Check out our full coverage of the 2016 Spartan Race World Championship here.
Spartan Race World Championships is just days away! Professional obstacle racers from around and weekend enthusiasts will converge on the same course this weekend in Squaw Valley in Lake Tahoe, California. With athletes from around the world, all coming to battle it out on the course on Saturday this year's women to watch is truly an international showdown.
We combed through the start list to pick some of the top women to watch on race day. Once again this year it will come down to who can conquer both the terrain and the altitude. This year the weather also looks to be a factor with the temperature predicted to be just above freezing in the morning and a high of 50 degrees on Saturday. With all this in mind, we compiled a list of women to watch with a few wildcards in the mix.
Zuzana Kocamova – Czech Republic
Zuzana Kocamova is the reigning Spartan Race World Champion from 2015. Last year she stunned many in North America with her dominant performance over the competition in Lake Tahoe. Last year after the championship we profiled this former Olympian on MRG, find that article here. She recently won the Kitzbuheler Alpen Spartan Beast in early September in Austria finishing 8th overall for the day. She excels on mountains and proved last year that the altitude was not a factor for her.
Lindsay Webster – Canada
Lindsay Webster has been the most dominant North American female in obstacle racing this year. She is the Spartan U.S. Championship winner. Currently, the reigning OCR World Champion and finished second last year at the Spartan Race World Championships. She and her now-husband Ryan Atkins have been training at altitude in Colorado for the last couple of weeks and should be adapted to the altitude on race day.
In the last year, Webster has continued to build strength in her upper body and honed in on her technical obstacle skills. All this work will be put to a test this weekend and Webster should definitely be on the radar of her competition.
Faye Stenning – Canada
Faye Stenning is currently ranked first in the world in the Spartan Race World rankings. Faye is a member of the Spartan Pro-Team and this Canadian has been slaying courses all year and making a name for herself in the obstacle racing world. This 26-year-old from Alberta, Canada has been finishing all year just behind Webster in the US Championship Series and won the last race of the series in Breckenridge.
Stenning does well on the hills and over the last couple of years has continued to excel on the obstacles. When asked about racing at altitude earlier this year she commented on Facebook it didn't bother her much. We will see on Saturday if this continues to be true. Be sure to look for her as she has a good shot at the podium this weekend in Lake Tahoe.
Freya Martin – United Kingdom
Freya Martin has been a constant competitor in Europe. In the past year, won the Midlands Spartan Super in the United Kingdom and has made her way onto podiums several times this year. Martin is a fast runner who can adapt to the colder weather well. She looked very strong at Toughest Oslo at the beginning of September according to sources and could find her way into the top five over the weekend.
For Martin, as with other athletes, traveling from lower altitudes the biggest factor on race day just might be the elevation of the race.
Alyssa Hawley – United States
Alyssa Hawley is a Spartan Pro Team member who has quickly made a name for herself in the racing world. She has been a dominant force on the competition circuit this year. Hawley placed third at Palmerton and fourth place in Asheville, North Carolina. She finished up the US Championship Series finishing in second place at Breckenridge. Hawley could easily break into the top five once again this weekend at the World Championships.
As always with the women's field, you never know how it will all shake out until race day. Other than a few many are predicting for the top three spots the rest of the top five could be wide open depending on who has the best day. Be sure to also watch for Rose Wetzel who spends part of her year in Colorado training at altitude. K.K. Stewart-Paul finished 3rd last year at the OCR World Championships and has been quietly training like a maniac all year long. As well Canadian, Allison Tai, is no stranger to a sufferfest and has the ability to eat up the mountains. Finally, don't discount the Vermontster Orla Walsh, earlier this season Walsh moved back to the east coast after living in Colorado. She knows what the altitude feels like and loves the mountains.