OCR Insider: Everything You Need to Know About the Spartan Races in October

OCR Insider: Everything You Need to Know About the Spartan Races in October
Presented by Spartan Training®

If you think you're just going to walk onto a Spartan course and crush it, you're in for a rude awakening. You need to prepare: You need to know the venue, the course, the terrain, the level of difficulty, and the likely conditions. Every month in OCR INSIDER, we look at the upcoming races on the schedule and tell you everything you need to know so when you reach the start line, you're ready. On the docket this month: NashvilleTri-State New Jersey, TellurideOcean CityAtlantaBig BearDallasVirginiaFayetteville Trail U.S. Championship, and Citizens Bank Park.

Nashville Spartan Super 10K and Sprint 5K Weekend (Oct. 2–3)

The Gist

This first-of-its-kind, early-October race weekend near Tennessee's Music City features a Super 10K, a Sprint 5K, Hurricane Heat, and multiple Kids Races.

Venue: Explore the Farm

The race is held at Neal Farms, just a half hour drive east of the Nashville airport. Expect the course designers to take maximum devious advantage of a 12-foot-wide creek that runs through the farm.

Weather: Early Autumn

Prepare for early autumn at its very best this weekend. Expect the temperatures to fall between a low of 57º and a high of 76º Fahrenheit. On average, there’s a 25% chance of rainfall exceeding 0.04 inches. 

Bonus: Visit the Parthenon

Obviously there’s no shortage of fun stuff to do in Nashville for music fans. But you're a Spartan, so did you know that the town also hosts the world’s only full-scale reproduction of the Parthenon? Inside you’ll find the city’s art museum and a replica of the Athena Parthenos. 

Tri-State New Jersey Spartan Trifecta Weekend (Oct. 2–3)

Spartan Races in October

The Gist

Another Oct. 2–3 race weekend, this Vernon, N.J., event is a classic Trifecta weekend on a mountain: a Beast, a Super, a Sprint, an Ultra, and races for the kids are all on the table.

Venue: Vernon Peak

Drive a quick 47 miles from the George Washington Bridge in New York City and you'll end up in Vernon Peak, New Jersey’s largest ski mountain and a year-round haven for lovers of outdoor activity. Race central is the Mountain Creek Resort. The race course is churned from all of the difficult terrain that the Spartan race designers could find.

Weather: Target Temps

Vernon temperatures this time of year generally range from 47º to 67º Fahrenheit with a 28% chance of precipitation.

Bonus: Zip It

The most adventurous Spartans can top off their intense race weekend with a visit to the TreeScape Adventure Parkan epic outdoor course loaded with rope walks and zip lines.

Colorado Spartan 24-Hour Ultra World Championship and Beast 21K, Powered by Rakuten (Oct. 9–10)

Spartan Races in October

The Gist

There are tests and then there are tests, and the test of Telluride is a whole new level. This weekend features a Spartan 24-Hour Ultra World Elite, Age Group, and Open Heat championships, plus a Beast (21K, 30 obstacles).

Venue: Telluride Ski Resort

Expect scenic beauty in the rugged San Juan Mountains, which will be breathtaking in more ways than one.

If the expansive distance of this weekend's events is but one dimension of the challenge awaiting racers, oxygen availability is another. The base elevation of the Telluride Ski Resort is 8,725 feet — more than 3,000 feet higher than the elevation of Boulder. The Telluride summit, towering over 2,000 acres of skiable terrain, is 13,150 feet. Altitude preparation is a must, as well as being ready to climb and descend.

Related: 5 Hacks to Conquer the 24-Hour Spartan Ultra World Championship Course

Weather: A Chill in the Air

The Telluride regional airport sits at 9,000 feet, and the range of temperatures (on average for mid-October) is 37º to 54º Fahrenheit. It can be colder, so be prepared for sub-30º temperatures. There’s also a one-in-five chance of significant precipitation — yet another factor to keep in mind.

Bonus: Dream Recovery

After the race, there are a myriad of outdoor activities in this region of Colorado. But if you're a recovery buff (and you might become one after racing Telluride), a visit to the Peaks Resort & Spa will likely be in order.

Ocean City Spartan City (Oct. 16) 

Spartan Races in October

The Gist

Undoubtedly the most beginner-friendly race of October, the Ocean City, Md., Spartan City race is between 3K and 5K in distance, features 20 obstacles, and weaves through the popular vacation spot. Bring the whole family, because there are even races for the kids.

Venue: Once More Unto the Beach

Rated one of the top 10 beaches in the country by Trip Advisor, racing takes place in the heart of Ocean City — 10 miles of well-maintained sand  — with the newbie in mind: in-town sea-level racing with little in the way of elevation or descent.

Weather: Almost Too Easy

Expect temps between 54º and 65º with a small chance of rain.

Bonus: Liquid Therapy

From fishing to mini-golf, Ocean City has a dizzying number of fun things to do. If you just want to kick back post-race, for the ultimate combo of fresh-air and good beer, visit Ocean City’s newest waterfront bar, Liquid Therapy.

Atlanta Spartan Super 10K and Sprint 5K Weekend (Oct. 16–17)

Spartan Races in October

The Gist

A Spartan Super and Sprint 5K are the marquee races for this weekend in Conyers, Ga., including a Hurricane Heat and kids racesAlso on the schedule, an obstacle-free Spartan 10K Trail race is slated for that Sunday.

Venue: Georgia International Horse Park

The Georgia International Horse Park, which hosted the equestrian events during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, is where Spartans will be lacing up. Think mud pits, slick red clay, and overall hilly, tricky terrain.

Weather: Seasonably Welcoming

October temperatures in this part of Georgia range from 55º to 72º with minimal chance of rain.

Bonus: The Design of Survival

It’s not hard to find all brands of entertainment, dining, and activities in Atlanta. This October, one exhibit of particular interest to Spartans is the Survival Architecture & Art of Resilience installation, which puts a magnifying glass to resilience within modern society, hosted by the Museum of Design.

Big Bear Spartan Trifecta Weekend (Oct. 16–17) 

Spartan Races in October

The Gist

A Trifecta weekend in Big Bear Lake, Calif., consisting of a Super, a Sprint, an Ultra, a Beast, and kids races. Tune up your obstacle skills and get a preview of the course at the Obstacle Specialist Course on Oct. 15. Even your trail running purist friends can come along for the obstacle-free Spartan 10K Trail race this weekend.

Venue: Rare Air

With altitude ranging from 6,750 feet to 9,000 feet, California’s Big Bear Lake region has allowed Spartan designers to manufacture a course that reaches upwards of 8,000 feet and plays with 4,200 feet of vertical drop. You will blow out the tubes: Thin air for the lungs and max burn for the legs. To help you hold the discomfort in check, you'll face unforgettable views that will enable you to  internalize the radical beauty of the area. Keep your eyes peeled for bald eagles.

Going for a Trifecta? Pack your foam rollers and ice bags.

Weather: Outrun the Chill

It can get chilly at this time of year, dipping below 40º with a high in the mid-60s. But don't get too worried — There's only a 4% chance of any precipitation.

Bonus: Oktoberfest!

That’s right: Oktoberfest will be a full-tilt theme in Big Bear. Another fall favorite is a zip line tour. Add to that biking, canoeing, hiking, and more — all the adventure that Spartans require.

Dallas Spartan Ultra 50K, Beast 21K, and Sprint 5K Weekend (Oct. 23–24)

Spartan Races in October

The Gist

Head out to Granbury, Texas, for an Ultra, a Beast, and/or a Sprint on a working cattle ranch southwest of Dallas. Plenty of kids races, too. An Obstacle Specialist Course is scheduled for Oct. 22.

Want the trail but not the obstacles? The event weekend includes a Spartan Trail 50K, Half Marathon, and 10K. 

Venue: True West

The action all takes place at a ranch that's practically named for Spartans — True Grit Ranch — just a 75-minute drive from the Dallas/Fort Worth airport.

Bonus: Closest Thing to Jurassic Park?

If you or your kids are into dinosaurs (and if you missed out on this year's Hawaii Spartan race, the site of filming for Jurassic World), Granbury hosts the the home of Dinosaur World and Dinosaur Valley State Park. With the latter, you can hike your way along dino footprints, exposed when an epic flood in 1908 washed out the Paluxy river.

Virginia Spartan Super 10K and Sprint 5K Weekend (Oct. 30–31)

Spartan Races in October

The Gist

Prepare to race amidst the Blue Ridge Mountains of Arrington, Va.: A Super 10K and Sprint 5K top the bill, accompanied by a Hurricane Heat and races for the kids.

Venue: Dramatically Scenic With an Extra Dose of Pain

Primarily known for hosting the Lockn music festival, the farm at Infinity Downs offers a combination of technical terrain and central Virginia scenic beauty for the racers. 

Weather: Sliding Into Fall

The hot, muggy summer weather has slipped away. You can expect temps to be between the mid 40s and mid 60s. There’s a 22% chance you might get some rain.

Bonus: American History Awaits

American history buffs might want to trek to nearby Monticello, where you can visit the home and estate of Thomas Jefferson.

Fayetteville Spartan Trail U.S. Championship (Oct. 30–31)

Halloween weekend will bring the Spartan Trail U.S. Championships to Fayetteville, Ark., this year. The zero-obstacle running events include a 50K, Half Marathon, 10K, and 10K Night Run (bring your headlamp).

Venue: Kessler Mountain Regional Park

The 620-acre Kessler Mountain Regional Park lies in southwest Fayetteville. Initially a hotspot for mountain bikers, the city led a team of volunteers to forge a system of trails with varying degrees of difficulty. From rocky to rolling to technical and more, you’ll enjoy the challenge of tough trail running within the Ozark National Forest and the Ozark Plateau. 

Weather: Dream Running Weather

Historically, the temperatures fall in the mid-40s with highs reaching into the 60s, and there's about a one in four chance that you’ll see some rain. 

Bonus: Old School Movie Night

Another kind of trail exists for craft beer fans wanting a cold one after the race: The Fayetteville “Ale Trail” offers you 17 options to choose from.

And if you’ve never been to a drive-in movie, here’s your chance: 112 Drive-In Inc plans to be showing movies on Friday and Saturday nights each weekend this fall. 

Citizens Bank Park Spartan Stadion 5K (Oct. 30)

Spartan Races in October

The Gist

Race in one of the country's most iconic stadiums with a 5K Stadion race at the home of the Philadelphia Phillies. 

Venue: Phillies’ Home Base

Spartans will face 20 obstacles situated throughout a major league baseball park in historic Philadelphia.

Related: This Is Your Chance to Race in the Most Iconic Stadiums and Ballparks in the World


Expect a race-day temperature between a low of 47º and a high of 60º.

Bonus: Rock Out

If you’re a Spartan visiting Philadelphia, you might first think of making the classic Rocky pilgrimage to the Philadelphia Museum of Art to run the steps. If you do, don't stop at the door. Inside you’ll find impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces by the likes of Monet, Renoir, and Cézanne.

But back to the Rocky thing. Closer to the ballpark — about two miles — is the shooting location where Rocky runs through the Italian Market, near the intersection of S. 9th Street and Washington Avenue. Don't miss it.

The 2021 Spartan Ultra World Championship is right around the corner! Now is the perfect time to experience the Everyday Spartans series from Rakuten Sports. Follow 7 ordinary people on 1 extraordinary journey to become champions. Watch Episode 1 here.

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