Ready for a revolution – the Spartan Race

Paul Pinkerton

Founded in 2010, Spartan Race is the global leader in the sport of obstacle racing. Spartan races cater to individuals looking to test their physical limits and change their frame of reference for what they can accomplish, from everyday people looking to get off the couch and lead a fitter lifestyle, to elite endurance athletes who seek the ultimate physical test.

Currently, Spartan Race offers three primary race formats, “Sprint” (3+ miles; 20+ obstacles), “Super” (8+ miles; 24+ obstacles) and “Beast” (13+ miles; 30+ obstacles), along with a shorter format race for children.

Unlike other obstacle-focused events, Spartan Races are always timed, and competitors are encouraged to complete each of the primary race distances to achieve “Trifecta” status, earning medals for each finish. With over 50 races slated for the United States in 2015 and an additional 83 races scheduled across 20 countries internationally, Spartan Race urges you to change your life today by signing up to race at


Three Main Race Types


The Reebok Spartan Sprint puts endurance aside and tests your quickness through 5km+ loaded with 20+ obstacles. A great starter distance for beginners, or a perfect test against time for the more advanced racer.


The Reebok Spartan Super is as much mental as it is physical, spanning over 13km+ that are just as unforgiving as the 25+ obstacles that litter the distance.


The Reebok Spartan Beast is just plain hard. This is our longest and most difficult race out of our three main race types and is aptly named for its brutal 20km+ circuit with more than 30 obstacles that try to keep you from your finish line.


For juniors under 14, we offer junior races. These races, 1.5km in distance, have an emphasis on teamwork, fun and getting muddy.


Think you can handle more? Prove it by signing up for one of our endurance races. Choose from the Ultra Beast (41+km, 60+ obstacles), Hurricane Heat (3-4 hours of grueling team building), Hurricane Heat 12 Hour (12 hours of physically and mentally draining team and individual challenges), or the Agoge, a 60-hour event that builds physical, tactical, mental, and team-based strength through training, testing and evaluation.


Here’s the real painful bit………

The obstacles themselves also vary from race to race. Frequently presented obstacles can include a fire jump, climbing under barbed wire, wall climbing, mud crawling, the “over-under-through (a series of obstacles in which runners must first climb over a wall, then under a wall, then through a square hole placed in a wall), spear throw, rope climb, heavy object carries, “Herculean Hoist”, “Tyrolean Traverse”, monkey bars, Traversal Wall (similar to a bouldering wall), Hobie Hop (a thick rubber band is placed around the ankles and participants hop through consecutive tires), Slippery Wall (a wall built at an incline, roughly covered in grease), a zig-zag log jump, steep mud climbs (rolling mud), tractor pulls, underwater submerging below walls (dunk walls), Atlas carries, tire flips, stump balances (skipping on stumps across a pond), rope swing, and the now discontinued Gladiator Arena.

Failure to fully complete any obstacles results in a 30 Burpee penalty in which you must complete before advancing to the next segment of the race. A participant can obtain a Trifecta medal after completing a Spartan Sprint, Spartan Super and a Spartan Beast in one calendar year.  As of the 2016 season, the finisher medal includes both the traditional circular medal and a “pie piece” – one third of a larger Trifecta medal. Each Spartan Race features a Kids Spartan Races for children age 5–13; a half mile race for kids 4-8 and one mile race for those older.


jack-beckett is one of the authors writing for Outdoor Revival