More than 1,200 Spartans dodged obstacles spread out over a 12km course in Squamish to claim a participant medal and an event t-shirt at the first-ever Super Spartan race Saturday, Sept. 22.
The event was based at the logger’s sports grounds and featured obstacles that included cargo nets, spear throwing, mud, spear throwing, fire jumping and more.
Jessica Coulter of White Rock said the event was a mental battle for her but Nathan Arrigoni of Washington State helped her push through to the end.
“The obstacles are the easy part except for that damn javelin throw,” Coulter said at the finish line. “That’s the one that gets me every time.”
Both competitors had participated in a Spartan event previously and both plan to do more events.
“I like the uphill and I’m a big fan of the downhill,” said Coulter, who completed the course in an hour and 25 minutes. She was the second fastest woman of the day.
According to Arrigoni, the event in Squamish was fun.
“I drew a little blood, had some tricky obstacles but it went well,” said Arrigoni. He added that he was surprised by the amount of elevation gain on the course, which took competitors up into the Smoke Bluffs Park area.
The fastest Spartan of the day was Kris Brown of Seattle. He left in the elite group at 9 a.m. and crossed the finish line one hour and two minutes later. Brown was followed by Mark Bertoia of New Westminster, who clocked a time of 1:06:18.
Vancouver’s Tom Petryshen was the third fastest across the finish line in a time of 1:08:06.
Allison Tai of Vancouver was the fastest woman in the competition. She was 13th overall with a time of 1:18:58. The last time Tai competed in Squamish was in August when she ran the Squamish Days 10K Run with her daughter in a stroller. The run was an attempt to get into the Guinness Book of World Records setting the world record 10km run time with a stroller.
Melissa Mattiazzo of Burnaby was the third fastest woman in a time of 1:26:46. Jamie Pierotti set the fastest time for a Sea to Sky resident with a time of 1:23:10. He was number 31 across the finish line.
Marie-Claude Laski of Whistler placed 77th overall to finish as the fastest Sea to Sky woman in a time of one hour, 30 minutes and 39 seconds.
The event supports Muscular Dystrophy Canada.
The next Spartan Race is set for Oct. 13 and 14 in Winnsboro, South Carolina and it is billed as a Spartan Beast. The organizers claim the 12-mile (19 km) race is the toughest race on the planet. The fastest competitors are expected to cover the obstacle-strewn course in three hours.