by Stephen Reid aka Steve-o Bones

Sunday, June 2nd started off like any other. I awoke to a beautiful morning. The sun was out and the birds were chirping. But the day was to be a special one. It was the day that I would help lead my good friend Ilene Boyar and her husband Brent through the Spartan Sprint course in Tuxedo, New York. Ilene is an adaptive athlete whom I met at a Mini GoRuck Challenge that I organized to raise money for my Mom. Mom was wiped out by Hurricane Sandy, as were 660,000 other families. But that is a story for another time. This one is all about Ilene.

Ilene suffers from Osteogenesis Imperfecta which is commonly known as Brittle Bone Disease. Ilene had been a participant in other Obstacle Course Races but was understandably nervous about the Tri-State Reebok Spartan Sprint. However, I reassured her by promising we would start as a team and finish as a team.

Levi Smith, the owner of Reloadfitness.com was kind enough to sponsor Ilene. The Reloadfitness Team, a Team Red White and Blue Athlete, an Operation Enduring Warrior Community Athlete, a Spartan Street Team Captain, and a Member of the Spartan Crew joined us on the mission. As promised, we stuck together and started and finished as a team. I brought the American Flag that I have brought to all my races this year.

I wore a ruck and a 40 pound weighted vest. I explained to everyone that the “coupons” were our crutches for the day. We would carry these so-called crutches for the event and put them away when it was over. Ilene does not have that option, her crutches are her constant companions. I also explained Ilene’s status to everyone. I told them that she would be treated just like the American Flag: “With honor and dignity. She is not to touch the ground either.”

Throughout the course, I asked many racers to pick up a rock or log, with the same explanation. I later came to find out that one rather large rock made it through the entire course and had been returned to the race emcee He-Man. He-Man took it upon himself to have the entire Spartan Race Staff sign the rock, and it will be returned to Ilene.

It took us just shy of eight hours to complete the course. In that time, Ilene did not complain once. She conquered the rocky uphills backwards on her butt. Inch by inch, she moved on. She did the entire length of barbed wire without assistance. Admittedly, there were obstacles that she could not do. Normally burpees would be an alternative to the obstacle. However, due to her condition she cannot do burpees either. In order to alleviate that issue, I asked other Spartans to donate burpees to her.

Everyone was ready, willing, and able to pitch in. The 8 foot wall resulted in 420 donated burpees. The cargo net set the bar with 501. The last one was a one handed burpee. One Spartan did 38 burpees for his Birthday and came back for 2 more due to his “OCD.” Another Spartan donated 60 on his own. Spartans do give generously.

When we reached the fire jump, despite reservations, the only option we had was to proceed forward. Jay, part of the Spartan Race Staff carried Ilene over the fire jump. There was no way that she was not going through that. Next was the Gladiators. We formed a wedge and enveloped Ilene in the center. We all crossed the finish line together.

It was a very emotional day that I am honored to have been a part of. I was inspired by Ilene’s courage. She embodies the Spartan Spirit and can serve as an example to us all of the perseverance and determination Spartans are capable of.

Are you ready to test yourself?  Click HERE and sign up today.

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Elliot Megquier

by Elliot Megquier, Spartan Pro Athlete

After a weekend off for Memorial Day the Reebok Spartan Race Series roars back into action with back to back race weekends for the very first time in Tuxedo, New York just 45 minutes from New York City (June 1st, 2nd, and 8th). Set in beautiful Ramapo Mountains, Tuxedo serves as a fresh breath of air from the hectic energy of the Big Apple. This is one of the most challenging sprints on the circuit and the barb wire crawl is certainly one of the hardest, going straight uphill near the finish for a seemingly endless distance. Racers will climb multiple ski trails and try to descend them without wiping out.

Not only will money be on the line this weekend, but the top five male and female finishers will win Yankees-Red Sox tickets and be recognized during the game at Yankee Stadium. On the men’s side look for last year’s runner up, Elliott Megquier and third place Andrew Hostetler to battle it out with David Magida the unofficial winner of the 2013 Spartan Miami Super for bragging rights and victory.

Rose-Marie

Other men racing include local New Yorkers Patrick Grevelding, Kevin Donoghue, Alexander Nicholas, and Brad Fredricks. Grevelding finished third in the 2011 Vermont Beast, Donoghue has been a top ten finisher at multiple races, Nicholas won the Fenway Stadium Sprint. Fredricks is knocking at the door of becoming a top Spartan Racer. Look for Army Captain and two time Best Ranger Competition finisher Ian Kent to debut on his birthday and make some noise representing the 10th Mountain Light Infantry Division. Kent is the top Ranger on Fort Drum and Megquier’s commander. The two recently combined to win the Spring Mountain Challenge on Fort Drum which included two obstacle courses, ruck marching, the mountain fitness test, and shooting. The pair won by almost 10 minutes.

On the women’s side look for the crazy lady in green Andi Hardy to defend her title from last year with Jillian Kenney and Rose Marie Jarry possibly returning from injury to challenge. Kenney is coming off a third place and first place finishes in Burnet, TX. Jarry came off of a long injury absence last weekend in the Montreal Sprint and will certainly challenge for victory. Other female racers to look out for include Shaun Provost who won the Fenway and Citi Field Stadium Sprint, Melinda Branch who finish 4th in the 2012 points series, Gretchen Krueger the 2011 Pennsylvania Sprint champion, and Juliana Sproles. This is a weekend not to be missed so if you can’t race come be a spectator or volunteer, you will not regret it. Registration is still open for June 8th too so hurry up because it will sell out.  Register HERE.

[Editor's note: Elliott Megquier will celebrate his third anniversary of Spartan Racing this weekend. Since his debut at Tuxedo he was he has finished 38 Spartan Races. He has 5 podium finishes in 2013, 10 podiums in 2012, and one in 2011. Megquier is honored to be a part of the inaugural Reebok Spartan Pro Team in 2013.]

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