Every month, the Spartan Power Rankings lists the top 10 male and female racers in the world right now. The rankings are predominantly based on recent accomplishments and results, with some consideration given to overall athlete resumes and future predictors of success. They are based on some data analysis, but more so the eye test, which of course is subjective.
Making each month's picks is none other than Spartan pro Kevin Donoghue. A Spartan Pro Team member since 2015, he has amassed more than 150 podium appearances during his illustrious career and captured 106 Age Group victories. In addition to his brilliance on the course, he's also a veteran Spartan broadcaster, having called three Spartan World Championships.
After a jam-packed July, which included two United States National Series races, we have a new No. 1 on the women's side. On the men's side, one of the top racers in the world continues to climb up the ranks. Here's where things stand as we inch closer and closer to championship season.
Let the debate begin!
The Top 10 Women Right Now
Is it weird that, even though she has won every Spartan race she’s entered this season, I still feel like she isn't close to hitting her stride? Scary.
What a run she’s currently on! She gave Lindsay everything she could handle in North Carolina and was fantastic in Utah, finishing second in both races. These were the consistent, great performances that many of us knew she was capable of once she improved her obstacle proficiency.
No one is more disappointed than she is about her obstacle blunders during the National Series races. I say blunders because she is a very skilled obstacle technician, and those errors are not due to lack of ability. Very few women race as much as she does, so her mistake probability is higher. But seriously, pull it together! That said, she is still a solid third on this list.
During an absolutely oppressive weekend in Utah, she placed fourth in the Beast, first in the Super, and second in the Sprint.
Her outstanding performance in Utah has her right in the mix for a United States National Series title. But needless to say, she must race West Virginia and deliver.
Few racers are kicking more butt than Kaci is this year. She finished sixth in the Utah Beast and then third the next day in the Super. In Asheville, she finished sixth in the Super and then won the Sprint the next day, edging out Annie Dube.
Faye gets the most out of herself, perhaps more so than any other racer in the world. She posted two consecutive top 10 National Series finishes in July, and sandwiched them around a second-place performance at Angel Stadium. She also finished third in the Asheville Sprint.
She had possibly her best performance ever in North Carolina, taking fourth in the National Series race in Asheville. It was a fitting reward for the hard work she’s put in all year long.
How badass is Miranda Kielpinski? She competed in North Carolina with a busted finger, but that didn’t derail her. She taped it, did 60 burpees, and still came in seventh. One word: AROO!
I couldn't decide who deserved to be here, so you tell me! Who wants it? Who deserves it? Because until someone steps up and proves they belong, this will stay nine deep.
The Top 10 Men Right Now
Asheville was his biggest test of the year. He was up to the challenge, beating the entire field to remain on top of the rankings.
He had a shot to dethrone Veejay for the top spot in the Power Rankings in Asheville, but came up short, finishing in fifth. Two weeks prior, he executed his race plan perfectly in the Utah Beast, topping some fresh and hungry competitors to earn a hard-fought victory. He also added a win in the Sprint the following day.
Woods has put together excellent performances in every one of his 2021 races. He placed second, fourth, and sixth, respectively, in the first 3 National Series races. Keep a close eye on him in West Virginia, where he’s had success before.
Kempson finished fifth, sixth, and fourth, respectively, in the first three National Series races this year. Though he doesn't have a podium yet, his consistently solid performance makes him a podium threat every time he toes the start line at a big race.
Kris has worked really hard to improve his obstacle proficiency. Combined with his tremendous running ability, grit, and competitiveness, he’s established himself as an absolute force. After working out the final kinks at the Tri-State Sprint in June, he put together a performance in North Carolina that I believe is emblematic of his future success.
Batres has put together a magnificent season so far. I said after Jacksonville that all he does is finish in the top 10 in big races, and he continues to prove me right. He finished in the top 10 in all three National Series races this year, and he capped it off with a third-place performance in North Carolina. The week before, he took second at Angel Stadium, beating Stadion Specialist Isaiah Vidal.
I debated putting him even higher after that magnificent performance in Utah. I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do in less mountainous terrain.
It may have been a coming-out party for many, but Hawk has been racing the West Coast for a number of years. I remember a time when the men's Hercules Hoist outweighed him in Arizona. With some added strength, he could be a National Series champion within the next 12 months.
I expected to see a higher placement in Utah, though a lot of people had a rough day under those miserable conditions. I’m confident that his best performances are right around the corner.
Gaudet has been as consistent as anyone all season. He has been beaten by some fantastic, iconic athletes who didn't make this month’s rankings — including the indomitable Ian Hosek and the legendary Robert Killian — but his steadiness race in and race out keeps him in the rankings this month.