by Carrie Adams
Pembroke, FL ocean lifeguard Cyrus Writer, 26, is a Spartan, literally– his father is Persian and speaks twelve languages. He recently ran our Miami event and put up an incredible finishing time in the eight mile course. Not running with the first wave and amidst some controversy around the course markings being moved and torn down, he laid down a 52:33. Hobie’s day-winning time was around 59:13 minutes.
Wait, that math isn’t right… or is it? NOT running in the competitive wave keeps you out of the running. It’s never been an issue in the past, because no one outside Wave One has come close (or anyone in Wave One if we’re brutally honest). Writer ran in Open Wave Four. He wasn’t the only one who appeared to beat Hobie on race day and the controversy has raged ever since. Hobie decidedly won his competitive heat in another remarkable feat of athleticism and earned another victory.
On FB, Call said of the controversy, “There were confusions on the course and people were taking shortcuts. The times that were a lot faster than mine were obvious mix-ups, but there was one guy that ran about half of a minute slower than me from another wave that they believe to be legit. Any confusion will be cleared up at the Georgia race this weekend.”
Writer won’t see Call in Georgia, or New York, Vancouver or VA or any other Spartan Events until June 25th when he leaves sunny (and notoriously flat) Florida and heads north to the mountains of Pittsfield, VT for the Death Race. Miami’s finish and the swirling speculations and controversy rage on, but that is not what this is about for Writer. In fact, he said, “I’m not here to get Hobie or take anything away from him. I just ran the race that day, pushed myself, had fun. That’s what I do. I am proud of him and hope he keeps winning. I just really want to get to the Death Race.”
Growing up in his mother’s native Chile, Writer didn’t move to the States until he was fourteen and found it difficult to make friends because he hadn’t mastered the language. He moved a lot in high school but managed to compete and excel in track and field and swimming. He attained his U.S. citizenship in 2008.
In college at FAU, studying criminal justice, Writer focused more on school and his job as a lifeguard. A recent graduate, he plans on entering the Coast Guard. He had a setback last year when plantar fascitis kept him from running. After successful physical therapy, he was cleared to continue running in December and signed up for some races: a Warrior Dash, a 5K where he won his age group and placed 5th overall, and the Spartan Race, which he declares emphatically was the toughest: “Spartan had the best obstacles and the distance was tough… The obstacles were really good – Spartan Race made the obstacles more challenging than Warrior Dash. I give you props for that.” His routine leading up the race included running the beach and pavement, swimming in the open water, and kayaking, often including his kayak in his runs by strapping it to his back and dragging it behind him.
Beyond the Death Race, Writer also hopes to complete an Ironman. With Miami behind him, he’s focused on the future–on training and preparing for the Death Race. “I just want to be in the Death Race – to me that seems like an adventure. Even if I don’t get first place, I just want to finish.” He doesn’t know what to expect but he’s going to be training hard by chopping wood, learning how to make fires, and spending eight to ten hours out running with a heavy backpack. That’s training Spartan style!