Spartan Games 2.0, Ep. 1: Get to Know the Challenges and the Athletes

Presented by Spartan Training®

Spartan Games 2.0 Presented by U.S. Air Force Special Warfare pits 16 elite athletes against each other in the ultimate test of fitness. The five-part series airs weekly on Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET. You can watch each episode on Outside TVSpartanTV, and Spartan YouTube.

In October 2020, Spartan invited 24 elite athletes from virtually every discipline — from Spartan racers to CrossFitters, DEKA competitors, triathletes, marathoners, and adventure racers — to Riverside Farm in Pittsfield, Vermont, the birthplace of Spartan, for the inaugural Spartan Games. Over the course of five days, the athletes — 12 men and 12 women — battled it out over incredibly grueling physical and mental challenges, including Spartan Cross, swimming, tug of war, La Ruta mountain biking (with 12,000 feet of elevation per lap), DEKA Strong and Heavy, Spartan Combat, and more. The goal? To determine who is the fittest person on Earth.

In Season 1, 2021 Spartan World Champion Ryan Atkins and three-time Spartan World Champion Lindsay Webster — Spartan's power couple — took first at the Spartan Games. Catch up on Season 1 here.

WATCH NOW: Spartan Games 2.0, Episode 2 | Episode 3 | Episode 4 | Episode 5

Now Spartan Games is back for Season 2. What can you expect in version 2.0? There are a few new athletes, even more brutal (and unexpected) challenges, and an epic new venue — Big Bear Lake, California. With $50,000 on the line, the 16 athletes will go head to head during nine soul-crushing competitions over four days to once again determine who's the fittest of the fit.

The five-part series, airing weekly on Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET, can be seen on Outside TVSpartanTV, and Spartan YouTube.

What Challenges Will the Spartan Games 2.0 Athletes Face?

Spartan Games Season 2

1. DEKA Heavy

An adaptation of DEKA FIT, Spartan's ultimate test of functional fitness, DEKA Heavy includes additions such as pull-ups, deadlifts, and more, with intensely heavy loads.

2. Special Warfare "No Guts, No Glory" 

Modeled after the U.S. Air Force PAST test (Physical Ability and Stamina Test), "No Guts, No Glory" tests the athletes with pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, a 1.5-mile run, and taxing bouts of swimming.

3. Spartan Cross

A shorter, but more intense version of a Spartan OCR course. The first season's Spartan Cross course was an 11-obstacle, half-mile loop, which was completed five times.

4. Spartan Trail Half-Marathon

13.1 miles with a twist: The athletes will each wear a 5.11 weighted vest for the first 2 miles of the run.

5. Spartan Combat

Like the ancient Spartans, Games athletes will take on the ancient sport of wrestling.

6. PACER Test

An event some may recall as the worst day of high school gym class, the PACER test is a multi-stage fitness test used to evaluate aerobic capacity.

7. La Ruta Mountain Biking

A two-hour mountain bike challenge across the harsh San Bernardino Mountains of Big Bear Lake.

8. Special Warfare Hero Within Challenge

The details of this challenge — which honors a U.S. Air Force fallen hero — will remain a mystery to the athletes until they are to complete it. 

9. Atlas Stones

Through three rounds, athletes must lift Atlas Stones of increasing weight. Achieve the most reps for victory.

Spartan Games 2.0: Meet the Athletes

Unlike the first season, Spartan Games 2.0 will feature 16 elite athletes rather than 24. Here's what you need to know about this season's hungry competitors.

The Men

1. Ryan Atkins

Spartan Games Season 2

Canadian Ryan Atkins has perhaps the most decorated Spartan race resumé in OCR history. As the reigning Spartan World Champion and the 2018 and 2019 Spartan Ultra World Champion, Atkins returns to the Spartan Games to defend his title.

2. Hunter McIntyre

Spartan Games Season 2

2021 Hyrox World Champion Hunter McIntyre, from Malibu, Calif. holds the Murph world record at 34:13. One of the most revered functional fitness and obstacle course race competitors in the world, McIntyre also has six top-seven Spartan World Championship finishes.

3. Mack Roesch

Spartan Games Season 2

Floridian Mack Roesch is a fan favorite when it comes to functional fitness television. He is an American Ninja Warrior finalist, an NBC Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge champion, Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge champion, and more.

4. Christian Harris

Spartan Games Season 2

Best known for founding the training and fitness gear brand Move Fast Lift Heavy, Christian Harris is an entrepreneur, gym owner, and CrossFit Games athlete from Bayport, N.Y.

5. Ryan Kent

Spartan Games Season 2

The third-winningest Spartan racer of all time — with 40 career victories — Ryan Kent has reached 64 podiums during his illustrious career, and is one of the most successful Stadion racers of all time.

6. Veejay Jones

Spartan Games Season 2

Veejay Jones, a 23-year-old from Colorado, has quickly established himself as a superstar on the worldwide OCR stage. Jones is the youngest Spartan race winner of all-time, the youngest U.S. National Series winner (and the current USNS champion), and the 2021 3K OCR World Champion. 

7. Tim Simansky

Spartan Games Season 2

Tim Simansky, a chiropractor, is a four-time Tactical Games Champion and a competitive shooter.

8. Layne Mayerstein

Spartan Games Season 2

Master Sergeant Layne Mayerstein has been an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician in the U.S. Air Force for over 20 years. Aside from detecting, disarming, and disposing of explosive threats in some of the world's most dangerous hot spots, Mayerstein is an Air Force Special Warfare Recruiting Squadron Scout Team Sergeant.

Related: TRAINED FOR THE GAMES: This Airman Took on the Titans of Fitness

The Women

1. Lindsay Webster

Spartan Games Season 2

Along with her husband, Ryan Atkins, Canadian Lindsay Webster — a three-time Spartan World Champion — returns to the Spartan Games stage looking to defend her title. 

2. Meg Reardon

Spartan Games Season 2

Former Division I field hockey player Meg Reardon, who lives in Long Beach, N.Y., is now a three-time CrossFit Games individual qualifier. In 2019, Reardon earned first place at the Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge Sanctional Event.

Related: TRAINED FOR THE GAMES: How This Elite CrossFitter Evolves as an Athlete

3. Lauren Weeks

Spartan Games Season 2

Current and two-time Hyrox World Champion Lauren Weeks has developed a diverse fitness resumé, competing in CrossFit competitions, HYROX, DEKA, and Tough Mudder X, placing fourth at the Tough Mudder X World Championship in 2018. Weeks' adaptability gives her a huge advantage in this competition. 

4. Arielle Miller

Spartan Games Season 2

Lifelong athlete and New York native Arielle Miller is a highly-trained OCR racer, functional fitness competitor, and rock climber. She won two intermediate bouldering competitions in 2018, and finished first at the Air Force Female for Alpha Warrior Challenge the following year.

5. Corinna Coffin

Spartan Games Season 2

Former triathlete Corinna Coffin has seen Spartan racing success for nearly a decade, having placed second at the 2014 Spartan World Championship in Killington. Since then, the functional fitness maven has competed regularly in DEKA and CrossFit competitions, placed first at the 2017 Tough Mudder X World Championship, and won the 2019 Spartan Stadium Series.

Related: TRAINED FOR THE GAMES: This 'Scrawny Runner' Is Now an Elite Athlete

6. Kris Rugloski

Spartan Games Season 2

Full-time Texan fitness coach Kris Rugloski is the current DEKA Mile record holder. Along with over 40 Spartan podium finishes, Rugloski has completed seven 100-mile ultra marathon races to date.

7. Ariana Scalfo

Spartan Games Season 2

Believe it or not, Ariana Scalfo has spent much of her life afflicted with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), Celiac disease, and chronic pain. But currently, she works as a specialized fitness coach for those with chronic diseases and EDS. She is also a Texas Run the Rose 11-miler winner, with an 800-pound powerlifting total.

8. Terra Jackson

Spartan Games Season 2

Former Division I cross country and track athlete Terra Jackson is a three-time DEKA champion. Alongside 20 Spartan podium finishes, Jackson is also a Boston Marathon qualifier — a title that less than 5% of marathoners earn.

U.S. Air Force Special Warfare takes mental and physical toughness to the next level, which is why they were the perfect partner for this year’s Spartan Games. To learn more about the heroes who make up the top 1% of the 1%, click here.