Most of us limit our Spartan racing to an hour or two from home. Why? With hundreds of events held in some of the most beautiful places on earth, why not make a vacation of it? Here are seven Spartan races to consider if you’re in the market for a fit-away.
Hawaii Trifecta Weekend
Kualoa Ranch, Oahu HI August 5–6, 2017 One island, one weekend, four races: Beast, Ultra Beast, Super, Sprint. No matter what your druthers, you’ll find a race to match. Mega-Spartans might even dare to earn a trifecta all at once. All four races go down at the Kualoa Ranch, the 4,000-acre nature reserve and working cattle farm where Jurassic World, Godzilla, Skull Island, and Jurassic Park were filmed. Perhaps you’ll run a little faster if you imagine yourself being chased by a ravenous raptor.
When you’re done: Hang out at the ranch and satisfy your inner movie nerd with one of its many Jurassic tours, either on foot, horseback, or ATV. Adrenaline junkies will want to check out the on-site zipline—a treetop canopy tour with seven tandem sections, and zip lengths ranging from 200 feet to a quarter-mile! Venture off-site and visit the World War II Valor Pacific National Monument, which commemorates the 1941 Pearl Harbor Attack, or enjoy water sports in and around Waikiki such as kayaking, surfing, or swimming with dolphins. Sign up for the Hawaii Trifecta.
Washougal MX Park, Washougal WA August 19, 2017 Known as America’s most scenic raceway, this venue has a kick-ass combo of wooded trails, technical elements, and motocross tracks. For those who have never seen one of those buggers up close, let’s just say that the incline and descent on one of these mini-mountains might require some rappelling gear. This year, there is a new and improved course design to keep you on your toes and, as a bonus, the spectator area is obstacle-dense, meaning your friends and family get to witness (and photograph!) you conquering elements other than the Fire Jump at the end.
*When you’re done: *Have a bite at a gourmet food cart at Cathedral Park under the historic St. John’s Bridge, a Gothic-style cable suspension bridge that spans the Willamette River. Then visit Cottonwood Beach, a 93-acre park where Lewis and Clark camped in 1806 during their epic trek across the United States. Nature-lovers can visit the Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge, which has more than 200 species of water fowl and songbirds; Take the 2.8 mile Gibbons Creek Wildlife Art Trail which loops through the refuge. Sign up for the Portland Sprint.
LA Stadium Sprint at Dodgers Stadium
Dodgers Stadium, Los Angeles CA August 19, 2017 Compared to most things in tinsel-town that are shiny, new, and disposable, Dodgers Stadium is a relic: It’s the longest-standing Major League Baseball stadium west of the Mississippi. This is a brand-new Spartan venue for 2017, and the course is designed to weave in and out of the stadium, including the underbelly of the beast, giving you a free behind-the-scenes tour of the stadium’s interior. From the nosebleed section, you’ll be treated to stunning views of Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Mountains, and might even catch a glimpse of the Hollywood sign.
*When you’re done: *The world is literally your oyster, as Los Angeles is bursting with things to do, see, hear, and taste. Hollywood is a quick Uber ride northeast, where you can match your handprints to your fav celeb on the Walk of Fame. A short drive into the hills leads you to the Griffith Park Observatory or the trailhead that winds around to the Hollywood sign. Sun-lovers should travel due west to enjoy some of the city’s most famous beaches, including the Santa Monica Pier. Feeling brave? Take a trapeze lesson at Trapeze School New York right on the pier and fly high above the Pacific sea. Sign up for the LA Stadium Sprint.
Colorado Rockies Ultra Beast, Beast, and Sprint Weekend
Beaver Run Resort, Breckenridge CO August 26–27, 2017 Epic terrain, crazy elevation, and dazzling natural beauty make this race a must-do, whether you’re in it for the short or the long haul. At the top of the course you’ll bear witness to spectacular views of the Continental Divide and the towering, snow-capped peaks of the Rockies. But fair warning: This race starts in Breckenridge, which sits at an elevation of 9,600 feet—the highest starting point for any Spartan race across the globe. And it goes up (and up and up) from there.
*When you’re done: *Stroll down to the Breckenridge Brewery to sample some local microbrews, or extend your stay and go fly-fishing, mountain biking, or whitewater rafting. Need more of an adrenaline rush? Take a trip down the Gold Runner Alpine Coaster, a 2,500-foot track that turns, dips, and twists around ski runs and through the forest. Sign up for the Colorado Rockies Weekend.
Nashville Sprint – Fort Campbell
Cassidy CACTF, Fort Campbell, Woodlawn TN September 23, 2017 Fort Campbell is home to the 101st Airborne Division and the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, as well as the Military Series Spartan Sprint. Covering 164 square miles, this military post is the only one to span two states (it spills into Kentucky) and is the Army’s only Air Assault Division—soldiers who are able to deploy at a moment’s notice. Athletes who run this race need speed, agility, and an iron spirit. Finishers will earn a Military Series Medal.
*When you’re done: *Stick around Fort Campbell and check out the archery range, paintball field, and rock climbing area, as well as the Don F. Pratt Memorial Museum of military artifacts and memorabilia. Go one hour west and visit the Land Between the Lakes National Recreational Area and enjoy 17,000 acres of shoreline, camping, picnicking, boating, and water sports. You may also witness the monarch butterfly migration at its peak. In the opposite direction is Nashville, home to the Grand Ol’ Opry, the Country Music Hall of Fame, and great (and free) music throughout the city. Sign up for the Nashville Sprint.
Lake Tahoe Beast and Ultra Beast Weekend
North Lake Tahoe, Olympic Valley CA September 30–October 1, 2017 Held in conjunction with the 2017 Spartan World Championships, hosted by Lake Tahoe for the third consecutive year. Nestled comfortably in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Lake Tahoe has more than 72 miles of shoreline, has depths of up to 1,645 feet, and is one of the oldest lakes in the world (about 2 million years). With a starting elevation of 6,224 feet, your race will take you to heights of more than 9,000 feet, where your grinding efforts will be rewarded with spectacular, panoramic views of the lake and surrounding forests. And who knows? You might even find yourself running alongside Amelia Boone or sharing a dunk with Kevin Donoghue. The best of the best will be there. Will you?
*When you’re done: *Rent a kayak for a few hours and paddle to Fannette Island in Emerald Bay, the only island in Lake Tahoe. If you missed your spear throw and incurred the 30-burpee penalty, you might want to sharpen your aim with a round of disc golf in North Tahoe Regional Park. Those with a darker bent can visit the Donner Memorial State Park and Emigrant Trail Museum to pick up some tips about dining when stranded in the mountains. Or trek a little farther south and soothe those tired muscles with a soak in the Grover Hot Springs. Sign up for Lake Tahoe Weekend.
Looking for a Race Closer to Home? Find a Spartan Race Near You!