Spartan Race returns to Squaw Valley for the third time September 30 – October 1, 2017. This year is shaping up to be one for the books with over $100,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs, the first-ever Spartan World Team Championships, athlete panels, press conferences, and a packed athlete village. Mud Run Guide took the time to speak with Mike Morris, Vice President of Production at Spartan Race in advance of the championship weekend.
Spartan, the world’s largest obstacle race (OCR) and endurance brand, today announced weekend details for the 2017 Reebok Spartan Race World Championship at Squaw Valley in North Lake Tahoe, CA September 30 through October 1. The premiere event of the OCR season will see elite athletes, representing nearly 50 countries descend on the former Olympic venue, to put their skills and endurance to the test in both individual and team competitions.
Dating back to the 1960 Olympic Winter Games, Squaw Valley has long been considered one of the best training grounds for American Olympic athletes, with elevations reaching more than 9,000 feet. Now, Squaw Valley marks another important athletic milestone, as some of the best athletes in the world will compete for more than $100,000 in cash and prizes in the culminating event of the 2017 obstacle racing season at one of the most challenging courses in the world.
Underscoring the global appeal and impact of the sport, Spartan also announced the format of the first ever World Team Championships, where top racers from around the world will form country-specific, co-ed teams of three to go head-to-head on a Spartan “Super” course, battling for the title of World Team Champion and more than $10,000 in cash and prizes as well as national glory and international prestige. With more than one million participants participating in 200+ races spanning across the globe this year alone and events taking place in more than 30 countries in five continents, Spartan race events impart worldwide appeal and significance.
“There is tremendous excitement and anticipation for the World Championship as we bring this incredible and growing sport to more and more people around the world,” said Spartan Race founder and CEO Joe DeSena. “We are excited to elevate the race with the addition of the format this year, including the launch of the international team competition, which is just the beginning of the competition’s global growth.”
In addition to the World Team Championship, which will take place on Sunday, October 1, the World Championship Race weekend will feature Beast, Super and Sprint competitions, as well as a Kids Race, for youth ages 4 – 13. The event is the culmination of the 2017 Spartan Race Season, following the Global Elite Point Series.
The premier event of the World Championships weekend is the Elite Championship Beast race on Saturday, September 30. Every racer that will stand at the start line has earned the right to compete. Competitive and open class racers are still able to run the course, but to be eligible to compete in the World Championship prize money Elite heat, racers must earn a coin. The top five male and female athletes in all Elite heats from January 1 – September 24, 2017 in the US and Canada will earn coins. Races outside the US and Canada will provide top 10 male and female athletes in all Elite heats from January 1 – September 24, 2017 with coins.
The women’s competition promises to be fiercely competitive with Spartan Pro-Team members Alyssa Hawley, winner of her first U.S. Championship race at the Seattle Super; Rea Kolbl, a former Slovenian National Gymnastics Team Champion; and Nicole Mericle, a NCAA Division 1 Cross Country Champion and star track athlete, bringing impressive resumes to Squaw Valley. Defending World Champion Hobie Call and fan favorite Hunter McIntyre are just two of the names that highlight the men’s competition.
On the team side: the Czech Republic, led by defending Women’s World Champion and this year’s favorite Zuzana Kocumova; Team USA, featuring Spartan Pro/2015 World Champion Robert Killian, Hawley and elite OCR competitor Ryan Woods; Team Canada with star/Spartan Pro Faye Stenning; and Mexico with Spartan pro Angel Quintaro will all be competing. Team Iceland will be testing the Spartan Waters before the 24-hour Ultra World Championship taking place outside Reykjavik this December.
In addition to competing, Obstacle Course Racing fans are invited to take in all the action, including viewing access to select obstacles as well as the start and finish line, live music and entertainment, panel discussions, raffles, spectator challenges, vendor tents, and more. The event itself is free to the public, with a VIP spectator package available at $40. Tickets for a dinner with athletes are $40 for adults and $20 for children (13 and under). The dinner is scheduled for Friday, September 29 at 6:00 pm. For more details on Spartan World Championship events throughout the weekend, please visit www.spartan.com/en/race/detail/2605.
Spartan’s national partners include Reebok, Yokohama, Clif, Eat the Bear, FitAID, Perfect Shaker, FitFour, GT's Kombucha. Proud official partners of the 2017 Reebok Spartan World Championship include Jeep, Speck, Gatorz and Groove Life with festival partners including Optimum Nutrition, Mobile Locker Co, Country Archer Jerky, Nature Nate's, Ascent, Wilderness Athlete, Darn Tough, Junk Headbands, Inside Tracker, Caterpy, Runderlust, Wacac, Spenco, Kettle & Fire, Rapid Recovery Hydration, North Lake Tahoe Resort Association, Chagit, Infuze, Powerdot, A Little Common Scents, US OCR and Zuke's Pet Treat.