By David Magida, Spartan Pro Team member
Reebok Spartan Race returned to Tuxedo, New York for two weekends in a row and for the third annual running of the Tuxedo Spartan Sprint June 2, 3, and a bonus day of June 8, 2013. And while the course offered the familiarity of the same brutal mountains of previous years, the layout was entirely different, providing even the veteran racers with a new feel and a number of additional challenges.
Now the one thing you can always count on from a course in Tuxedo is climbing. Lots of climbing. This race was certainly no exception, with seven leg-burning climbs over the 4.2-mile course. The result was a tight race, where the pure runners lost their speed advantage and were dependent on their endurance to hold off the strength of stronger, power-based athletes. Avoiding obstacle failure was critical.
A great deal of the course was on winding trails up and down the mountain, as well as quite a bit of bushwhacking. The footing was treacherous, and racers had to focus on each step to ensure they didn’t twist or roll an ankle. This intense focus just adds to fatigue, as it makes it difficult to find a running rhythm.
In an unusual twist, Race Director Dan Yotive added a spear throw into the middle of the race with the goal to make it more exciting. This shift significantly altered the lead pack as numerous leaders missed their throw.
The race was also shaken up by the addition of the heavy tire-drag obstacle, which resulted in a burpee penalty for many of the pure runners once again again. Combine that with a nasty sandbag carry and a daunting uphill tractor pull and this race became very much about grit and strength.
And that’s without considering the BRUTAL and seemingly endless uphill barbed wire crawl over rocky terrain, shredding competitors knees and shins along the way. Many veteran racers claim this barbed wire crawl was a step down in intensity from the insanity of previous years. Add in the first time use of an “inverse wall” obstacle” and this race had its fair share of twists.
Of course, it wasn’t just the main course that left competitors gassed and begging for mercy. The kids race itself was quite formidable. Starting with a 200m climb to open each lap of the one mile course, the race left a line of exhausted children in its wake. Winding trails and a long wire crawl stretched the contestants into a line nearly a quarter mile long.
At the finish, a steady stream of muddy kids triumphantly crossed the finish line with the same big smiles and look of exhaustion as their parents.
Saturday Results—Men (weekend one)
1st Place: Patrick Grevelding 50:50
2nd Place: Randy Feeley 52:03
3rd Place: Elliott Megquier 52:08
Saturday Results—Women (weekend one)
1st Place: Melinda Branch, 1:10:44
2nd Place: Leyla Di Cori, 1:12:45
3rd Place: Juliana Sproles, 1:13:15
Sunday Results—Men (weekend one)
1st Place: David Magida, 47:05
2nd Place: Elliott Megquier, 49:09
3rd Place: Kevin Donoghue, 51:33
Sunday Results—Women (weekend one)
1st Place: Jillian Kenney, 1:02:22
2nd Place: Juliana Sproles, 1:10:20
3rd Place: Karlee Whipple, 1:12:25
Fine June 8th results by clicking HERE.
Want to sign up for a Spartan Race? Click HERE.
[Editor's Note: David Magida is a member of the Spartan Pro Team with nearly 20 Spartan Races under his belt.]