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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Spartan Race Reviews from the Community
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Brutal VA Spartan Super
The VA Super was very challenging. There was a good bit that decided to stop at the 2 mile point and not go on. The climbs up the mountain were brutal but the view at the top was usually a good one. Going down the mountain was slick and very dangerous. The course was put together on a ski slope. Going through the wooded areas was also a challenge as the trails were very muddy. They were also small, and a lot of bottlenecking occurred throughout the course. In some areas, there were huge rocks and they were very slick, made the ups and downs risky if you didn't pay attention to your footing. The whole course really didn't have any areas that you could open up unless you risked injury, and there were a lot of injuries. The obstacles were fun and I didn't have to do any burpees. I really liked the Slip and Slide, lol. There were two water obstacles where you had to go underneath stuff. Most of the obstacles were the same as in all races except for a few. Instead of a tire, there was a huge log to flip end over end. They had the typical sandbag carry and tractor pull but the log carry sucked more than both those combined.
I must say Spartan Race did good at making it suck going down the mountain just as much as going up. There were very few level spots except when transitioning at a turn. Staff said this was one of the toughest courses they ever built. They also said Joe D. has pulled out all the stops for all races. Spartan Races are forever changed. You wanted a challenge, expect to be challenged.
Note for your future races, the time they give you is your start time. They mark your red band with the time and staff check it and won't allow you into the gate until your time. There is a security check before you get into the race area, all bags get checked and no open containers allowed. If you are even carrying bottled water or Gatorade, they take it. They will allow you to drink it or they will throw it away, but you can't get passed security with it. Camelbaks and such are okay though. Burpees are monitored by staff (Yes, Blue shirts) at the obstacles people usually don't do well on. I saw them yelling at people that weren't doing them correctly and even calling them out by bib number. I didn't wait to see what happened so I am not sure what they do if you don't do all 30. They want to see proper burpees, chest to the ground etc. and counted out. Nice to see it being enforced. My legs were shot going in and all the up and down stuff destroyed my quads, amongst other things. My legs are toast! I recently had surgery but I wanted my Trifecta. I made a stupid rookie mistake by over-training to compensate for missed weeks off for treatment so I had bad shin splints and calf strain before the race. The aftermath, diagnosed today with stress fractures, Right Tibia, Left Tibia, Fibula. Out of running for at least 4 weeks. Have another Carolinas Beast in November. The VA Super was brutal but I finished and got my Trifecta. My first Spartan race was the Carolinas Beast, but this Super was way more brutal than that. Very painful but definitely worth it, plus I did 0 burpees! Whining aside, I did what I set out to do, I got my Trifecta! Also had a great time doing the course with some old fellow Rangers and some friends from Bragg. It was great company, I needed it. It took a lot of intestinal fortitude for me to complete, but I didn't quit and am totally happy! For anyone that ever complained about Spartan Races being to easy, your wishes have been granted, expect more of a challenge in the races to come.
no awards for age group winners
race was great but I came in 1st place in my age group ...waited all day to find out no awards .You people make enough money on this eent to add awards to top age group finishers.
Ridiculous line to get to your car!!!!!! Horrible
Horrible parking transportation logistics!!!! They make you park miles away and you are transpired by bus to and from the race site. On the way to the race there were many buses in rotation and the process was quick and efficient. However, on the way back to the parking lot it was a COMPLETELY different story!!!!! I am so upset because as I am writing this review I am waiting in a huge line to get on a bus. In the end it appears that the total wait time to get on a bus and get back to our car will take well over an hour and maybe even 2! Horrible!! No one seems to have any answers or since of urgency in getting more buses for the thousands of guests at the race site. Poorly organized and very disappointed! The participants are exhausted and upset. Race was tough and fun
But this is ridiculous!
First ever race
Gave it 5 stars, although i only have my own expectations to compare it to as this is the first race i've done.
I volunteered for half a day and recieved my race entry and parking free as well as gatorade bananas and lunch included. The event was only about a minute to my car so i left my bags there.
I had only 15 people in my heat witch was the last one of the day so i might have had a better experience than the other heats witch consisted of hundreds of people each. I had no wait time for any obstacle.
The little training i did was not sufficient enough for the 4 miles of ski resort to climb! My legs were punished repeatedly! At some points (the climb with 45pound sandbag up a 70 degree grade) required mental will and focus to get through it. The obstacles were sturdy. The water trenches were a great bonus to cool down throughout the course.
This course showed me exactly what i needed to know about my body and its limits. It really put me in my place, hell... my 13 year old kid left me in the dust and finished an hour before me! Took me 3 hours.. could have been quicker had my leg muscles not cramped into full extension.
Im addicted! I will be returning and trying different locations. Maybe one more sprint before a super sprint though.
Every volunteer i encountered was freindly and helpful down to the athletic director i met in the lot before my race. He helped us with our bibs and timing chips. Had i known i was going to meet him i would have asked some more questions, however my mind was focused on the punishment ahead.
The fastest time that day was 46 minutes or something close.....I still cant figure that out...must've been a terminator or something. Thats insane considering the obsticales/elements.
Endless amount of drinking water, I think there was a total of four watering stations throughout the course and gummees at one.
If you are going to do one of these, consider the area its located and train accordingly.
I had a blast and the production exceeded my expectations.
Did Spartan Beast Toronto yesterday with a friend. Great workout, rather physically and mentally challenging, some of the obstacles were fun and some were so-so. Would I do it again? Probably not, unless it is better organized next time. What I mean is that the distances between the obstacles are WAY too long and there are absolutely no markers to say what the distance has been so far, nor are there any warnings for upcoming obstacles ahead. Maybe I missed the point of this particular race, comparing it to Tough Mudder (which the same friend and I did last year) and something like Warrior Dash. But we spent a lot of time just running/walking with no sense of time or accomplished distance. The water stations could be improved, distance wise because they not only ration your water intake (just one cup) but also lie to you and say that the next one isn't too far away, but it's actually another 6-7 km away. Some of the obstacles were not monitored, so the penalty of 30 burpees for skipping was not in effect. Plenty of people could've easily skipped it. The staff/volunteers who we encountered along our race were not very knowledgeable, and it was frustrating to hear a vague answer as to the time or what the distance is. Again, maybe I am missing the point here. But at least knowing that you are halfway done WILL push you to keep going, 90% of the time. Nobody really knew whether it was 19 km, or 20 km or 25 km in total and that makes a huge difference. Also, was very disappointed that no free beer was given at the end, that should be a tradition in my opinion after every obstacle course race. Also, where does the money go? To a charity? A fund? No sort of information is given about that. Yeah, you pay $100 for participation and get a medal and t-shirt and scrapes and bruises and memories but also knowing that that money is going for a good cause helps. All in all, would not do this again. Unless, like I said, it was better organized,markers were clearer along the road and staff was more helpful.
Better organization needed!
My two daughters went in this race while I babysat my grandsons and supervised them going into the kids' race. Even though we arrived earlier than advised, we joined a very lengthy line for the school buses over at the Castrol Speedway. It quickly became evident that my daughters were going to miss their heat if they didn't cut to the front of the line. There were many angry people and no personnel from the race to deal with this line-up. There should have been signs with heat times on them so people would slot into their heats and be transported accordingly. Instead, everyone was all mixed up and there was no one to speak to about the dilemma. It was very uncomfortable on all levels. My daughters barely arrived in time for their heat and only because we cut in line. Many more buses were needed. As well, the 30 burpees requirement was poorly enforced with many competitors not doing them correctly and/or not completing the full number needed. The line-up to rinse off afterwards was also ridiculous. My daughters went home dirty and my younger daughter proceeded to completely block up the tub at the hotel we stayed at. Thank God the maintenance people didn't charge us extra! I feel this event was overbooked and understaffed. Maybe improvements will be made for the next time!
Spoiled by Spartan Race!
I consider myself a connoisseur of mud runs or OCR, having been at them for about three years. In that time I have gotten multiple Warrior Dashes under my belt, tackled a Tough Mudder with a second around the corner and taken a stab at all kinds of local OCR events ranging from those that amount to whimsical frolics through a town park to events at ski areas that would attempt to crush both body and soul. Nothing prepared me fully for what I was to encounter at the TriState Spartan Sprint and that is why I immediately signed up for the Super that is going on in September.
For starters: The Tuxedo Ridge venue is beautiful and seems to have good traffic logistics for such a big event. (I think there were over 20k athletes over two weekends not to mention thousands of spectators and well-wishers) The parking attendants were highly efficient as were the packet pickup people, the people who put on your chip and write your number on your forehead, the seurity checkpoint and the bag check (which cost $5, my one mild disappointment) I alloted myself extra time expecting back ups and I got there in enough time to see all of the elite heat that went off nearly two hours before the start of my own heat as well as to adequately warm up for my own piece of the action, graciously facilitated by a warm up area that featured enough pull up bars, dips, battle ropes, PVC pipe and hop boxes to make the Crossfitter in me proud. There was also a practice version of the lateral wall that loomed well into the actual race. I was well-enabled to devise a strategy that served me well when I encountered the real thing on the mountain.
THE COURSE: Most OCR's that I have done at ski areas basically bring you up a black diamond slope with few of the obstacles if any on the upward journey, then have you zig-zag your way down the intermediate ski run while hitting most of the man-made challenges on your descent. This makes for a very lopsided race where you spend most of your time just trudging your way to the top and then the most exciting part comes and goes in a flash. The Spartan Sprint course not only went up and down multiple times but it also had its 25 plus obstacles scattered throughout. Also because of the zig-zag nature of the course, significant portions of the course went through the brush and the ungroomed parts of the ski area which only added to the challenge and kept you guessing.
THE OBSTACLES: All the usual suspects were there. The walls to scale, a cargo net, the fire jump plus some additional twists on the classics such as an inverted wall and a series of barbed wire that was sheer uphill plus added random mounds and pits to prevent you from just rolling on your side throughout. The Spartan Sprint also shone in that there were obstacles that tested not just your running, jumping crawling and climbing ability but there was something that touched on virtually each of the ten domains of fitness. Spear throws, stepping from one stump to another, pulling and dragging concrete blocks and tires up with ropes and chains and the rope climb all made it constantly varied and showed me where my weaknesses were relative to my strengths.
THE ATMOSPHERE: Now that I have experienced the big three series of OCR I have observed that each seems to cater to a slightly different clientele an seem to have their own vibe. People of all walks do each type of race but more broadly there are differences. Warrior Dash seems to cater to those who want to do something just really off the wall and ridiculous and that is well-enhanced by the types of costumes I see people wearing. Tough Mudder, with its lack of timekeeping and official scoring coupled with its obstacles geared toward a team effort, caters to an "us vs the course" mentality which was something I really needed when I last did TM. But Spartan Race is doing the most to make sure that OCR shines as an up and coming sport that requires a broad athleticism and fitness to succeed at, both with their points system, their prizes and the types of obstacles they offer coupled with the dreaded burpee penalties for skipping or failing an obstacle. I did not see a single person wearing anything but athletic wear. No chicken suits, no business attire, no one dressed as a priest, nothing but functional apparal. There was a seriousness I noticed in people's warmups that I usually see at Crossfit comps or karate tournaments. Doesn't mena they're not going to have fun but it shows that people are set on kicking butt, whether it's the course or you but goals are goals and I like it!
I can't say much about post-race festivities because I came to Spartan Sprint alone and I had a party to get to later in the day. So I collected my medal and finisher swag, had my free beer (the selection of beer was amazing the blueberry pale ale I had was amazing!) Then I washed off, had a bite to eat, let the beer wear off, while watching later waves tackle the rope climb (I was amazed at how much of the course was visible to spectators) and headed out.
I liked it so much, I not only signed up for my next Spartan immediately, I convinced my closest OCR buddy to sign up too, no mean feat as he is generally adverse to large events and prefers the smaller, local venues.
It was really good. Great fun for all.
My 1st Spartan Race
As the title states, this was my 1st Spartan race (or any race similar). My overall impression of the course is that it was fun and challenging. I do think some of the obstacles were spread out too far and crawling under barbed wire got repetitive and boring. But it was definitely challenging and I had a good time. As far as the whole experience, I would not rate it very high. I felt like I was being nickle-ed and dime-ed with the parking fee and baggage check. The parking was haphazard at best and was over a mile away from the event. There were small buses going back and forth, but it was not very well organized. I walked part of the way to the event before I caught a bus, and walked all the way back to the parking lot without having a bus come by. I probably could have parked on the side of the road but I was not familiar with the area and didn't know the local laws, I did not want to get ticketed. There were some vendors there selling food and drinks and prices are what you would expect to see at a carnival or fair, over inflated. My only other complaint is that of the shower stations. There were a few stations setup with hoses for clean-up. The hoses had very little pressure and it took an extremely long time to get through the lines. I literally spent more time in line waiting to clean-up than I did running the event. After spending all that time waiting to get cleaned-up, I was ready to get back on the road since it was a 5 hour round trip for me. Overall I enjoyed the event, I will probably do it again, but next I will think about camping at the site if available, that way I can save on parking and bag check.
2nd Spartan Race, 3rd on the way!
Background: I've done both races offered at this course, the first occurring last October being a Sprint distance (3.1 miles). I had a good enough time to come back for the longer Super Spartan (advertised as 8-9 miles). I've done over a dozen mud runs now including all the most popular including Tough Mudder, Warrior Dash, Muddy Buddy, Run for your Lives, plus a handful of smaller races.
Course comments: This course isn't used strictly by Spartan Race, a training ground for Mud Runs has built many semi-permanent obstacles and maintains the routes as well as offers training for those wanting to learn how to do these races better. This is important because many of my critiques have to deal with the flow of course and the issues created by the course using training-focused obstacles. There were 2 segments of this race where there were 2-4 obstacles back to back where there were enormous backups. One in particular started with a parallel rope crossing with about 10 feet between its end and the start of a 6-log leap with a hill and about 5 feet between it and the start of a thick phone pole crossing. While waiting to go through the 6-log leap I saw a handful of people get hurt (carried away on Kubota’s hurt) trying for the last leap and missing because there were so many people waiting for the next obstacle.
The second incident occurred at the uneven log leap, bear ladder and log shimmy. I didn't see anyone get hurt, but MANY were bypassing the lines and doing Burpees just to save on time.
Besides those two somewhat major flow issues the course is amazing. There are lots of rolling hills, river beds (ranging from dry to flowing and everything in between), huge pits, and crisscrossing routes which make for almost infinite course lengths. One thing I did notice is that my GPS reported 6.9 miles but many of the switchbacks and hairpin turns weren't well defined on my map but I can't imagine the lack of these would justify a course showing up 1.1-2.1 miles short of the advertised distance.
The flow of the course this year was nice. There was a good amount of long runs (the longest being about 2 miles) and then one or two obstacles. Beyond those issues noted above, most of the course flowed well. I will say the last run stretch with the numerous 5-10 ft tall hills and then 2-5 ft trenches weren't obstacles so much as annoyances for sore legs. I could have happily done without them but they didn't cause too much of a slowdown.
Some favorite obstacles: though menial and generally not other's favorites I like the cinder-block drag, sandbag carry and cement bucket lift. They provide a quick breather while still taxing you in somewhat unique ways. I also really like the bear ladder/cargo net crossing, if you don't know what you're doing they take forever yet they still pressure you to maintain strength and poise. Finally, I like the angled walls. They require teamwork and some know-how and are easy to frustrate you if you're already tired.
Management, costs etc: The race costs a fair amount but given the work that needs to go into creating the obstacles and the manpower to keep people safe (or at least cared for) it is quite fair. The biggest bonus is that this year you get photos for FREE which saves most 30-60 depending on how many pictures you generally buy. I'm sure they build 5-10 dollars into each race entry for the photographers which make it a great deal for everyone. One big gripe is that you have to pay $10 to park, $5 to check a back and you're guests are not free... It can turn into an expensive visit above and beyond race entry, gas to and from as well as lodging if you're travelling a distance (my trip is just under 300 miles, so EXPENSIVE).
Knowing how they setup the common grounds last year and this year I can say they are getting REALLY good at making it flow. You can easily watch 7 of the 20+ obstacles from the common grounds. This is great for getting photos and cheering racers on. It also gives racers a chance to thinking through the 2 segments that run adjacent to the common grounds.
This year’s race time temp was just under 50 degrees. They did a great job recommending clothing for those running for the first time, plus the "shower" water appeared to be somewhat warmed which was a welcomed change from last year.
Finally on the management aspect, they do a fantastic job with keeping guests and non-racers entertained. They built campfires, had some obstacles available to try (wall crossing and javelin throw) as well as a great kids course. If you're looking at the guess entry fee as a day of playing, you'll get your money's worth.
Final notes: I can't give it a 5 star rating due to the issues with the backups at the obstacles. This easily cost me 15-20 minutes when I thought running an earlier heat would prevent me from hitting the late-afternoon slowness. Besides that and the extra costs this is a great race. I'm hoping to do the Beast (13.1 mile course) next year.