Completing a Trifecta is one of the most epic feats for a Spartan. It takes major training, commitment — pick those dates for 2021 now! — and mental grit. Those who have done it join an exalted community: the Trifecta Tribe. That means you've completed a Sprint (or Stadion), Super, and Beast (or Ultra) in a calendar year.
Whether you complete one or 10, and whether you’re a pro or a regular Joe, you learn what it takes to physically push yourself to the limit, past your traditional breaking point. We talked to a select number of coaches and Spartans who have completed all three races (and earned all three wedges) about what got them past all three — and in some cases, many more — finish lines.
How Did You Motivate Yourself to Train for a Trifecta?
"I motivated myself with knowing that I wanted to challenge myself in a way that I have never been challenged. I knew that I was facing a tough road ahead. I was never super athletic in my life, and I wanted to change. I wanted to do something that I never thought was possible. My first race was in February 2019. I have earned two Trifectas since then." - Andrew Saenz, 41, Gilbert, Arizona
"I had health issues for years and felt like a prisoner in my own body. Becoming a single mom, I was determined to get healthy for my kids. I overcame my health issues by changing my lifestyle in general. I focused on a healthier diet and slowly incorporated moving more every day with walks. I ended up losing 60 pounds in the process. Working out and training for me is a celebration of what my body can do again. Feeling my strength return after years of being in pain, weak, and fatigued is all the motivation I’ll ever need." - Laura Keating, 38, Aloha, Oregon
"Cancer. Cancer motivated me to train. So I could go challenge myself and make the most out of this second lease on life." - Desiree Rincon, 39, Orlando, Florida
"First step is signing up. Once you’re signed up and you tell people you’re doing this, you have to do it. My motivation also comes from the person I race with. Having a fiancé as into this as I am has pushed me further than I thought I could go. Training can feel like a chore. But when you do it with friends or people you love, it makes it so much better." - Christine Viola, 28, Staten Island, New York
"At the end of each season or year I reflect on what worked and didn't work for everything — training, diet, and gear. I set my big goals and fill in the gaps with races I can use as training leading up to the big event. With this plan in place, I use it to motivate myself to train for the upcoming races, adjusting along the way. The emotions you experience after completing your first Trifecta floods you with happiness and a new hunger to push your limits more." - Mike Vaillancourt, 44, Wayland, Massachusetts
"The Spartan community is a tremendous motivation to finish. Whether you see someone competing against their peers, or themselves, it's a tremendous inspiration to do well yourself and get that medal." - Seth Buchwalter, 34, Portland, Oregon
"I run Spartan races with a group of coworkers, and our motivation is to just simply improve on our time, as a team together, each race. We train together, we race together. We all understand our strengths and our weaknesses, therefore we know when to push each other and motivate each other." - Chris Redmond, 36, Mount Airy, North Carolina
"I motivate myself to train because I feel grateful to have a healthy body, and after facing long-term injury and having pins holding the ligaments in my ankle together for the past nine years, every training and race feels like a privilege." - Natasha Chung, 30, United Kingdom
"The year I completed my first Trifecta, my mother was diagnosed with stomach cancer. At that moment, I knew what I had to do. I told her that I would be by her side every step of the way. My mother loved to see me compete in races, and she saw how much of a passion I had for it. That's why I decided I wanted to get my first Trifecta and give it to her. I was prepared to go through any hell to get it done." - John Bonita, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
"I motivated myself to train by wanting to set an example for my kids. Even when things are hard, don't ever give up. No one thought I would be able to complete this. So that, in itself, was motivation. I was determined to finish, even if I had to crawl across that finish line. I made sure to always be stronger than my excuses. I was always going to have an excuse, but my reason to reach my goal was bigger." - Liz Dellogono, 35, Jaffrey, New Hampshire
Which Part of Your Training Routine Was Most Effective?
"What was effective for me was running. After I got the gist of how to run better, I moved onto my legs. Strengthening my legs was valuable, as Spartan races will always have hills and mountains. Get the quads built up! After that I focused on my ankles. Terrain can roll an ankle after a few feet from the starting line if you are not careful. After that, I just focused on upper-body strength training in order to tackle the obstacles with more efficiency." - Andrew Saenz, 41, Gilbert, Arizona
"Hill training and pull-ups! Although however many you do, it's never enough for a race situation." - Ray Perez, 38, Rutherford, New Jersey
"Knowing that a Beast was going to take a while, I wanted to make sure my body could handle the miles, and I could keep my mind focused on one step at a time. I mixed in a half-day hike with some elevation, on top of CrossFit. If you’re doing mountains, get used to box jumps and lunges." - Carlos Diaz, 38, Westerly, Rhode Island
"The single largest factor in improving my times in Spartan races has been incorporating a sandbag into my training regimen. I apply 80 to 100 pounds in my sandbag, then do walking lunges, walks, and jogs around the neighborhood. Using more weight than what is used in the event makes any lifting obstacle that much easier on race day." - Chris Redmond, 36, Mount Airy, North Carolina
"I had physically prepared over the last 4 months with strength and conditioning and a lot of long runs. I had prepared myself mentally by planning my pre-race routine and fueling. But all of that changed when a typhoon swept through the area of the Philippines where the races were taking place. The Spartan team decided they had to host all three races in one day. This really tested my mental fortitude. Overnight I needed to come to grips with the fact that I will be running approximately 50 km in one day. I think this is where the Spartan community excels. Without the support of my fellow competitors and the group of us that traveled together I may not have finished the day with a Trifecta. At times it got real dark in my head and I wanted to quit but then I looked at the amazing terrain I was running in. I was also propelled on by the amazing racers that encouraged me along the course, those thoughts of quitting quickly disappeared." - Jeremy Robinson, 43, United Arab Emirates
"One of the things that I train is my mind, because your mind is what's gonna get you to the finish line. One thing that I always think about on the course is your WHY. What is the reason you're doing this? Every time I'm on the course and I'm in the pain cave, I think of my mother who passed away. I think of how much of a true warrior she was, and how hard she fought and never gave up once. I tell myself if she can do that, so can you, and that's what pushes me." - John Bonita, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
"I made sure to ask for advice from people who had raced these venues before, so I knew I would be prepared. I was very vigilant about my hydration and eating habits. I didn't bring anything unnecessary, and remembered to pace myself and be safe." - Liz Dellogono, 35, Jaffrey, New Hampshire
During the Races, Did You Do Anything Special to Propel Yourself to the Finish Line?
"The Spartan community is what kept me going. Everyone on the course is so motivating and encouraging. You’re having trouble with something? Here comes a random Spartan to help you get over that wall. A lot of times I didn’t even need to ask for help. Someone was just offering it." - Christine Viola, 28, Staten Island, New York
"My refusal to give up. HOW DARE YOU is what I often think when things get tough during my races, and when I'm training. Me being able to do these types of things again after what I went through is a gift, and I look at it as me showing my gratefulness. It’s like a second chance. I also still have many friends I made along the way who have chronic health issues. They help motivate me to keep going at all costs. I do it for all of them, for the old me — stuck in my recliner, in pain all day — and always for my children." - Laura Keating, 38, Aloha, Oregon
"I love the atmosphere where you have people of all abilities and ages out there doing the same thing. The Beast in Winnsboro, South Carolina was pretty brutal, but the Asheville Super was something else. I felt so accomplished coming across the finish line. One other thing I LOVED was watching the crew from More Heart Than Scars take a lady through the obstacles in Asheville. I love the things they do for those who are disabled. They inspire me 100 percent." - Michael Kimmer, 39, Yadkinville, North Carolina
"It's really a challenge and a test of who you are! It's overcoming not only obstacles, but miles along the way. When you finish each race, it has you wanting to finish the next one. The Tribe is a family that's all been through the same struggles and know and understand your fight to get there." - Ray Perez, 38, Rutherford, NJ
"Having all the other athletes encourage and keep motivating all throughout the course was so inspiring and captivating. It was by far the hardest thing I had ever physically attempted and completed. I have completed a Trifecta every year since, and joined the Street Team ranks four years ago. I love the lifestyle of being a Spartan athlete and helping others, educating them, and helping them to realize their potential. All it takes is getting off the couch, moving, and just watching what can be accomplished." - Jason Lee Eldridge
Why Are You Proud to Be a Trifecta Tribe Member?
"After my first race, Spartan changed my whole life. I am a completely different person than I was before. I am proud because I accomplished my goal. I conquered the three Spartan races to earn a significant badge in my life. I am proud of myself, more importantly. And when you are proud of yourself, there are no obstacles that can't be overcome." - Andrew Saenz, 41, Gilbert, Arizona
"I’m proud to be a Trifecta Tribe member because after facing my ankle injuries, I never expected that I could finish a race. I’m so proud of my Spartan journey and feel lucky that I get the chance to try to help people believe that they are stronger than they think they are, and can always work towards getting that Trifecta if they put their mind to it." - Natasha Chung, 30, United Kingdom
"The community is absolutely amazing, strong, and fun. Being part of the Trifecta Tribe is like a family you'll have to argue with at Thanksgiving!" - Seth Buchwalter, 34 Portland, Oregon
"Being a member of the Trifecta Tribe, to me, is such an amazing feeling and an amazing accomplishment in my life. You share this bond with so many others all over the world, and when you think about it, you have done something not a lot of people could do. AROO AROO AROO!" - John Bonita, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania