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 Spartan Pro Kevin Donoghue. A Spartan Pro Team member from 2015-21, he has amassed more than 150 podium appearances during his illustrious career and captured 112 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 the conclusion of inaugural North American Elite Series — a five-race series across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico that featured the most decorated and accomplished racers in North America — and the 2022 Trifecta World Championship last month, most of the world's greatest obstacle course racers are gearing up to conclude an epic season at the 2022 Spartan World Championship in Abu Dhabi. These individuals are considered the 20 best Spartan racers in the world right now. Who will prevail?
Let the debate begin!
The Top 10 Spartan Racers in the World Right Now: The Women
1. Lindsay Webster
The biggest drama we might have at the 2022 Spartan World Championship isn't whether Lindsay becomes a four-time champion, but if she gets beat. However, she is expected to win every time out. She has us so spoiled that only a loss in Abu Dhabi will really make most people pay attention.
2. Kris Rugloski
Since we last checked in on Kris, she became the first-ever Female Worlds Toughest Mudder Champion, and then went to the DEKA World Championship and took 2nd in the Mixed Team division. Combine that with her 3rd-place North American Championship podium, and she's had hands down the most impressive women's mixed discipline season of all time!
3. Emma Cooke Clark
If Emma were to beat Lindsay in Abu Dhabi, this might catapult her into the conversation of best ever.
4. Annie Dube
Annie might just be back to the level she was when she came in 2nd in Abu Dhabi last year. After arguably the toughest season of her athletic career (overcoming a devastating elbow injury) she has all the grit needed to bring a challenge to the World Champs.
5. Alisa Petrova
Alisa came in 3rd last year in Abu Dhabi, just ahead of Emma Cook Clarke, so she's one of the woman who could have shot to dethrone Lindsay.
6. Ida Mathilde
Representing Copenhagen, Denmark, Ida has had an amazing 2022 season, and is definitely primed to improve upon her 8th place finish in Abu Dhabi last year.
7. Myriam Guillot-Boiset
Like a French wine, Myriam just keeps getting better with age. After taking 5th last year and 3rd in 2019 in Tahoe, she has the gas tank to threaten for the podium again in Abu Dhabi 2022.
8. Ivana Kolaric
She was the only UAE citizen to crack the top 10 on the men and women's standings last year. With a year of training under her belt and the valuable experience gained, she may be a threat for the top five.
9. Alex Walker
Alex will be the first to admit that she did poorly in Abu Dhabi last year (then got legitimately pissed at me for not introducing her to a baby camel). But if anyone knows how to move on, it's her. And if I trust anyone to rebound and make adjustments for Abu Dhabi 2022, it's her.
10. The North American Women
When it comes down to it, North America consistently has the greatest depth of OCR athletes. Led by women like Kaci Monroe, Faye Stenning, Faye Morgan, and Ashley Heller, any one of these fantastic ladies can crack the top 10 in Abu Dhabi.
The Top 10 Spartan Racers in the World Right Now: The Men
1. Ryan Atkins
Even though he is the defending Spartan World Champion, and even though he won the 2022 Spartan North American Championship, it still feels like he needs to win this weekend in Abu Dhabi to stay on top of the sport. Can he repeat? Will two-time Spartan World Champion Jon Albon knock him off to win his 3rd? Will someone else take the crown? We have to wait and see.
2. Jon Albon
I normally stick to North America with this ranking, buy its World Champs time. Jon took 3rd in Abu Dhabi last year. When I spoke to him immediately after the race, he told me the best way to train for it, should have had him riding his bike more. The point is, he gained a lot of perspective and should give Atkins his biggest test this weekend.
3. Sergei Perelygin
In one of the most memorable Spartan moments EVER, Sergei had a small lead over Atkins to begin the giant sand dune descent to the finish in Abu Dhabi last year. Ryan passed him in the most epic downhill display I have ever witnessed. If Sergei can rebound, he can become the first Men's Spartan World Champion who is not from the USA, Canada, or UK.
4. Rylan Shadegg
After not one but two podiums at the DEKA WC, Rylan has put together one of the most impressive and comprehensive overall athletic seasons in the history of Spartan. It's safe to say I wouldn't bet against him in Abu Dhabi. He is a cyborg!
5. Alberto Soley
Alberto is the best OCR athlete in Spain, and took 6th in Abu Dhabi last year. He has all of the ability and heart to crack the podium in this year's World Championship battle.
6. Veejay Jones
Last time I saw VeeJay he was sleeping on a bench in London Heathrow Airport. Next time I see him it could be on the podium in Abu Dhabi. Or riding a magic carpet. You never know with that dude.
7. Hawk Call
Abu Dhabi is known for its obsession with hunting falcons. If Hobie's boy shows up and shows out, the locals might have found their new spirit bird.
8. Tyler Veerman
The only thing lacking these days in Tyler's game is a quality haircut. Tyler, if you take top five in Abu Dhabi (which you're totally capable of) I'm treating you to a legit NY barber experience.
9. Ryan Kent
Though he didn't compete much at all in classic Spartan events this year (Stadion, Sprint, Super, etc.) he set the bar for excellence in DEKA, winning the World Champs in both STRONG and MILE while running a PR to take Silver in FIT.
10. Gregory Basilico
This one-man French OCR wrecking crew narrowly missed the podium in Abu Dhabi last year, coming in 4th place.