This past weekend, I raced the SoCal Spartan in Chino, California. Prado Regional Park was a beautiful venue, the weather was great, and everyone was so excited to kick off the U.S. 2018 racing season for the Spartan Series.
If you haven’t tended to sore hands, massaged burning forearms or checked Instagram in December, you probably haven’t heard of one of the most grueling training challenges proposed to OCR enthusiasts. The brainchild of OCR Beast founder and coach, “Spartan” Spencer Mahoney, the Dead Hang Challenge focuses on developing improved grip strength and of course, those epic “Popeye forearms.”
NBC moved the semi-finals to Sunday night as a two-hour special. However, as many of you know by now, the program turned out to be the news as NBC producers chose to let NASCAR complete the final lap. Hopefully this was no indication of things to come as I finally got to watch the replay on NBC.com.
Cue lovely stringed music and…a promise that bonds will grow stronger between team members, brothers, teams, and families. So whose bonds proved victorious? In heat 1 we had Saddle Up, Mathletes, and Ninjas. Heat 2 had the Better Halves, Kid Courage, and Stunt Junkies. In honor of the bond I have with my son who is a physics and math major, I went with the Mathletes in Heat 1. For the bond I have with my own autistic youngest son, I went with Kid Courage in Heat 2.
Three things drove my interest in tonight’s episode. First, I started friending and following participants on FB. So now, rather than picking them randomly like I do in March Madness, I know a bit more about them. Second, I identify with some of them, especially team Kid Courage. As the father of two autistic sons, I get the struggle. But is it a driver to succeed?
Our hosts wondered aloud if there were demons in this race. Perhaps not. But there were quite a few near-death experiences to help drive a few competitors to some very strong showing. Yet one girl from the Wall Street Warriors said, “You have to sacrifice everything for one another to win.” Personal sacrifice may make you a lot of money in the Manhattan Financial District, but teamwork makes you a winner on SUTC, demons or not.
Today both American Ninja Warrior Season 9 and Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge Season 2 were announced for June 12. It will be a busy night for obstacle fans on NBC with both shows debuting on the same night. Today teams for the Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge began to be announced on social media including the defending champs - The Comeback Kids
In the last few weeks, whispers have circled the OCR world about season 2 of Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge. Some athletes who participated in the first season had begun receiving calls in recent weeks. The production crew hinting at a second season. Today, it was brought to Mud Run Guide's attention that a casting website is now live with a submission deadline of February 15, 2017.
Yesterday Variety broke the news that NBCUniversal International Formats has sold “Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge” to Denmark’s Kanal 5 after launching sales at Mipcom. The Danish version of the show will be produced by Nordisk Denmark and will be the first international adaptation of the NBC reality show.
Last night the Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge season finale aired on NBC pitting the six top teams from the qualifying rounds against each other in the two-hour finale. The teams squared off to see who would take home the $250,000 prize purse. The finals brought in a few new obstacles to challenge the competitors including a 16-foot wall and the dreaded tire swing.