Spartan Race: Frequently Asked Questions

Spartan Race: Frequently Asked Questions
Presented by Spartan Training®

Thinking of signing up for a Spartan Race? We've got answers to your burning questions on all-things OCR. Read our guide below to study up, learn more about the different types of Spartan Races, how to train and more.

Spartan Race FAQ:

  • What is a Spartan Race?
  • Will this be too hard for me?
  • What’s with all the burpees?
  • What kind of obstacles are there?
  • How should I prepare?
  • Is this a team or individual event?
  • What do I get with my registration?
  • How do I get started?

spartan race guide women at starting line

What is a Spartan Race?

Spartan Race is the world’s premier obstacle course race (OCR). An OCR is a running race with the additional challenge of obstacles along the course. These obstacles require athletes to have a complete fitness level (cardiovascular fitness + strength + mobility).

Related: Spartan Race Training: How To Get Fit For Your 1st Spartan Race FAST

What Are the Spartan Race Levels?

Spartan Race offers multiple distance races for you to choose which is right for you:

Spartan Sprint

The favorite among Spartan athletes, Sprint races are 3 to 5 miles in length and have 20 to 23 obstacles.

Perfect for:

  • First-timers
  • Experienced athletes
  • Runners, triathletes, and those looking for a new challenge
  • Health- and fitness-focused individuals
  • Anyone who wants to change their life

Find a Spartan Sprint

Spartan Stadium Series

Similar to a Sprint in distance, our Stadium series allows athletes to challenge themselves in the unique environment of historic sports stadiums across the country. Generally, these races contain no mud, water, or barbwire.

Perfect for:

  • First-timers
  • Experienced athletes
  • CrossFit and parkour athletes
  • Sports fans
  • Anyone who wants to change their life

Find a Spartan Stadium Race

Spartan Super

Ready to step it up? A Super is 8 to 10 miles with 24 to 29 obstacles. You’ll be running a lot farther than a Sprint and encountering new obstacles.

Perfect for:

  • Seasoned athletes
  • Those who want more of a challenge

Find a Spartan Super

Spartan Beast

With 12 to 14 miles and 30 to 35 obstacles between you and the finish line, the Spartan Beast will test everything you’re made of: your strength, your endurance, your resolve. The unpredictable terrain and Spartan obstacles are masterfully designed to push you deep into your discomfort zone, and well past those self-imposed obstacles you once considered your limits.

Perfect for:

  • Those ready to test themselves
  • Those ready to push past their limits

Find a Spartan Beast

Spartan Trifecta

Once you do your first Spartan Race, you’re going to be hooked. The next step is earning your Trifecta medal. A Trifecta is earned by completing a Sprint, Super, and Beast all in one calendar year.

Earn Your Spartan Trifecta Medal

What Are Spartan Endurance Events?

Not for the faint of heart, Spartan Race endurance events will push you past your limits.

Hurricane Heat

3- to 4-hour Team Building event

Beyond the mileage of the Spartan Race Trifecta stands the Hurricane Heat, or HH. As a team-based event designed to push racers to greater personal distances, you quickly learn the value and true meaning of having mutual objectives through teamwork. You also see the connection between teamwork and success and one drives the other on both a personal level and as a member of something greater than yourself.

Find a Spartan Hurricane Heat


12-hour team building and individual testing event

The 12 Hour Hurricane Heat, or HH12HR, is Spartan’s next level standalone event specifically designed to test every facet of your mental, intellectual and physical abilities through the use of mental challenges, nonlinear problem solving, morality, as well as teamwork and individual performance under physical duress.

Find a Spartan HH12HR

Spartan Ultra

30-mile (or more) obstacle race

No longer just an add-on to the Spartan Beast, the Ultra is a distinctly new Spartan Race experience. The Ultra upgrades the Ultra Beast to an exciting and challenging format of 30mi / 50km, featuring unique course elements and obstacles. It’s also highly elusive – in 2018 there are a very few Ultras in the world and even fewer entry places.

Find a Spartan Ultra

Related: 11 Reasons to Do Your First Spartan Ultra

Spartan Agoge

60-hour event that builds physical, tactical, mental, and team-based strength through training, testing, and evaluation

Spartan Agoge is a 60 hour Extreme Endurance event inspired by the original Greek Agoge, the rigorous training mandated for the citizens of ancient Sparta. The training was a well rounded cultural immersion involving stealth, loyalty, survival, hunting, dancing, singing, and social skills.

Find a Spartan Agoge

More Spartan Race FAQ:

Will this be too hard for me?

You’ve gotten this far, so you’re in the right place. We are all capable of going farther, faster, and harder than we realize. Sure, this is a challenge, but only through challenge will you become the best person you can be.

What’s with all the burpees?

Athletes who fail to complete an obstacle must complete 30 burpees as a penalty before continuing. Each obstacle will have a designated burpee zone for this purpose. Athletes are responsible for counting their own burpees. We consider burpees to be the best overall body exercise. They utilize your legs, arms, trunk, and core while challenging your cardiovascular fitness. You’ll soon learn to love them.

Related: What Are Burpees & How to Do Them the Right Way

fit enough to for a Spartan

What kind of obstacles are there?

There are several types of obstacles that require crawling, climbing, pulling, and lifting. These obstacles are meant to challenge your full body fitness. A few samples:

  • Barb wire – crawl under barb wire.

Tip: rolling can save your elbows and knees

  • Rope climb – climb a rope.

Tip: learning the leg wrap technique makes this easy

  • Hoist – lift a weight with pulley system.

Tip: using your body weight is more effective than arm strength

Learn more about Spartan's obstacles and download our free Obstacle Course Training Guide.

Related: Spartan’s 5 Toughest Obstacles—and How to Train for Them

How should I prepare?

Spartan is about conditioning your entire body, mind, and spirit. You’ll need to train your cardiovascular system, strength, and agility (to move side to side and up and down). Remember, not all obstacles are about brute strength—learning proper technique will save you a tremendous amount of energy.

Start by downloading one of our training programs.

Then read more in our Train, Eat, Think, and Life sections.

spartan race types

Is this a team or individual event?

A Spartan Race is an individual, timed event. But the Spartan tribe is a close-knit, friendly, supportive community. Bring your friends and make new ones here.

What do I get with my registration?

Most importantly, you’ll change your life. In addition, every athlete who completes a Spartan Race receives a finisher medal, t-shirt, and adult beverage to toast your success.

How do I get started?

All glory comes from daring to begin. It’s important to take the first step and commit! If you wait until you’re ready you’ll never see the changes you want in your life.

Follow our simple 3 step process:

Amp up your fitness and wellness routine NOW. Click here to find a Spartan Race close to you!