Jonathan Albon and Zuzana Kocumova made history last weekend in Greece (November 4–6) when they became the first athletes to win the Spartan Trifecta World Championship. For this inaugural event, over 1,000 athletes from around the world descended on the site of ancient Sparta.
Here, centuries ago, the warrior society that inspired our Spartan race movement broke bread and trained for battle among the olive trees and fragrant heather that now lined the challenging course of the first-ever Trifecta World Championship.
This invite-only event featured Spartan’s three signature races—Sprint, Super, and Beast. All of the world-class competitors who participated had previously earned at least one, if not multiple Trifectas, with a large number of competitors having conquered the coveted shield more than 13 times. But there could only be one male and one female winner. And that honor went to the UK’s Albon and the Czech Republic’s Kocumova respectively.
That’s not to say that it was easily won. “It was a tough course,” said Albon, “but as with any race, you make it truly tough by pushing as hard as you can.” And push hard he did. Albon, who also won the Spartan 2014 World Championship in North Lake Tahoe last September, scored a cumulative time across all three races for the men of 4:40:07.
In second position, the Czech Republic’s Richard Hynek had a time of 4:50:28, ahead of Spain’s Albert Soley Castells with 4:52:53. Kocumova, the current European champion, finished with a time of 5:41:03, ahead of the USA’s Nicole Mericle (5:49:42) and Slovakia’s Janka Pepova (5:59:32).
Though the competitors had to face familiar Spartan obstacles including the spear throw, fire jump, and monkey bars, there were a number of additional challenges aimed at testing athletes’ endurance as well as strength. Starting and finishing in Sparta itself, the course wound along the rocky banks of the Eurotas river and across steep hills overlooked by the majestic Taygetos mountain range.
“I thought the course planning and different take on some obstacles made it refreshing and different to traditional standardized Spartan race courses,” commented Albon. “The 60-pound sandbag was long, though!!” he added.
Adding this win onto his first-place position in the 2018 Spartan World Championship, Albon is now eligible to win one million dollars as part of the Spartan $1 Million Trifecta—the largest prize in obstacle course racing history. But doing so means squaring up to 100 miles of unforgiving terrain in the 24-hour Ultra World Championship outside of Reykjavik, Iceland, this December 8–9.
Albon’s not confirming anything yet, however. With an incredible year already behind him, he claims he plans to first wait and see how his body is feeling after his triumph in Sparta and the long season. “Whatever happens though,” he says, “I’m already happy with my year.”
And with two incredible titles under his belt, we can totally understand why.