is some odd joy that comes out of completing one of the most physically difficult tasks you’ve ever done, but I love that feeling! This obstacle course was about 5 miles, mostly uphills and downhills, with around 20-25 obstacles, most of them pretty difficult too!  I found myself struggling, but it was a good struggle. I felt challenged, and I immediately felt like I wanted to do that again so I signed up for the 8-mile Super Spartan! I can officially say I’m also addicted to the Spartan Race. It’s one of those experiences that you won’t get anywhere else—the camaraderie, even with people you don’t know, the challenges, the joy, the adrenaline rush, you can’t find all of that everywhere! Some may think you’re crazy, but when you come home with those cuts and bruises (and yes you will get a few), you have a reason to show off, and be proud of it! You have just completed something not many people can say they have. I highly suggest getting out there and trying this too. You will get to that starting corral and just feel so much more alive than you ever have! I also highly suggest bringing friends—it enhances the experience so much more to share it with others.

I have done two Spartan Races – the first one at Citi Field and the second in Tuxedo, NY, but the second time I was alone. It definitely is a lot more challenging to be alone, but you can go at your own pace, which some people enjoy. I enjoyed the camaraderie of the first time, so I would suggest bringing a few friends. Plus, if you’re 21, you can share a few beers afterward! The races themselves were very different—Tuxedo, NY was much more cardio based, with a lot more brute strength involved. I should warn you, if you sign up for any Spartan Race, no matter what distance, you will end up running a lot more.

In a stadium, the issue is that the space is smaller, so there is no mud and less running, but still a great experience! It’s not often that you can say you’ve run on the field that a big MLB team plays on! Spartan Race hosts their races on these fields from time to time, but more often than not, they will be in the middle of nowhere so everyone can experience a true Spartan Race, mud and all. I am planning on working my way up to a Spartan Beast to complete a Trifecta (all three levels in one year), so wish me luck! I hope I can finish with a good time at each, or even survive them! I’m excited though, and I know with a little training (well, a lot of training), I can do this, and I know all of you out there can too!

I recommend signing up for the Spartan WOD’s – www.spartanrace.com/wod.   These are very helpful training tools to add on or use as your workout for the day. And if you want a free race, you can always volunteer at a race and choose to race at any race you’d like for free! I’d highly suggest this, as I have done this as well. It’s also a good way to meet new racers if you ever want a racing buddy for the future! Anyways, good luck in future racers, and I hope you all get out there and race like a Spartan! Spartan Races – getting people off their couches and into Spartan shape since 431 B.C.

AROO!!!

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Despite the blazing temperatures and the insane terrain that included seven trips up and down the mountains of Tuxedo Ridge, the 15,000 Spartans on-hand battled for the finish line. Most returning Spartans were in agreement that it was a much more difficult course than last year with steeper inclines and more difficult and technical run. The addition of some new obstacles including an inverted wall had Spartans scrambling.

The Spartan Pro team, which was announced last week, had some heavy hitters in attendance, and the first day of elite heats saw some familiar faces on the podium.

Top males were:
1. Patrick Grevelding 50:40
2. Randy Feeley 52:03
3. Elliot Megquier 52:08

Top three females included:
1. Melinda Branch 1:10:44
2. Lelya DiCori 1:12:45
3. Juliana Sproles 1:13:15

One of the larger teams in Tuxedo was Team Braveheart, a familiar crew on Spartan courses, who ran early on Saturday morning. The largest team was awarded to Team Unstoppable on Sunday morning. There was the inspirational Spartan Ilene Boyar took on the course with a team of 12 Sunday morning crossing the finish line seven and a half hours later. Ilene’s finish is monumental as she suffers from brittle bone disease and completed the course on crutches. There wasn’t a dry eye when she crossed the finish line.

We’re not done with you yet, Tuxedo. For the first time in Spartan history, we will be returning to Tuxedo Ridge for a second weekend of racing this Saturday, June 8th, thousands of Spartans will be descending on the venue for another shot at Spartan glory. Will you be there?

Get registered HERE.

 

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This past weekend, Spartan held the first weekend of two weekends of sprints at Tuxedo Ridge.  Nearly 15,000 athletes battled the heat to take on the infamously hilly course at the ski resort.

The elite heat for the Reebok Spartan Sprint kicked off at 8 AM and when the first Spartans crossed the finish line Saturday, they not only earned a cash purse for their efforts, but a trip to that night’s Yankee’s game AND a shout out by the announcer before the game began.

How’s that for taking a bite out of the Big Apple?

The top three male and female finishers received a much-deserved shout out at the Yankees vs. Red Sox game, Saturday June 2nd.

Top males were:
1. Patrick Grevelding 50:40
2. Randy Feeley 52:03
3. Elliot Megquier 52:08

Top three females included:
1. Melinda Branch 1:10:44
2. Lelya DiCori 1:12:45
3. Juliana Sproles 1:13:15

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by Carrie Adams

In 2012, Spartan Race crossed the United States from Boston to Malibu, Miami to Washington State.  We were in Canada and the UK, we found ourselves in Slovakia and we were even doing burpees down under in Australia.  Spartan Chicked grew from eight women in 2011, myself included to over 8,000 on FB.  And with 55 races in the 2012 books, it’s easy to get lost in the BIG numbers, the 130,000 women who have crossed a Spartan finish line, the average 124.8 miles Spartans would travel for race day, the first of its kind Fenway Spartan Race, the introduction of the world’s first ever marathon (plus, it was actually over 28 miles) Ultra Beast in Vermont and the nearly half a million dollars in cash and prizes given away in the calendar year.  It’s been monumental.

Yes, it is easy to focus on the big numbers, distracted by how quickly Spartan has grown and expanded.  But, for every one of those 130,000 there is a story… there is an impact and an impression left by finishing a Spartan Race, the medal placed around the neck of someone who arrived earlier that day unsure of what lay ahead.  And for all manners of women, those who are accomplished athletes to those who are just finding their inner athlete, lives were changed.  So, we’re going to tell a few of those stories to remind our readers that Spartan Race is still striving to be maintain the spirit of why we began in the first place: getting more people off the couch, empowering individuals, families, and communities to be healthy, to overcome obstacles, and to find out what they are truly capable of when they commit to finish what they start.

First up, is Sarah Keddel.  In her own words, she describes her Spartan experience in Tuxedo Ridge.

The Making of a Spartan Chick

By Sarah Keddel

When I entered my first Spartan Sprint at Tuxedo Ridge, I had no idea what I was in for. I figured it would be an obstacle course similar to the one I did in military basic training back in 2002. I thought it would be easy. I thought it would be something that I would soon forget about when it was over.

I could not have been more wrong.

It took me longer than I felt it should have to do that race. I thought I was in good condition with the little bit of maintenance work I did at the local gym, and this Spartan Sprint was a perfect mirror to make me realize the reality of my condition. I had caught mud madness. I found myself determined to do better at the next race, when before this race, I had not planned on doing more than one. I went on to register for, and volunteer at, as many races as I was able to handle with a full time work and homework load.

Luckily, I attend a college where I get to design my own curriculum. The Spartan races, and training for them, became my main focus of study for the last semester. I taught myself about endurance training and sports nutrition for science credits. I also had the good fortune to interview a couple of the elite Spartan racers in a comparison study about endurance sport psychology. I watched, and reflected upon, the evolution of the post-race videos and Spartan advertisements as a study on women in sports advertising.

As time passed and the races grew longer and more difficult, I grew stronger. As I became physically stronger, and I discovered I have more self-confidence than ever before. I used the knowledge and strength I gained to complete the VT Spartan Beast in September. Meeting that challenge alone has changed my world view in a positive way that only experience can explain fully.

The Spartan races have been fun, but they mean much more than that to me. I’ve made friends who run the races, and friends who design them and set them up. Each race feels like a wonderful, crazy, and supportive family reunion. The Spartan races have helped me stay focused in pursuit of higher education. I’ve become physically, mentally and emotionally stronger in one year than any combination of time and experience before this point, and I’m proud to be considered a “Spartan Chick”.

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