by Brian Ansley

SRSC_VA_0011The Spartan Challenger Series has highlighted a few powerful athletes that seem equipped to take on Hobie Call in the Spartan obstacle races. I recently met another elite Spartan willing to accept the challenge to take on Hobie. There is one huge difference….he is only 16 years old!

Alec Blenis is a rising young endurance athlete from Roswell, Georgia. He is definitely not what comes to mind when I think of the modern day 16 year old kid. For example, he is a vegan and eats only organic foods. He also tries to buy fair trade products only to support fair wages, and equality for the workers that make his organic lifestyle possible. His weekends consist of a variety of different races, including triathlons and a 50 mile run in October in Pine Mountain, Georgia.

When I first spoke with Alec, he told me he had placed second in his age group theSRSC_BD_0176 weekend before in a sprint triathlon. He went on to say, “I usually do a 5K or 10K twice a month.” “I started off doing 5K’s and 10K’s.” I asked Alec how he got into obstacle racing. He replied, “I did the Warrior Dash first.”

When I asked how to two compared he said simply, “The Warrior Dash was fun, but it wasn’t as intense as Spartan Race.  Spartan Race was much more intense.

Alec’s first Spartan Race was the Georgia Sprint on April 30, 2011. His second race was in South Carolina June 25, 2011 at the Super Spartan when Hobie Call was training for the Death Race and not participating in the race. Alec finished at the top of his heats in both races. An impressive feat for such a young athlete in such a challenging set of races.

I asked Alec what his thoughts were Hobie Call being unbeatable.  Blenis stated,  “I admire Hobie. No ordinary person can beat him.”

SRSC_CJ_0012Alec has only been improving since his Spartan Sprint in June. He has been posting some extreme workout videos on the Spartan Race Facebook page showing his commitment and athleticism.

“I generally do a triathlon workout and a Spartan WOD everyday”, Alec said. He also stated that he manages to fit in his 6 to 8 mile runs too. Alec is also preparing for the Spartan Beast August 6, 2011 in Vermont. I asked him what his thoughts were on the Beast. “I know they don’t call it the Beast for nothing.” Then he added, “I plan on placing in the top 3 though.”

I spoke with one of Spartan’s own, Travis Ketcham, about his thoughts on Alec. Alec has been in touch with Travis for awhile, sharing his workouts and videos. Travis told me how Alec was inspired by some of Hobie’s workout videos and that Alec is, “Really, really impressive.”  Alec is graduating early from high school next year, and how he seems to be very family oriented. “He’s setting himself up for great success right now”, Travis said.

Alec wishes to persuade younger people to come out and participate in the SpartanSRSC_BD_1786 Races. He said that they should not feel intimidated by the obstacles, or fear the race. He does however have a very remarkable support crew that travels with him to all of his Spartan Races. His father and grandfather have been to both the Spartan Sprint and Super Spartan. Did I mention they both completed it too? This trio is coming to the Spartan Beast together as well! I guess you can say it runs in the family!

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