The 2022 Spartan season is here, and there are so many things we can't wait to see play out. Will Ryan Atkins and Lindsay Webster repeat as World Champs? What can we expect from the new North American Elite Series and Age Group National Series? Does Robert Killian have another run in him?
We asked Spartan Pro and Spartan broadcaster Kevin Donoghue to rank his top 10 storylines and burning questions for the upcoming season. This is his list, complete with commentary and some additional subplots to consider.
10 Spartan Race Storylines to Keep an Eye on in 2022
What Can We Expect From Nicole Mericle in 2022?
If we learned one thing over the past two years, it's that nothing is guaranteed. When athletes in their prime get injured, as Mericle did in 2021, it's too often assumed that they will just come back as soon as they are healthy. But for a myriad of reasons, that isn't always the case. Selfishly, I hope she comes back better than ever. The sport is far better with her in it.
Will a Racer From Mexico Emerge As a Legit Contender in the North American Elite Series?
I experienced my first Spartan race in Mexico last summer, and there is some serious terrain there, as well as a number of terrific competitors. Angel Quintero, in particular, comes to mind. With a North American Elite Race on Mexican soil in 2022 — in Ajusco, on June 11th — can Quintero, and perhaps a few other elite Mexican Spartans, threaten the podium against the top Americans and Canadians?
Will Robert Killian Give It One More Run?
I recently saw Robert at the DEKA event in Austin. He had low expectations, and I called him out on that BS because he is always a perennial podium threat. As I expected, he did phenomenally well and threw down a solid second-place performance. But will he make a run at another Spartan World Championship in 2022? We all hope so, but time will tell.
Will Hawk Call and Rylan Schadegg Be Factors All Year Long?
In 2021, Hawk and Rylan took the OCR world by storm with their podium performances in Utah. But after that they completely fell off the radar. Will they put together championship campaigns in 2022? We all hope so, because they kick ass.
Will Hobie Call and Cody Moat Step Back Into the Fold?
As mentioned, Hobie's son, Hawk, burst onto the scene last year. Might his son's excellence motivate him to come out of OCR retirement? And if so, might his biggest Spartan rival, fellow two-time World Champion Cody Moat, return to the start line as well? We can dream...
Can Anyone in the World Challenge Lindsay Webster?
If Nicole Mericle toes the start line, the answer is yes. Same with Annie Dube. But that's a short list, unless some dark horses emerge. Who will be the 2022 Annie Dube? She took the ladies field by storm last season. Is there someone else out there who can emerge from the shadows and have similar success?
We're Coming to Notre Dame Stadium!
We have had Stadions in some of the most iconic venues on Earth, from Fenway to Wrigley to Lambeau. But we've never held an event at a college stadium. To have our first at Notre Dame Stadium — in the shadow of Touchdown Jesus, with the ghosts of the Four Horsemen, in the house of Knute Rockne — makes the hair on my neck stand up. Sign up now and go win your Age Group for The Gipper!
The Age Group U.S. National Series Is Here
For years, Age Group competitors — I'm raising my hand — have been spilling our guts out on the course. To have the opportunity for all Age Group categories to be celebrated — as U.S. National Series champions, no less — is incredibly exciting and rewarding.
What Will All of the New Medals Look Like?
We just got a peek at the finisher medals, and I can't wait to see what those Age Group podium medals look like!
Over/Under: Atkins Vs. Veejay
How many times will Veejay Jones top Ryan Atkins in 2022? We're setting the over/under at 2.5.