If you've been racing with us for a couple of years, chances are you know the name Hartley Mahfood.
Because Mahfood is seemingly EVERYWHERE. We're not convinced that he hasn't been cloned, that there aren't 12 Hartley Mahfoods spanning the globe. Spartan is in more than 45 countries, and Mahfood seems to be in every single one of them, racing his absolute heart out.
No, Mahfood isn't at every race every weekend, but it sure as hell feels like he is. And that's because he never stops racing. No matter the location, no matter the race type, no matter what he's got going on in his personal life, Hartley finds a way to be there.
This isn't hyperbole. The proof is in the pudding. The 39-year-old from Amityville, New York started racing in 2015 when he desperately needed to get in shape. (At the time, he couldn't even run a mile without stopping.) Fast forward seven years later, and Hartley just secured his 99th career Trifecta. No, that's not a typo. The man has ninety-nine freaking Trifectas! He has 14 in 2022 alone.
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Just one Trifecta away from hitting the century mark, the security technician has his sights set on nabbing Trifecta No. 100 in the most natural place, at the most natural event, imaginable: the Spartan Trifecta World Championship in Sparta, Greece. The annual championship event weekend, held in the birthplace of the ancient Spartans, will be held Nov. 4-6.
Perfect plan, right? A match made in heaven? Yep. There's only one problem, though: Hartley doesn't have a ticket and the race is sold out.
So what now?
Hartley appealed to Joe to let him race in the Age Group heat in Sparta, but Spartan's founder and CEO said no dice. It wouldn't be fair to the thousands of other racers who can't get tickets, he told him. Some in the community have begged Joe to reconsider on Hartley's behalf, and while he always listens to the community, he's thus far been reluctant to pull the trigger and grant admission.
Joe has tremendous respect and appreciation for Hartley, calling him a "f***ing winner" and "someone to emulate." He also added that he has the mindset of a champion. But rules are rules, and De Sena is sticking to them.
"We never envisioned anyone could hit 100 Trifectas before the end of 2022," De Sena says. "We did say that if anyone ever hit 100, they would immediately have to do the Death Race before being allowed to do another Spartan race."
Hartley is as Spartan as it gets, and he hardly ever says no to a challenge. But the Death Race is a bridge too far. He has no intention of tackling that. He'll sneak into Spartan heats if he has to.
"I’m a Trifecta racer, not a death chaser," he says. "I'd rather do four Ultras and 20 Trifecta weekends."
What do you think? Should Joe let Hartley go after No. 100 in Sparta? Send Joe a note @realjoedesena with your thoughts.