The Spartan Stadion series will make its second visit to Arizona with the Spartan Race, which will be held at State Farm Stadium Saturday, June 15.
Last year, more than 5,000 racers participated in the first-year event for Arizona.
The military-style obstacle race pushes the bodies and minds of competitors to the limit across miles of unforgiving terrain while they conquer signature obstacles such as the spear throw, rope climb, bucket brigade, multi-rig and barbed-wire crawl. Also offered are Spartan Kids races for children ages 4 to 14.
“Spartan Stadion events turn the grounds of some of the world’s most beloved sports arenas into fun, approachable obstacle courses that cover 3-mile distances with 20 obstacles,” said Craig Drummond, director of the race.
“Created for participants of all fitness levels, Stadion events provide Spartan newcomers and sports fans an opportunity to experience what obstacle course racing (OCR) is all about while also offering a challenging course for returning racers that provide unprecedented access to the beloved venues.”
The event pays homage to a massive sprint race held at the first Olympics that tested speed, strength and willpower.
And although the majority of the course is inside the air-conditioned stadium, race organizers wanted to offer a short stint outside to let competitors get “hit in the face with the heat.”
Drummond added, “We aim to provide racers with a way to step outside of their comfort zones and challenge themselves while having and incredible experience they couldn’t get anywhere else. Spartan’s ultimate goal is to rip 100 million people off the couch and get them active, and by signing up for a race people have reason to eat well and train — so we want the events to be a catalyst for fitness.”
Drummond said the race is part sporting event and part pushing people to the maximum athletic capacity.
“Spartan events focus on sport, athleticism and transformation, and are designed to push people out of their comfort zones, to show them that the human body is capable of accomplishing incredible things that they may never have thought possible,” Drummond said.
“With that in mind, the course is designed for people of all types. For those who want to compete, we have an elite heat in the morning, with prize money and awards on the line, along with competitive age group categories. However, the majority of racers are participating in open categories — where they can take their time, race as part of a team of friends or coworkers and see what they are made of. About 80% of racers will participate as part of a team.”
The event has competitive age groups of 18-34, 35-38 and 39 and older who compete for bragging rights. The elite group uses a ranking system for athletes who compete around the country and battle for prize money.
Entering its ninth year, the series has grown from approximately 700 participants the first year to over 1 million annual participants.
“The participants compete in more than 250 events across more than 42 countries around the world, more than 6 million participants to date. Stadion is one of many race events that was created after our original concept and was designed as an introduction to the sport,” Drummond said.
“Our first Stadion race was first held at Boston’s Fenway Park in 2012, and has since expanded across the country and around the world in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.”
This year Drummond and his colleagues are focused on attracting more competitors.
“We would love to surpass last year’s numbers and are on track to do so,” Drummond said. “Every racer that signs up brings us closer to our goal of reaching 100 million competitors. We’re just getting started with Stadion — we’ll continue to bring the event to the most beloved ballparks and stadiums in the country as well as seek out new venues overseas.”
For more information, go to spartan.com.