Spartan Race obstacle races, mud run, and OCR information, distance, cost, dates, calendar, discounts, obstacles, reviews, and more
|Overview||Multi-distance Obstacle Race, Worldwide locations|
|Kids||Yes. Jr. Spartan: ages 4-9, Varsity Spartan: ages 10-13|
Become a member of the Spartan TRIFECTA Tribe by finishing one of each Spartan distance: Sprint, Super and Beast, in a calendar year (January 1 – December 31st), anywhere in the world.
|Obstacles||Varies by distance; Sprint features 10-12, Beast contains over 30.|
|Terrain||Varies by location depending on topography; the course will use any and all natural obstacles and elements to make a demanding and interesting course.|
|Hardest Obstacle||Spinners: A spinning, corkscrew “monkey bar” designed to really test upper body and grip strength. If you fail, 30 burpees are waiting for you.|
|Penalties||Failing or skipping any obstacle results in a penalty of 30 burpees.|
|Gear||Wear athletic gear that will allow movement in any direction as you will be climbing over and scurrying under obstacles, lifting and pulling heavy objects and running trails, through water, mud, and jumping over fire. Gloves may help with some rope-based obstacles, well-fitting athletic shoes should help minimize blisters.|
Spartan events are timed competitions that are orchestrated over standardized distances and feature natural and man-made obstacles specifically designed to test mind-body fitness. Every race at every distance will have you climbing, lifting, crawling, rolling, carrying, running, swimming, balancing, throwing, and jumping. All Spartan courses are deliberately designed to leave you exhausted and exhilarated; the completion of any of our courses is an accomplishment that deserves to be recognized, and each finisher has truly earned their Spartan medal. Their motto is “You’ll Know at the Finish Line” is not just an empty marketing phrase, but a sentiment that is shared by all of our athletes who have been bonded through the collective challenge of completing one of the world’s best obstacle courses.
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Seattle 2 Beast Review
On Saturday September 16, 2017 I ran the Spartan Beast at the Meadow Wood Equestrian Center in Snohomish, WA.
I’ll begin with a little bit about the venue. This is my second time completing this particular Beast race and I have also done the Super once. For the most part, its a really easy location to reach and there is plenty of parking. Upon arrival, you immediately notice multiple horse arenas surrounding the registration area. This is a world-class equestrian show facility and it really does look like it. Not to mention the SkyKomish River creating the Southern border of the property.
Registration/checking in was pretty rough. I arrived a little over an hour until the start time of my heat and had to wait almost 30 minutes in line to scan my barcode and get my packet. Wasn’t a big deal for me as I gave myself plenty of time, but there were quite a large number of people that I overheard talking about missing the start of their heat due to the long wait.
Normally, I like to run in the competitive heats, but due to the fact that I was driving up that morning from Portland, I was forced to sign up for the open heat and a late morning start time to avoid a wake up time in the very early hours of the morning. Thus, I started the race at 11:15 AM.
I wear my Garmin VivoActive HR during the race to keep track of time, distance and elevation. My watch tracked the distance at 12.94 miles. One of the volunteers after the last barbed wire crawl and slip wall stated that the course was 13.6 miles, but the few people I talked to ranged from 12.7 miles to 13.4 miles.
I won't hit on the all the obstacles as some are self explanatory and don’t need a recap. The first half of the race differed greatly from last year if I remember correctly. The first mile flew by with only the hurdles and overwall to get through. Then we hit river and ran along the shore. Had to do a low crawl through sand and then coming back a low crawl through the water. This part of the race I actually really enjoyed the scenery. Running along the river with trees surrounding us made it a little tough to watch my step on the treachery terrain and not take in the view.
From there we came back towards the equestrian center. This year the dunk wall was early on made sure no one came away clean. Shortly after the dunk wall I saw the monkey bars in the near distance. At first, I thought that we were headed straight there and I assumed I would be screwed. My hands were covered in mud and still not dry. I did my best to rub them in some dirt/grass, but luckily I was wrong and we actually did a little loop that allowed my hands to dry prior to the monkey bars.
About a mile later came my personal nemesis. The Twister. I am not sure why, but in my 2 attempts so far, I haven’t even made it to the second half of the obstacle. Not this time. This time I easily made it through. My plan going in was to give it a couple tries (since I was in the open heat) if I failed the first attempt. Even if I completed it on a subsequent attempt, I definitely would have done my 30 burpees regardless.
After a couple more obstacles, including the atlas carry, I came upon the Z-Wall. This is the second point of the day where I really regretted being in the open heat (first was the registration line) as when I get to the obstacle there was a 5-10 minute wait. I found what appeared to be the shortest line without looking at the path of the blocks and waited. This turned out to be a big mistake. The path that I choose had a grouping of blocks in the middle that had the foot and hand placement only a few feet apart. This may not have been so bad, except I am 6’2” and was essentially bent in half trying to keep my grip and move forward. This ended up being the first (and only) obstacle that I failed. Did my 30 burpees and moved on.
Up until this point I was feeling really strong and confident. More than half the race was done as I had just passed mile 8 and I was riding the high of completing the twister for the first time, despite my failure at the Z-Wall. Then things picked up.
This is the 3rd moment that I really regretted being in the open heat. We were back into the trails and beginning the really technical climbing. Unfortunately, I got stuck behind some people that weren’t aware that others would be trying to pass (I have no doubt they were trying their best to move quickly for them) and I wasn't willing to take the risk of knocking them off the trail (some spots would have had a pretty nasty fall). After climbing for what felt like forever, we finally emerged near the festival area for a quick set of 3 obstacles: the new vertical cargo, rope climb and an updated version of the multi-rig. The vertical cargo had a 5 foot (by my estimate) platform that you had to climb on before you got to the cargo net to climb over. The multi-rig started with a straight bar, followed by some rings and then a baseball. It ended with a dismount onto wooden wall that had spaces in between boards to climb up and over.
Next was the bucket brigade. I had studied the map prior to the race and new that there wasn’t anything that I considered extremely grip intensive for the remainder of the race. I didn't worry about saving my grip and just held onto the bottom of the bucket with both hands and moved as quickly as possible. Shortly after this came the sandbag carry. This was a single sandbag and I picked the first one I saw that looked to be evenly distributed and threw it on my shoulder. I believe I only switched shoulder’s once during the sandbag carry - it was not very long.
Following this was more and more trails. For every climb, there was a fairly significant down hill. It was at this point that I started to feel the cramps coming on in my calves and quads. I was prepared though and went through a couple of packets of mustard which shortly cured my cramps. I did my best to at least power walk the ascent’s if I wasn’t able to run them and then power down the descent. We popped out of the woods at one point to do a barbed wire crawl and the slip wall and then we were right back in. It was after the slip wall that the volunteer told us we were at 11.4 miles of 13.6.
After some more up/downs in the trails we were finally at the home stretch. Next obstacle was the spearman. I was somewhat nervous for this as not only is it easy to fail, but I barely managed to succeed at the Portland Sprint. In Portland, I actually stuck it into the head of the wooden figure. The volunteer told me to move and so I did, but I didn’t know if that technically counted. I did check later and confirmed in the rules that sticking it anywhere on the figure/hay counts as a completed obstacle. This time I aimed a little lower and managed to stick it in the top of the hay bail without issue.
Herc Hoist and Olympus were the next two obstacles. I liked having Olympus near the end. I normally find this obstacle pretty easy, but with the exhaustion of 12 miles on my legs, it made being in that tight position a real struggle.
The final obstacle (no fire jump due to a fire ban in the area) was the ladder climb. Tons of controversy surrounding this obstacle. I personally did not struggle with it, but I easily see how many could. I used a reverse grip with my left arm to hook it around the next rung and then stepped up. I actually found going down more difficult as I got my hands a little too close to my feet and felt like my feet were close to slipping through the ladder a few times. I looked it up afterwards and the general consensus seems to be that you are meant to climb up the side of the ladder, rather than the front. Shortly after I completed someone had a pretty bad fall from near the top of the ladder. I have seen the video posted on here recently if you want to search for it.
The only thing left after the ladder climb was the sprint to the finish. At the end of the day I finished in 2 hours 51 minutes with only 1 failed obstacle. Beat my time from last year by 30 minutes, and I feel I could definitely have been faster if I would have been able to do competitive. My work schedule didn’t allow me to go up to Seattle the day before the race this time.
I hope you enjoyed this review of the Seattle Beast. If you have any questions about the race or my training plan, don't hesitate to ask.
Give it a five star, 12 1/2 hr of mental testing endurance, Quebec mountains, had to downclimb the mountains backwards on second half, my reward was the finish line Aroo
Spartan Stadium Sprint waste of money
Ive seen other bad reviews for spartan "stadium" style sprints. It seems I'm not alone in my opinion that this format lacks variety and fun. I paid nearly 200 dollars to run stairs for an hour, something I could have done for free without people getting in my way elsewhere. I had been hoping for more energy from competitors, staff and the audience, instead I felt ripped off and bored. The staff didnt seem to be enjoying any of it either. The majority of the obstacles were more bootcamp-esque then actual obstacles. Things like ball slams, burpees or jump rope. I knew it was in the stadium, but thought that would add to the energy of the race with a consolidated space and hopefully consolidated crowd. Instead there was no crowd and just a lot of people walking stairs in front of me, equally bored. The race was boring and hot. There was zero energy or mud or water or excitement . OK Ill stop ranting. I just wouldn't recommend doing a stadium sprint style spartan unless you really love running stairs... and even then I'd suggest you just go do it for free somewhere else
Well Run Race
This was my first Spartan / OCR. Overall, it was well run. The check in was speedy - about 15 minutes. The parking was well organized. We had to park in a lot about 15 minutes away from Eden, UT. We were told to get to the parking by 7:30am for our 9am start time. That was about right. The parking got a little backed up, maybe 10 minutes, but not enough to make us late.
The start times were staggered by 15 minutes, with 250 racers being released each time. That was good. There were very few obstacles that I had to wait very long for - maybe a minute or 2. That was no problem since it gave me a chance to catch my breath and see how other participants were tackling the obstacle.
The venue was Nordic Valley ski resort, so we were climbing up and down ski runs. The beginning was a mile or 2 of uphill with a few walls to climb over. The obstacles got harder as the race progressed. I liked having a few easier obstacles and the hike up the hill starting out. It gave me a chance to get warmed up for the more challenging obstacles to come.
I will be signing up again next year.
I felt nickel and dimed and like they overdid the race-day marketing. My biggest annoyance was that my wife had to pay a $25 "spectator fee" to come and support me. Really?! They are not making enough with the $140 entrance fee? You charge the fans to attend? That sucks and discourages friends and family from coming. I had a friend who wanted to come who didn't because he thought the $25 spectator fee was ridiculous. I agree.
Other nickel and dimes were $5 for checking a bag. $10 for parking. Okay - enough of that rant.
If Spartan would eliminate the spectator fee, I'd change my rating from 4 to 5 stars.
Hint for Spartan - With encouraging more spectators, comes more food and drink and merchandise sales. You'll probably make more money on the extra spectators by those sales than you do charging a spectator fee.
Blue Mountain is Unreal
Nothing compares to those slopes (much steeper than Breckinridge). If you haven't run this course yet, be prepared for an amazing challenge. The obstacles are pretty much what you expect....well, other than the super steep sandbag carry (I actually witnessed more than one person roll down the hill into the bushes) and the very welcoming swim (hit the spot after climbing the mountain). I will definitely be back!!!
This race was poorly organized from start to finish - long line-ups at key obstacles causing huge bottlenecks and affecting everyone's times. It felt like the race organizers were more concerned with how many people they could jam in each of the heats and make the maximum amount of money. Speaking of heats - why can't we choose our own start times and to get them ten days before is ridiculous.
Parking wasn't well planned either for heats starting later in the morning. Overall not a great race. One of the more poor ones I've participated in. I wouldn't do it again and btw I've done the spartan sprint before and it was way better.
We were unable to put maximum effort into this race.
The course bottle necks at the stairs which makes you wait until the person walks along to the next set of stairs.
The course had little challenge with mediocre obstacle. This course makes it easy to bring your phone and take selfies along the way.
There was no mud, no fire, and nothing Spartan about this course. My girlfriend and I were disappointed we were unable to push ourselves. Just waiting in line as we move toward the finish.
Bring on the cold!!!
This course was fantastic, fast paced and incredibly challenging. The cold was the biggest obstacle, and by far the best, it made people find out what they are made of (it sure showed me). The water stations were strategically placed, and the obstacles were well placed as well. Only wish that they would ditch the swim, but that's a personal preference. The medals were fantastic and the athlete panel the day before was great as it gave me a chance to meet some of my heroes. AROO!!!!!
I can only give this race a three star. This was my second time around, the first race was in Temecula, CA sprint. Awesome course, no complaints. This year it was held at Pala which was like hell on earth. Even though it was over 100 degrees and out of everyone's control, not having enough water was a huge problem. People were passing out, throwing up and having serious medical issues. Not having enough water is a huge problem. The course itself was not great. I wasn't impressed at all. And who picked Pala? There was not one single tree to rest in the shade for a few minutes and there the mud obstacle was not until the very end. It would have been great to have some sort of water obstacle in the beginning, or maybe a hose to cool everyone down? Very disappointed in this event. I spent over $100.00 and will not be returning to Pala. Horrible venue and a lot of people are in agreement here.
Palmerton never dissapoints
Palmerton Super is a must for Spartans who want to test their limits. It was a brutal course due to steep climbs, heavy carries up and down the trails and of course the heat! The course was packed with obstacles including their newest rope climb to monkey bars over water obstacle. The only complaint I had was the bottle necking caused by the water stations. I don't wear a hydration pack but many others do.They were told at most stations that they couldn't fill up their packs directly. But, they could do so by using a cup. It didn't make much sense and caused problems. Events on hot days like these need bigger, better prepared water stations. Come on Spartan!