One of the coolest parts of running a Spartan race is taking in the scenery: the breathtaking mountain views, the sloping hills, the rolling terrain. Our venues from coast to coast — and hemisphere to hemisphere — feature magnificent sights, and each one of them is unique in its own distinctive way.
And then there's the Spartan Stadion, which is an experience unlike any other on the schedule. Held in some of the most iconic stadiums and ballparks in the world, this modern-day reprisal of the ancient Stadion is a 5K, 20-obstacle test of speed, strength, and willpower. And the coolest part? You're racing where some of the most athletic and well-known athletes in the world play night in and night out, on the same grounds as Hall of Famers, true legends and icons, and perennial All-Stars. You're racing at venues that you see daily on television, that you would never think you'd have the opportunity to see up close, let alone compete in.
The Spartan Stadion is a true bucket list experience, and in 2021 there are eight epic races to choose from. Find yours below.
AT&T Stadium - Arlington, TX (June 19)
Location: Arlington, Texas
It Opened in: 2009
Home of the: Dallas Cowboys (NFL), Cotton Bowl Classic (NCAA)
Why It's Special: Home of America's Team, and also known as "Jerry's World" — in reference to the Cowboys' outspoken owner, Jerry Jones — AT&T Stadium is massive. Its seating capacity is 80,000 — the fourth-largest seating capacity in the NFL — but when factoring in the standing-room seats, the capacity balloons to 105,000. In 2009, 105,121 fans packed the stadium to watch the Cowboys take on the rival Giants, setting an NFL record. The site of many nationally-televised games throughout the year, due to the Cowboys' prominence and popularity, feelings of excitement and importance overcome you the moment you set foot on the field.
State Farm Stadium - Glendale, AZ (June 26)
Location: Glendale, Arizona
It Opened in: 2006
Home of the: Arizona Cardinals (NFL), Fiesta Bowl (NCAA)
Why It's Special: The fact that the Cardinals play there, and that it hosts the Fiesta Bowl annually, is just the tip of the iceberg. State Farm Stadium routinely hosts the biggest events in the world, and it's become a go-to venue for championships across multiple sports. Since 2007, State Farm Stadium has hosted three college football national championships, a Super Bowl, and a Final Four. (Another Super Bowl and Final Four are scheduled to be held there in 2023 and 2024, respectively.) When you run a Spartan Stadion at State Farm Stadium, you're literally competing in the exact spot that some of the best athletes in the world have played for championships, in front of millions and millions of fans.
Notre Dame Stadium - Notre Dame, IN
Editor's Note: This event has been postponed to July 9, 2022.
Location: Notre Dame, Indiana
It Opened in: 1930
Home of the: Notre Dame Fighting Irish (NCAA)
Why It's Special: Arguably the most iconic college football stadium of all time, Notre Dame Stadium has been a game-day institution for 90 years. Though it's been renovated since 1930, when it was first built, it still has a charming, truly old-school feel that newer stadiums simply can't replicate. You're instantly taken by the sheer beauty of the World of Life mural — aka Touchdown Jesus — the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, and the Golden Dome, all of which are visible from inside the stadium. Competing inside the most hallowed college football grounds on Earth is a bucket-list experience if there ever was one. You'll feel like Rudy as you're running from obstacle to obstacle. In fact, before your race, you are required to watch this to get in the proper headspace. It's a must.
Angel Stadium of Anaheim - Anaheim, CA (July 24)
Location: Anaheim, California
It Opened in: 1966
Home of the: Los Angeles Angels (MLB)
Why It's Special: Angel Stadium of Anaheim is the fourth-oldest ballpark in the major leagues, behind only Fenway Park in Boston — more on that later — Wrigley Field in Chicago, and Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. A halo famously sits atop the 230-foot Big A Sign, which is located in the parking lot. But perhaps the coolest feature of this park is the California Spectacular, a breathtaking rock pile located in left-center field, complete with erupting geysers and a stream. The Angels have played here since 1966, and the NFL's Los Angeles Rams called the park home from 1980-1994, during their first stint in LA.
In addition to hosting world-class sporting events, Angel Stadium was also home to many "Crusades" by notable evangelists Billy Graham and Greg Laurie.
Nationals Park - Washington, D.C. (Sept. 11)
Location: Washington, D.C.
It Opened in: 2008
Home of the: Washington Nationals (MLB)
Why It's Special: One of the newer parks in the major leagues, Nationals Park is stunning, and it also gets bonus points for being LEED-certified. (It's the first major pro sports stadium in the United States to be recognized as such.) Running a race at this park just feels important. After all, the Washington Monument and United States Capitol are visible from the upper deck, adding an element of history and patriotism to the experience.
Over the last three years, Nationals Park has been front and center in the sports world. It hosted the MLB All-Star Game in 2018, and it absolutely rocked in 2019, when the World Series was played in D.C. for the first time since 1933.
Citizens Bank Park - Philadelphia, PA (Oct. 30)
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
It Opened in: 2004
Home of the: Philadelphia Phillies (MLB)
Why It's Special: There's an incredible energy at the South Philadelphia Sports Complex, where Citizens Bank Park sits. A sports fan's haven, the park is just steps away from Lincoln Financial Field (home of the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles), the Wells Fargo Center (home of the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers and NHL's Philadelphia Flyers), and Xfinity! Live, a stadium-like restaurant, sports bar, and concert venue. A 52-foot Liberty Bell replica sits above right-center field, and a spectacular view of the Philadelphia skyline sparkles in the distance beyond it.
The Phils won the 2009 World Series in front of 45,940 screaming fans at CBP in 2009, and in 2012 an ice rink was built on the field for the NHL Winter Classic, an outdoor contest between the Flyers and New York Rangers.
Fenway Park - Boston, MA (Nov. 13)
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
It Opened in: 1912
Home of the: Boston Red Sox (MLB), Fenway Bowl (NCAA)
Why It's Special: Perhaps the most iconic ballpark of all time — the only other one that can rival it, in terms of history and reverence, is Wrigley — Fenway Park opened 109 years ago. Though it's been renovated since, it still feels like a throwback to another era, when fans wore suits, ties, and hats to ballgames and hot dogs cost a nickel. You're transported back to the days of Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, and other icons who established themselves as national treasures and truly legendary figures on these very grounds. Fenway Park is Americana.
How culturally significant is this ballpark? In 2012, it was added to the United States National Register of Historic Places. Fenway also holds a special place in Spartan history, as well. The first-ever Stadion race was held at Fenway back in 2012, and to this day it's one of the most hyped and anticipated races on the schedule.
Oracle Park - San Francisco, CA (Dec. 4)
Location: San Francisco, California
It Opened in: 2000
Home of the: San Francisco Giants (MLB)
Why It's Special: Ever since it opened more than two decades ago, Oracle Park has been widely regarded as one of the crown jewels of major league stadiums. Palm trees, and the Willie Mays Statue, greet you at the entrance. Behind the left-field bleachers, the 80-foot-long Coca-Cola bottle is legendary, as is the mammoth old-fashioned baseball glove. Kayakers can often be found paddling in McCovey Cove, a gorgeous section of the San Francisco Bay that sits beyond right field.
There have been many memorable moments at Oracle Park over the past 21 years, perhaps none more so than the evening of Aug. 7, 2006, when Barry Bonds launched his record-breaking 756th home run, passing Hank Aaron on the all-time list. That highlight will be replayed over and over forever.