By Spartan Pro Team Member: David Magida

The Washington, DC Spartan Sprint is in the books, and what a phenomenal race it was. Competitors encountered 4.8 miles of rocky trails, challenging obstacles and mud. Lots and lots of mud. The kind of mud with the consistency of wet peanut butter and clings to the shoes, making the feet slow and heavy.

The event featured a mud pit swim in the middle of the Over, Under, Through obstacle, followed by a long run through a creek bed. Just about a mile in racers encountered a gauntlet including the Inverted Wall, the Heavy Tire Drag, the muddiest barbed wire crawl in recent memory, a cargo net climb and the obstacle that gave people the most trouble all day, the Hercules Hoist.

David Magida First Place Finish Washington DCThe rest of the course was full of rocky, muddy trails with rolling hills, interspersed with a sandbag carry, a rugged tractor pull, and rolling mud pits that were nearly impossible to escape. Factor in a very muddy traverse wall and a spear throw right after and this course was a recipe for many, many burpees.

Spartan Pro Team Athlete, Orla Walsh, finished first in the women’s race, blazing through the course in a time of 53:03. Next across the line were rising star Corinna Coffin (54:31) and Amanda Auger (56:34). This was Orla’s first victory of the season and her 4th podium finish in 2014.

On the men’s side, Spartan Pro Team Athlete and local favorite David Magida crossed the line in first place. Magida completed the course in a time of 42:12 for his 3rd victory of the 2014 season. He was followed by McCauley Kraker  (46:00) and Kevin Donoghue (46:24).

Herc Hoist Spartan Race Sprint Washington DCWith the DC race a wrap, Spartan Race stops next in Washougal, WA for the Pacific NW Sprint this weekend for another NBC Sports televised event.

Think you have what it takes to get your trifecta? Go to www.Spartan.com to get full results and to see what Spartan Super and Beast events are near the DC area.

About the Author: David Magida is a DC native, a member of the Spartan Race Pro Team, and the General Manager of Elevate Interval Fitness. He has run over 60 obstacle races in his career. 

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Discussion came up recently around everyone’s favorite Spartan Race venues. We’ve *ALL* had this conversation, no doubt. But when you sit down and think about it, it’s really not that easy to keep it to a list of just five. Everyone around the office has their own favorites for various reasons, just as racers do. So, in no particular order, here is what we came up with. Our Top 13 Spartan Race venues with some commentary thrown in for fun;

1) Temecula, Southern CaliforniaVail Lake Temecula SoCal Spartan Race

 

Cookie – “It has so many nooks, crannies, little hidden away trails that don’t present themselves unless you go looking for them. It has a lake. A glorious, shimmering, beautifully cold lake that beckons you with a mischievous grin carved across its face. Hills as far as you can see. Terrain? You name it, they’ve got it. So good that it’s the home of an HH12HR, Sprint, Super, and Beast in 2014.”

John – “This is one of my favorites as well. The location of my first Super ever. It was amazing. I remember coming around the hill at mile 7 or so in 2013 thinking I was close to the end only to be greeted by what was essentially a scramble hand over foot to climb up further. I couldn’t believe when Hobie Call finished that race in something like an hour and 13 minutes.”

Tony - “One of the most gorgeous venues I’ve ever seen to date. The hills, the lake, the beautiful weather, the luscious green grass that covers the festival floor. If you are looking for a venue to really soak it all in, this is the one. Not only is the race demanding of all you’ve got but the rest of the venue gives you that reason to stay, hang out and enjoy the most important aspect of it all, the people.”

Jason – My first Spartan Race in 2011. I had just signed on as digital marketer and found myself with a fucking hammer trying to finish obstacles before race time, and breaking down stuff and loading a trailer with Matt M at end. Great hills – my first vision of rugged ridgelines lined with Spartans making their way across the landscape. This was our first Super. It was so brand new. People were like, what the fuck is going on.

2) Palmerton, Pennsylvania

Palmerton PA Spartan Race Sprint Blue Ridge Mountains
Cookie – “For anyone that knows it, let me just say this. The sandbag carry. If you’ve experienced it, then your body will have just sent psychosomatic shivers down your spine. Ever seen grown men in tears because an obstacle has beaten them down so harshly? I have. It was at Palmerton, PA.”

3) Midway, Utah

Midway UT Spartan Race Beast Utah Festival Mountains
John – “Utah is stunning. I had never really been before the Beast there last year. The hills were my favorite, and most hated, aspect of that race. Going up I couldn’t stand them. Once at the top and pausing to take in the view I didn’t want to head back down. It was really hard to leave Utah and I look forward to it now.”

Holly – “This race is awesome! The location provides captivating views to all racers while they trek up and down the mountains.  This helps create a welcome a distraction while the steep inclines seek to wear you out.  This event embodies what a Beast is all about, and dishes out an intense challenge.  I’d have to say this specifica venue boasts one of the most beautiful locations in the US.  It’s truly breathtaking!”

4) Malibu, California

Spartan Race Sprint Malibu California Calamigos Ranch
Cookie – “How about that barbed wire crawl the goes up and around? And when that mist rolls in over the hills and the monkey bars become so wet that gripping them is a challenge in itself? Yeah, Malibu is everything you want it to be. It’s beautiful, but ugly. It’s a great course, but it’ll punish you. The air may be warm, but the water is oh-so cold. Malibu is a total contradiction which, on paper, shouldn’t work, but it does and it’s a superb race.”

John – “Whoever thinks they are going to show up for a ‘fun in the sun’ run is way off base. I don’t think I have seen the sun once in Malibu at a Spartan Race…and I loved every minute of it. The mud on the trails stole a guys shoe off his foot right in front me. The water was cold as hell, and the finish left you feeling like you accomplished something big.”

Tony - “When you think Malibu you think palm trees and sunshine. Someway somehow year after year, the weather has been anything but. However this venue is one of the most challenging and riveting ones you can encounter. The endless climbs will leave you breathless, especially when you get to the top of that cargo climb and look out at all the beauty that Malibu has to offer.”

5) Bigfork, Montana

Spartan Race Bigfork Montana Spartan Sprint Founders Race
Cookie – “You could argue that Montana is the most beautiful race in America today. You could also argue that it’s the hardest Sprint, too. I believe it’s both. There’s something about running through acres and acres of mountains and dense forest that soothes the soul. You might see an osprey, eagle, deer or some other furry or feathered friend. This is the hidden x factor of the Montana Sprint. It’s a little bit special.”

John – “The Founders race was there this year and over 5,000 people showed up to race in Montana. If you’ve been you know why. It’s picturesque on every level. The course is a butt kicker too so if you want a solid challenge Montana is a can’t miss experience. Nicest people EVER.”

6) Washougal Park, Washington – Pacific Northwest

Spartan Race Washington Pacific Northwest Sprint


Cookie – “It will generally take around three or four hours for the barbed wire crawl to reach the point where it becomes like a sheet of glass. The barbed wire crawl – one of the most infamous ones on the circuit – goes upwards at a steep angle. Conquering this crawl is immensely satisfying and a joy that should be shared by everyone. Set in the hills just outside Portland dancing along the Oregon/Washington border, this is another course that boasts beautiful scenery, nature and more trees that you can shake a lumberjack’s axe at.”

John – “Home sweet home. I grew up out here. My family is all still in the PNW. The tall green trees, fresh clean air, and terrain that will keep you honest. Its surprising how many of our female Elites are from this area at first, then you run the course, realize how technical the terrain out in the Northwest is and you gain an understanding of why they are such talented athletes.”

Tony – “What an incredible venue this is. One of my favorites of all time. You arrive and everywhere you looks it’s just green, you’re surrounded by it. When you arrive you realize quickly that there will be a lot of ups and downs on this course, it is built partly on a motocross track of course. The wooded areas are what make this place come to life, birds chirping, wild life running all about. As you drive to the location you can even pull over on the side of the road and pick the freshest blackberries to eat. It’s a gorgeous location that will test you physically and treat you mentally.”

8) Burnet, Texas

Super Spartan Race Texas Sprint Burnet Austin TX
Cookie – “Arguably one of the flatter, ‘easier’ courses on the circuit, but don’t let that fool you into believing it’s one you’ll just waltz through without difficulty. The rocks and tree roots making running very technical and while the surroundings are very easy on the eye, it order to run safely, you spend a lot of time looking at your feet! The jewel in the crown of this site is the river that flows through part of it and water in any course is a surefire winner with any Spartan fan, especially when the course is actually navigating the river. “

John – “There is a reason we have been to this venue for 3 years in a row. Its EPIC. This last year we expanded to both a Sprint and a Super in the same weekend to the tune of 12,500 racers and over 5,000 spectators. The hill top with the cross that over looks the valley provides one of the most amazing views ever. I’m definitely looking forward to going back to Texas.”

Tony - “Texas has become my new home and with that this location has become one I truly cherish. The venue is incredible, held on a ranch that provides you with all types of terrain, from rocks, to grass, to wooded areas, single track trails and sand-filled stretches. Here you can find out what you’re really made of as the terrain will always keep you guessing.”

9) Fort Carson, Colorado

Spartan Race Sprint CO
Cookie – “The thing about Colorado is that the weather is a bit of a crap shoot and that makes for a great race. One day can be gloriously warm and the next the temperature drops 30 degrees and racers will find they’ve suddenly lost the ability to grip and the cold water in the rope climb obstacle steals your breath. If you manage to steal a second and let your eyes drink in the mountains in the distance, you’ll find that the view is very agreeable, too. “

John – “The place of my only DNF race in my life ever. The elevation of the race is 6000 ft. Think about that for a moment. The Rocky Mountains in the distance are incredible. The BBQ joints in the area are really damn good. I owe that place something. I’m going back.”

Tony - “Few things here, the venue is located on a military base, right from the get-go you know you’ll be in for a one-of-a-kind Spartan treat. You’ll be racing at altitude which means you’ll be testing yourself under some of the most demanding circumstances. Though you won’t be running up any mountains just being at 6,000 ft. of elevation will beat you down. My advice, come a few days early, get your body acclimated and prepare for one hell of a race. Be sure to visit the Garden of the Gods after the race is over, what a sight!”

10) Killington, Vermont

VT Killington Beast Spartan Race Sprint WC
Jason – Killington is called the Beast of the East for a reason. One of the best views in New England – one of few places untarnished wilderness surrounds you in a 360 panorama. I love seeing all the Tri state folks – thinking this is a regular type of event – laying down and crying on the side of the trail. All sorts of people suddenly leaving the ‘fun run’ world and facing sheer freezing survival on the side of an inhospitable and uncaring mountain. This is where people come to hear the call of the wild.

Cookie – “Killington is Mecca. There’s a reason why it is the home of Spartan and there’s a reason why it’s considered the hardest Beast and why the Ultra Beast is set there. It’s hard. It’s painfully, frustratingly, will-this-never-end hard. You will swear, in much the same way I did, that you feel that the course spends more time than is geographically possible going up. Why does it feel like you are always climbing? The laws of physics go out of the window in Killington. Just suck it up and enjoy inclines that will make your legs scream for mercy, your lungs burn, but the whole time, nourish your soul.
The densely wooded areas are a delight for nature enthusiasts, so keep an eye out for critters and birds. Famously, there’s THAT lake that you’ll be expected to grapple with in one form or another, too.
Make no mistake, if you like what Spartan is doing and you want to experience the race of all races on the schedule, no list is complete until you’ve done the Vermont Beast at least once.”

Tony - “There’s a reason we use Killington, VT for the World Championship race, not only is it set in the backyard of the original Spartan HQ but it’s also one of the most beautiful mountains in all of Vermont. Do not under estimate the Vermont Beast, it is unforgiving, it will laugh at you as you try to crawl up it’s Black Diamond slopes. Oh, you thought you’d be running this race? Think again, you’re more likely to be crawling on your hands and knees with a 75lb sandbag on your back so long as Norm Koch has anything to do with it. Come prepared. Come hydrated. Hopefully, we’ll see you at the finish line.”

11) Wintergreen Resort, Virginia 

Wintergreen Resort Spartan Race Super VA

 Tony – “Wintergreen Resort is set on the eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the resort rises from approximately 600 feet above sea level in the valley at Stoney Creek to an elevation of close to 4,000 feet on the mountain. You may have heard murmurs throughout Spartan Nation that the Spartan Super crafted by Race Director Norm Koch is one of the most difficult races in the circuit. If you’re looking to prepare for the World Championship in Vermont, there is no better location than the VA Super to test your mettle. “

12) Marseilles, Illinois  - Chicago

Chicago IL Spartan Race Super Spartan Sprint

Tony – “Arguably one of the most unique Spartan Supers out there, set on an all terrain park where typically there are Jeeps and ATVs tackling the relentless hills this location has recently become home to a permanent obstacle training facility that features many unique obstacles not found anywhere else. When you think Illinois, flat typically comes to mind but that is not the case here. Some way some how this location has some of the most varied terrain of any Spartan Race out there.”

13) Miami, Florida

Spartan Race Miami FL Florida Super

John – “Florida is one of my favorite states. I love the weather there. Miami is as beautiful as they come. It’s a flat course but don’t think for a minute that means it will be easy. The technical aspect of the trails requires some real work. Nice thing is that you get to jump in the water while on course…a few times.”

Holly – “This is the perfect event for the urban Spartan who loves to remain close to the city while still escaping into nature for a challenging event.  With skyscrapers looming in the distance, this course tackles technical root and shale filled trails.  The Florida heat mixed with an onslaught of staple Spartan obstacles makes this course a great challenge!  The best part?  It’s hosted in the perfect vacation destination.”

 14) Atlanta, Georgia 

Spartan Race Sprint Georgia Atlanta GA

Holly – “The Georgia Sprint is the perfect race to give your endurance and elevation skills a test.  While not a flat course, the hills are much more conservative than many of its counterparts, and this combined with the Sprint distance makes this event is a great way to gain confidence towards tackling the longer events which boast greater elevation gains.  The venue is absolutely gorgeous, and although it can be rather cold since this event is held early in the year, it just adds to the overall awesomeness and challenge of this race.”

15) Tuxedo, New York

Spartan Race Sprint Tri-State NY Tuxedo

John – “This was my first year in Tuxedo. It was incredible. The ski hill is no joke either. The soft ground is hiding boulder after boulder waiting to roll your ankle if you get careless. Still it’s a great test of your endurance and honestly the Spartans that showed up there were top notch. I cleared every spider-web on that course with my face Friday night pre-running it. Everyone is welcome.”

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Spartan Race Logo Spartan.com Spartanrace.com Reebok Spartan If you’re from Pennsylvania, chances are you are already Spartan tough, just have a look at these eight signs that you’re a Pennsylvanian Spartan.

1. If there’s someone at the gym in a Redskins or Cowboys shirt, you WILL out-lift, out-jump and out-swim anything he or she does. And joggers wearing a Redskins or Cowboys shirt are just ASKING for a race.
Philadelphia Pennsylvania Spartan Sprint

2. You only carry cheesesteaks in your pack/ruck, usually at night close to 0300 as that is the optimum cheesesteak time of day.
3. When you see a staircase you absolutely must sprint to the top with your arms in a V, while humming the Eye of the Tiger.
Philadelphia Spartan Race Sprint4. Every single one of your runs passes at least 3 Wawa’s.Philadelphia Sparan Race Sprint Teamwork5. Your favorite workout song of all time is “High Hopes.”
6. You know precisely how many burpees a Tastykake requires.
Pennsylvania Spartan Race Palmerton Blue Ridge Mountains7. You only want Yuengling as your free beer. If that’s not available, you ask for Wooder Ice.
Pennsylvania Spartan Race Sprint Palmerton PA Finish
8. Even when it seems to be gloomy, it’s always sunny in Philadelphia.
So whether or not you are from Pennsylvania sign up for Spartan Sprint coming to Pennsylvania July 12th and we’ll see you at the finish line!

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If you’re from the PacNW then being a Spartan comes quite naturally, just have a look at these eight ways that you know you’re a PacNW Spartan:

1. Rain makes it better.

2. You have seen possible sightings of Sasquatch while training.

3. Chopping wood has always been a normal exercise activity.

PacNW Spartans fill hydration bladder with coffee

4. You have coffee in your hydration bladder.

5. Rocky beaches are preferred over the ones covered in sand.

6. You get anxious if you are not within two hours of a mountain.

7. It’s not a family vacation if you are not hiking or camping.

8. Regardless of the weather, the prettiest day of the year is when Spartan Race comes to town.

So whether or not you are from the PacNW sign up for Spartan Sprint coming to the PacNW August 2nd and we’ll see you at the finish line!

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By Pro Team Member Tiffanie Novakovich

One of the main aspects of the Spartan Race that is hammered home time after time is that if you choose to take part, you should expect the unexpected. You can watch past videos, you can check out the dozens of online photo albums and you could even talk to experienced racers. It will give you a vague idea of what to expect. Bring those expectations to the start line and you’ll immediately be on the back foot. If the race isn’t what you were expecting, the terrain wasn’t what you thought it would be or the obstacles are not how you envisioned them, you were not prepared for the unexpected.

Bearing that in mind, the inaugural Connecticut Spartan event, held in the beautiful town of Uncasville, is now in the books, with medals around the necks of thousands of competitors.  Hosted at the Mohegan Sun Hotel and Casino, the race seemed to stay more true to the resort’s lavish atmosphere, with just a modicum of Spartan torture.

The course started and ended in the resort parking lot, between zig-zagging through the parking garage, along flat stretches of small-town streets and highways, and through picturesque leaf-covered trails.  The course was mostly flat and favored speed runners, totally flying in the face of some events where mountains, hills and incline after painful incline tested the Spartans.

However,  many staple Spartan obstacles were present, including over & under walls, tire flip, atlas carry, rope climb, slick wall, barbed wire, herculean hoist, and traverse wall. Conspicuously absent was mud!  The barbed wire crawl was shorter than what is considered “normal” and was on grass. This surprised many racers who thought they knew what to expect. The water pits under the rope climb and the slick wall were lined with tarps, preventing any grime on the rope or mud in the eyes obstacles.

The course was no cake-walk though. The sand in the buckets/bags at the Herculean Hoist was saturated with water, making the obstacle significantly and surprisingly heavier than usual.  Several top racers failed this usually doable obstacle, resulting in unexpected burpees near the end of the race. Complacency and thinking you know what to expect again catching people out.

In the end, racers enjoyed a spectacular scenery in a beautiful place, but were still tested to their limits on a course that was a little different than most Spartan events, but just as grueling. In the men’s elite race, Matthew Kempson ran away with a narrow victory of only 7 seconds over Junyong Pak. Elliott Megquier completed the podium in third place. On the women’s side, Elise Fugowski bested the field by over two minutes, with Karlee Whipple finishing second and Orla Walsh in third.

As with all Spartan races, you never know what you might or might not encounter when you sign up, show up and never give up.

But one thing’s for sure: You’ll know at the finish line!

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Arguably one of the most anticipated, popular, and well-visited venues of the Spartan Race calendar is the glorious surroundings of Vail Lake, Temecula in Southern California. Boasting not only mountains and hills that simply refuse to quit, but a range of different types of terrain that will constantly keep you guessing. It’s the ideal place to test Spartans that are serious about their goals. Rocky trails, brush trails, sand, grass, swampy areas, even the beautiful lake from which it takes its name; even if you think you know the venue, it will always throw up surprises to make sure you don’t  – or can’t – become comfortable. Best of all, while all of this is going on, the famous Californian sun will kiss you while those wine valley zephyrs dance over your skin.

Running across the landscape of Temecula is a joy.

But priorities for the travelling Spartan are, as always the first thing one must consider – accommodation. Good rest the day before. Temecula is nestled north of San Diego, but much closer, you’ll find that it’s sandwiched between Hemet and Escondido. As such, you have the choice of three places all well within spitting distance of the venue that has ample parking, regardless of whether you are aiming for the Beast on Saturday or the Sprint on Sunday. Maybe you’re considering the 12-Hour Hurricane Heat. Either way, you’re covered.

One thing that is a nailed-down certainty is that after burning hundreds and possibly thousands of calories over the picturesque scenery, you’ll want to eat heartily .Thankfully, Temecula has more than its fair share of restaurants and diners. But as any knowledgeable Spartan will appreciate, Temecula is famous for something a little different. Set in the heartland of wine country, it would be remiss to not sample what it has to offer. When in Rome, as the expression goes. There are many places to see and visit in the area and thankfully, what could be a wealth of information that actually saturates to the point of confusion, is actually neatly arranged in this website right here. Check out the various activities, too, as well as places to stay, eat, and of course, tickle those taste buds with a nice glass of wine or two.

Of course, if wine isn’t your thing and you much prefer shorts, or maybe just a good old-fashioned beer, there are a wide range of places where your thirst can be quenched. Check out the range of places right here and choose which sounds best to you, based upon the reviews of past patrons and customers.  If you’d prefer to keep up with the big game, there are a range of Sports bars, too. Maybe you just want to shake your stuff after claiming your finishers medal and who could blame you? Check out this link for places to celebrate at. The folk of Temecula like to party, so why not join in with the festivities?

Temecula encompasses all types of terrain.

Regardless of whether you prefer the grape or the grain, the responsibility of any Spartan remains the same. If you’re drinking, don’t drive. Use one of the taxis in the area that will make sure you get back to your accommodation safely and without being a bother to road users or pedestrians alike. Remember that when you wear that finishers shirt, you set an example that other athletes look up to!

Remember that Temecula is renowned for having those warm winds whip up the sides of those hills, bringing the sand and dust with it, so prepare for a long, warm, dry race. Consider wearing a camelback as, while there will be water stations, some folk may find the need for more fluids than others. Remember to never leave a fellow racer wanting. Share fluids, gels and salt packets. No Spartan left behind.

See you at the finish line!

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By Elite Spartan Racer Cody Moat

Hills that don’t quit? Check. Relentless sun baking the venue? Check? Breathtaking scenery from the tops of aforementioned hills? Absolutely. The occasional curve ball thrown in to keep Spartan racers on their toes? Ah yes – we must be in Utah again.

Spartan Race’s annual visit to Soldier Hollow – venue of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games – is always a red letter day on the Spartan calender, so it’s no surprise to see the event village and starting corral heaving with smiling faces, fists in the air and the echoes of “AROO!” reverberating around the hills.

Cody Moat is all smiles at the start line.

The Utah Beast started with a bang when John Yatsko started fast from the beginning. I knew he was going to go out fast and push the pace because that’s the way he likes to race. I was happy that I would be able to go out fast without having to push the pace myself. So I started out on John’s shoulder and within the first mile we had started up the mountain and had gotten a substantial lead on the field. I knew judging from the pace that it would be a battle the whole way.
And it was a battle through the first 4-5 miles at-least up until we hit the spear throw. John came into the spear throw first and picked up the spear and hit. I think maybe I was too concerned about whether he would hit or miss instead of about my own spear throwing or maybe I was a little  over-confident. My spear grazed the edge of the hay bale and broke out without sticking. So I did burpees while John ran away unscathed. Then throughout the rest of the race, John and I stayed pretty equal the whole way. So what should have been a great race was quickly turned sour with the spear throw. John finished in 1:41. and I finished in 1:43 and 3rd place went to Glenn Racz, who also brought an incredible element to the race. I would like to congratulate John Yatsko on an incredible victory.

The female elites also saw a dramatic race, with Alex Roudayna de la Huerta Susilla eventually managing to get a 3 minute gap on Rose Wetzell-Sinnet, with Jenny Tobin grabbing a well-deserved 3rd place after running an awesome race. With so many ebbs and flows in the race, it was hard to see a winner at certain sections throughout the race.

In the event village, it was all about the green medal, as some were proudly displaying their first and in some cases, their second Trifecta of the year. Muddy high-fives all around, as well as the obligatory muddy hugs. For some, it was their first time at a Spartan Race and choosing to start with the Utah Beast is a commendable feat. One racers at the finish line were overheard saying, “I’m broken and my body hates me, but I feel fantastic. How does that even work?”

As ever, the Spartans of the future rocked their stuff with a testing Kids Race. With the younger Spartans in the community growing ever more excited about emulating what they see from the adults, it’s comforting to know that there is another generation of  those pushing themselves.

I would like to thank Spartan for putting on such a great event.

See you at the next Spartan Race! 

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By Spartan Elite Cody Moat

Spartan race is coming to the mountains of Utah for the second Beast of the 2014 season. I hope you’re ready for a long grueling course at an elevation of over 5,000 ft. above sea level. The venue comes to Soldier Hollow near Midway, Utah, located at the base of the Wasatch Mountains.  In 2002, Soldier Hollow was home to the Winter Olympics. And now is home to one of the toughest races you’ll find in the United States, The Utah Spartan Beast. Spartan racers be ready for a tough 13 + mile course with 30+ obstacles. This course is not for the faint of heart.

On the men’s side things could get exciting! Every year an athlete shows up out of nowhere to claim a spot on the podium. Competition should get interesting with Glenn Racz and Alec Blenis coming to Utah with a vengeance and determination to not only podium but to be on the top. I am also coming to the Beast with a take-no-prisoner attitude.

The women’s field should also be very interesting with several outstanding athletes. Rose Wetzel, winner of the New York Tuxedo Spartan sprint, will be in attendance. Utah’s very own Tyann Clark is also coming with a determination to claim top spot. Never count out Idaho’s Jenny Tobin and Leslie St. Louis who will also be aiming to finish highly.  If you are looking for some excitement this weekend come and participate or volunteer at the clash of the Spartans Utah Beast. You will not be disappointed.

With this being only the second Beast on the calendar, many racers will be looking at completing their set of medals in order to become Trifecta holders. However, with the unforgiving inclines that wait for them in Midway, it won’t be as easy as showing up and simply collecting what is due. Beast medals and finish lines are earned the hard way!

Also something to look out for will be the Spartan Kids race. Going at various times throughout the day, get a chance to see the Spartans of tomorrow as they take on half and full mile courses, with the coveted orange medal waiting for them at the finish line.

Remember to hydrate well and we’ll see you at the finish line! 

Bio of the Author: Cody Moat from Fillmore, Utah, began his Spartan journey here at the Utah Beast in 2012. Some highlights of his 2012 season were World Spartan points winner and Spartan World Champion. In 2013,  4th place in the World Championship.

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By Pro Team Member Tiffanie Novakovich

Brace yourselves, Nutmeggers! Spartan Race will make its Connecticut debut June 28, 2014. Hosted at the Mohegan Sun resort, a lavish Vegas-style hotel and casino, this Spartan Sprint will prove to be a first-class muddy event. The tourist town of Uncasville is located in the foothills of Eastern Connecticut, along the Thames River, adjacent to Trading Cove. As it’s less than 100 miles from Boston, MA, Hartford, CT, Providence, RI, and just a 2.5 hr drive from New York City, the race is expected to draw visitors from all over New England. Approximately 8,000 competitors and 5,000 spectators are expected to attend the Saturday-only Connecticut Spartan event.

As with all Spartan Sprints, the race will include 15+ obstacles over 3+ miles, run through the breathtaking Connecticut woodlands of the Mohegan Tribal Reservation land. The venue includes a variety of terrain, including single-track and Thames River-view trails. With the Trading Cove body of water so close by, I’m sure you can expect to get wet and muddy at this race!

Being held on a Native American Reservation will give the race a special feel, marrying the warrior philosophy of Spartan Race with the warrior heritage of the land. Kevin Brown, Chairman of the Mohegan Tribal Council says, “I am very glad to hear that our reservation land has been chosen for the Reebok Spartan Race.  Let’s face it – the Mohegan Tribe traces a lineage and a heritage of brave Native American warriors who lived, worked, and fought in these Eastern Woodlands. The race will bring a modern challenge into historic territory – it’s a great fit.”

Some familiar faces are expected in the men’s Elite race.  Expect Elliott Megquier to be racing for a podium spot. He’s coming off of an impressive showing in the Tri-Cities New York Spartan event, where he raced four times in nine days, pulling in two second- and one fifth-place finish. Also expected to show some dominance is Spartan Pro Team member and Ninja Warrior extraordinaire Alex Nicholas, who pulled off an impressive 12th place finish at the highly-competitive NBC-televised Tri-Cities Sprint. Expect some speedy New Englanders to fight their way into the top 10 on this low rolling-hills course.

With the Utah Beast (held on the same day as the CT race) drawing the attention of many left-coast pros, several top spots in the women’s elite race are up for grabs. Some East-Coast race favorites include Karlee Whipple, who took first place in the first Saturday race of the Tri-Cities Sprint and eighth place in the NBC-televised second Saturday race. Don’t be surprised if Orla Walsh, who recently moved to Vermont to train, shows up to test her grit. She’s had impressive finishes lately in the Colorado Springs Military Sprint as well as the NBC Tri-Cities Sprint.  Don’t forget East-Coast staples Laura Messner and Amanda Ricciardi, who may throw their hats into the ring this weekend. And you never know what pro-team members might decide at the last minute to show up and dominate!

Also on the docket for Saturday are the Spartan Kids Race and the Special Needs Spartan Course. The Kid’s race includes two distances for younger and older kids and always proves to be one of the many highlights of every race. The Spartan Special Needs Course is a new addition being included at several events this year. There will be a course designed especially for intellectually and/or developmentally disabled individuals who want to challenge themselves against Spartan obstacles and also want to challenge what is “normal.” Spartan Pro Team members will be participating as mentors and volunteers in the Special Needs Race. As Spartans, we defy the perceptions of “normal” at every race, while our special needs competitors do the same everyday in a way that is highly impressive and honorable.

If you haven’t already registered, do it now!  You don’t want to miss the beautiful scenery and punishing obstacles of Connecticut’s first Spartan Race. Put yourself to the test and . . . You’ll know at the finish line.

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Could there possibly be a more glorious background for a stadium Spartan Sprint in the US?

When you’re on the course, you can drink in the view of the San Francisco Bay to the east, historic Alcatraz to the North and the epic Golden Gate Bridge a little over 2 miles away. You’d have to pinch yourself to remind you that you’re on the clock. You’re being timed, so savor it by all means, but keep moving!

Getting ready for this race will have you making sure that steps – lots and lots of climbing steps – will be part of your on-going training. Aside from that, we won’t tell you a great deal other than to be ready for the usual and perhaps the not-so usual Spartan shenanigans. Spartans are prepared for anything!

This will be a fantastic opportunity to visit the beautiful city of San Francisco and naturally, for those that are planning a road trip, accommodation is the first point of order, so make sure to hit up TripAdvisor’s list of around 240 hotels in the area. Be sure to refine your search to the means that suit you best. Whether it be a cheap and cheerful stay or whether you think you deserve something a little more luxurious, there’ll be something there for you.

Don’t worry too much about getting around. The metro system will look after you as well as the thousands of taxis in the city. Of course, Joe would expect you to jog to the venue. Spartan up, folks!

But what and where to eat? All those obstacles, steps and perhaps just a few burpees are going to make you hungry. The second dilemma is choosing which of the hundreds of eateries there are in the area will be the ones to feed you. The choice is staggering, so it comes as a very welcome relief that the San Francisco Chronicle has compiled the best 100 places to dine. Check here and you’ll be pleased to see that the restaurants listed include extremely affordable choices, ranging from American to Mexican, Italian to French and even some off-the-beaten-track options like Moroccan and Scandinavian.

Naturally, as a failsafe, one website to keep handy is this one put out by the city themselves. Having handy tabs to use regarding food, accommodation, travel and most things in between, it’s very useful to have. Make a note of it!

While you are there, can you give up the chance to visit the Golden Gate Bridge? Tours are available and any self-respecting selfie fan should surely have this ticked off the list.

And surely any movie buff will want to check out the historic movie scenes and locations. Naturally, Bullitt with Steve McQueen springs to mind. Or how about Mrs Doubtfire – everyone’s favorite scary cross-dressing Irish nanny? Many other films used San Francisco as their backdrop, so be sure to check them out here.

Naturally, two films used the very real location of Alcatraz (“Escape From Alcatraz” and “The Birdman Of Alcatraz”) and if your itinerary includes the time, then you should visit Alcatraz Island. There are many boat tours available.

No visit to San Francisco could be complete without checking two of the most famous streets in America, namely, Filbert Street and Lombard Street. You’ve seen them many times on T.V., why not check them out? Try running up Filbert Street. See how you get on.

Just in case you would like to take in a musical legend while you are there, Tom Petty plays San Francisco the same weekend. See here.

All in all, there is so much to do and so much to see that you’ll rue that there’s only so many hours in a day. One thing we can assure you of is that we’ll be sure to see you at the finish line…

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