The best endurance athletes in the country descended on Jacksonville, Fla. over the weekend for the first race of the 2020 Spartan U.S. National Series presented by Harley Davidson. Jacksonville’s fast and flat WW Ranch Motocross Park tested athletes as they raced across 5 km of technical terrain and battled 20 obstacles on Spartan’s signature Sprint course, the shortest distance in the five-race series.
More than 100 elite athletes competed for a piece of the event’s $16,000 prize purse. In the end, 2019 Spartan U.S. National Series champions Ryan Atkins and Lindsay Wester took the first-place spots on the podium with times of 28:18 and 32:59, respectively. The podium rounded out with Veejay Jones (28:42) and Ryan Kempson (28:52) placing second and third for the men, while Spartan World Champion Nicole Mericle (34:39) and Natalie Miano (36:02) took the second and third spots for the women.
In addition to the elite competition, more than 8,000 racers of all ages and skill levels competed in the weekend’s OCR events, which included the 10K, 25-obstacle Spartan Super and the shorter-distance Sprint, along with a Spartan Kids race for children ages 4 to 14.
The 2020 Spartan U.S. National Series, which offers a $110,000 prize purse, continues to Snohomish, Wash. on April 4 and Big Fork, Mont. on May 3 for Super races. The series will conclude with two half-marathon, 30-obstacle Spartan Beast races in Huntsville, Utah on July 18 and Glen Jean, West Virginia on Aug. 29, where series champions will be crowned based on cumulative ranking points.
The U.S. National Series leads to the Spartan North American Championship, which takes place on Sept. 27 across a mountainous Beast course at Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows in North Lake Tahoe, Calif. The North American Championship will draw the best racers in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. From there, the best athletes in the region will face off against the best in the world for the 2020 Spartan World Championship on Dec. 4 in Abu Dhabi.