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.
The inaugural North American Elite Series in officially in the books. With five races across the United States, Canada, and Mexico, the series featured the most decorated and accomplished racers in North America on some of the most revered and unique courses on Earth. The conclusion of the series coincides nicely with this month's Power Rankings. Ahead of the Spartan World Championship next month in Abu Dhabi, these are the 20 best Spartan racers in the world right now.
Let the debate begin!
The Top 10 Spartan Racers in the World Right Now: The Women
1. Lindsay Webster
Lindsay just added the inaugural North American Elite Series title to her absurd resume. And to cap off another stellar year, she'll be gunning for a second consecutive Spartan World Championship in Abu Dhabi next month. Can she win back-to-back crowns? You'd be a fool to bet against her.
2. Kris Rugloski
Don't be surprised if, by next month's Power Rankings, Kris is the DEKA FIT world champion. (The World Championships will be held on Nov. 19-20 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.) Combine that with her third-place North American Elite Series finish, and she could arguably have the greatest mixed-discipline season in Spartan women's history.
3. Emma Cook-Clarke
Emma pushed Webster all season, finishing second in the Elite Series, and she's a SERIOUS podium threat in Abu Dhabi.
4. Annie Dube
It took Annie some time to get healthy, but she very quickly reestablished her place as one of the top 5 racers in North America.
5. Alex Walker
Alex had a tremendous Elite Series, finishing fourth. Will this be the springboard she needs to finish in the top 5 in Abu Dhabi? We'll find out soon enough.
6. Rose Wetzel
I'm not sure if Rose will be in Abu Dhabi. But if she does make the trek to the UAE, I'm confident that the 40-year-old will be near the top. Her 5th-place Elite Series finish was impressive. What a storied career that the 40-year-old veteran has put together.
7. Kaci Monroe
The pride of Montana had a season that Beth Dutton would raise a glass in honor of. Her sixth-place Elite Series finish cemented another stellar campaign.
8. Faye Morgan
She came into the season with a foot that most people wouldn't walk to the grocery store with. But Faye is different. She's fierce. She's on another level. The Marine Corps veteran, lifted up by her never-say-die spirit, delivered podiums and wins all year, and the result was ninth place in the Elite Series.
9. Ashley O'Hara
Solid and steady, Ashley is always in the mix, no matter where she races or who she races against. She finished eighth in the Elite Series standings.
10. Ashley Heller
If it seems like Ashley Heller is in the top 10 mix of a championship series every single year, that's because she is. She did it again in 2022, finishing 10th in the Elite Series.
The Top 10 Spartan Racers in the World Right Now: The Men
1. Ryan Atkins
Not since 2016 did the GOAT have to grind this hard to win a series title. And this year was by far the toughest challenge he's faced in awhile. He was far from perfect, and was challenged in every race by the next generation of studs, yet he still pulled off a North American Elite Series title. Abu Dhabi will be an even greater test. Can he repeat in the desert?
2. Rylan Schadegg
Rylan finished 5th in the Elite Series, but he's ascending rapidly! Before he touches down in Abu Dhabi, he will be competing for the DEKA FIT world title on November 19th in New Jersey. As the current world-record holder, he could have that title under his belt in time to challenge Atkins and Jonathan Albon.
3. Veejay Jones
Finishing second in the Elite Series standings is something Veejay should be incredibly proud of. This was the first time in his career that he consistently performed at a high level in the longer distances. Wait until next year, when he gets to throw down in the new 3K format. Look out!
4. Hawk Call
After his first full season of consistent racing, it's safe to say he has arrived — and he's sure as hell not going anywhere. His 4th-place Elite Series finish is just the beginning for this rising superstar.
5. Tyler Veerman
Tyler quietly had a spectacular season, finishing eighth in the Elite Series. Like Hawk, he's going to continue to rise into the stratosphere.
6. Lars Arneson
Lars finished the Elite Series with an absolute bang, winning the Blue Mountain Beast in 2:07:30 and outlasting such superstars as Ryan Atkins, Tyler Veerman, Ryan Kempson, and Rylan Schadegg. The performance earned him sixth place in the Elite Series standings.
7. Mark Batres
Batres got off to a fast start in 2022, had some struggles, hung in there, and did just enough to snag an Elite Series podium, finishing third in the final standings.
8. Nic Maszk
Another fresh face consistently throwing down solid performances, Nic finished 7th in the Elite Series.
9. Mark Gaudet
Sadly, some unfortunate circumstances prevented Gaudet from having the opportunity to defend his Ultra World Championship title. He still performed well on the Elite Series stage, racking up 580 points to place ninth.
10. Emmanuel Sierra Camacho
Camacho had to travel A LOT to rack up enough points to crack the top 10 of the Elite Series, and he did just that. Kudus to him for his dedication, perseverance, and brilliant performances on the course. Awfully impressive.