Summer is the quintessential season for getting out in the sun, spending time with family and friends, and taking advantage of every sunny day. What's the best way to do this? By planning adventurous activities and embarking on bucket-list road trips. (Plus, it's the most acceptable time of year to be excessively sweaty in public.)
Being back in the office and connecting with coworkers, and sending the kids back to school to make face-to-face friends, is great. But getting outdoors, soaking up the sun, tackling something challenging, and getting dirty and gritty in some of the country's most picturesque, serine, and badass locations is the PERFECT way to team build, strengthen connections, and maximize your summer.
The 2022 Spartan summer race schedule is absolutely packed with adventure-filled, epic weekends of all distances — from 5K to 50K — from coast to coast. If you're sick of staring out your living room window all summer and want to get out of your comfort zone and try something new, use this checklist to hit every location on your Spartan summer bucket list. How many can you complete by the time fall rolls around?
The Complete List of 2022 Summer Spartan Races (and Why They're Epic)
Monterey Spartan Event Weekend (June 4-5)
This 2022 Honor Series weekend, located just six miles outside of downtown Salinas, Calif., is a Spartan favorite for a reason: Toro Park's vast terrain portfolio — including punishing hills, fast and flat fields and prairies, and thick, wooded expanses — offers something scenic for everyone. Whether you're racing a Sprint 5K, a Super 10K, bringing tiny Spartans for a Kids race, or traipsing over the 10K, half-marathon, and 50K Trail courses, 5,000 sprawling acres will take you atop dusty peaks to take in awe-inspiring views of Northern California. And if you're lucky, you might even spot some local wildlife, including deer, coyotes, mountain lions, and golden eagles.
Once you cross the finish line, the rest of Toro Park is essentially an outdoor adventurist's dream, with mountain biking and equestrian trails, over 20 miles of hiking land, sports fields, and more.
Tri-State New York Spartan Event Weekend (June 11-12)
A true bucket-list item for music and history enthusiasts alike, our Upstate New York races are held at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, which gained international fame when 500,000 travelers met up for the Woodstock music festival (billed as the “Aquarian Explosion”) in 1969.
Instead of three days of peace and music, racers are in for two days of self-imposed pain, obstacles, and insanely good times. (The peace and music come after you cross the finish line.) With Sprint 5Ks and Kids races that feature modest rolling hills, sweeping meadows, and gorgeous, lush forestry, this venue is a perfect trip for first-timers and Spartan families (yet still a favorite for seasoned racers).
And for a deep dive into Woodstock history, be sure to plan a visit to the Bethel Woods Center Museum.
Colorado Springs Spartan Event Weekend (June 11-12)
Yet another Honor Series race is coming to Fort Carson Army Base this June, with Sprints, Supers, and Kids races all weekend long. This course has little in the way of elevation gain, but technical trails at over 6,000 feet of altitude make it deceivingly challenging. It'll be flat, dusty, and under sunny, open skies, so come prepared to be tested on the same terrain that continues to test this country’s finest servicemen and servicewomen (and don't forget your sunscreen).
With this being the first summer Stadion of the 2022 race season, we're doing it big. As such, it's only fitting that this weekend's Sprint and Kids races take place at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas — where everything's bigger. Home to the Dallas Cowboys, Jerry World is another bucket-list location on the schedule, with room for over 105,121 fans and a 60-yard jumbotron that previously held the Guinness World Record for world's largest HDTV screen. (Live race footage is even broadcast onto the screen, so get ready for your moment in the spotlight!)
Racers will tackle over three miles of concourses, obstacles, and stairs in the climate-controlled stadium — a perfect way to escape the summer Dallas heat — while the state-of-the-art sound system keeps morale and motivation at an all-time high.
Ohio Spartan Trifecta Event Weekend (June 18-19)
This summer is stacked with opportunities to add Trifecta-qualifying races to your resumé, but if you'd prefer to earn the title all in one weekend, the Midwest is calling your name. This inaugural event in Bloomingdale, Ohio gives racers the chance to complete a Sprint, Super, Beast 21K (or all three), and a Kids race at Renegade Ridge ATV Park for the first time ever.
Spartans will be tested with winding trails, undulating topography (but little to no elevation gain), and an insane amount of mud at these Buckeye State races. Bring a change of clothes (you're going to need it) for exploring the area after the race, where you'll find rivers, mountains, cities, and — yes — even beaches.
Notre Dame Spartan Event Weekend (July 9)
Notre Dame Stadium is arguably the most iconic college football stadium of all time, and this year, Spartans will descend upon the legendary field for the first time in OCR history.
The World of Life mural, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, and the Golden Dome are all visible from inside the stadium, and their beauty and significance as Notre Dame landmarks will leave you in awe as you climb nearly four miles of concrete stairs and demolish obstacles in the end zone. Perhaps the greatest perk of all, the course grants you an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at the stadium's every twist and turn.
Palmerton Spartan Event Weekend (July 9-10)
Just a quick trip for Tri-State New Yorkers looking for some solace in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains, the Palmerton Sprint and Super weekend is ranked our fourth-most difficult course on the calendar. Not only is this one of our longest tenured venues, but the climbs up Blue Mountain's double black diamond ski runs – featuring the iconic Double Sandbag Carry — are known for terrorizing even the Elites (in the best way possible).
If you've already checked a few obstacle course races off this list, take it to the next level with a 12-hour Hurricane Heat. And if you want to eliminate the obstacles and focus more on the unforgettable views, the 10K Trail race through deep woods and treacherous, technical climbs and descents is calling your name.
And don't forget to invite your friends and family to cheer you on! Palmerton is the perfect spectator venue, offering chair lift rides for anyone interested in jaw-dropping views of the course and surrounding area.
Utah Spartan Trifecta Event Weekend (July 9-10)
This Huntsville, Utah Trifecta weekend offers perhaps the most diverse agenda, with Sprints, Supers, Beasts, Kids races, the first Ultra 50K of the summer, and Age Group-focused U.S. National Series and Elite Series Beast races. But as welcoming as the event availability is, the course itself is no walk in the park.
The sixth-most challenging of our U.S. courses, Snowbasin was home to the 2002 Winter Olympics. And if it’s a challenge fit for Olympians, it’s certainly fit for Spartans. You'll face a 3,000-foot vertical to the summit while overcoming intense altitude, technical terrain, and leg-burning hills, but the view at the top makes it more than worth it (even in heat that can reach up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit). And if you don't get enough of the view during the race, hop on a gondola for some extra sightseeing.
Michigan Spartan Event Weekend (July 16-17)
Yet another new addition to the Midwest race roster, these Oxford, Mich. races are a beginner's dream. With mixed terrain throughout, you'll get incredible varying views whether you're racing a Sprint, Super, or a four-hour Hurricane Heat. (There are even races for the kids.)
This venue will keep you guessing with hidden challenges, but low altitude, zero elevation gain, hard-packed dirt trails, and relatively mild weather will allow racers to escape into an oasis of cascading fields and open skies faster than ever before.
The fourth-oldest major league ballpark in America (the only three that are older are Boston's Fenway Park, Chicago's Wrigley Field, and Los Angeles' Dodger Stadium), Angel Stadium of Anaheim will host thousands of Spartans for 5K, 20-obstacle Stadion and Kids races this July. Baseball aficionados will revel in racing at the home of Game 7 of the 2002 World Series, when the Angels defeated the Giants for their only World Series title.
And once you've earned your hardware, take a short 40-minute drive to Laguna Beach to bask in the summer sun, wash off all of that clay and sand from the field into the ocean, and grab a bite to eat by the shore.
Asheville Spartan Event Weekend (July 30-31)
Often humid and always wet — which contributes to its ninth-hardest-race rating — this North Carolina course is full of surprises, and will definitely keep you on your toes. The staggering Blue Ridge Mountains tower around Asheville, NC, where Spartans will battle it out over Sprints (with U.S National Series races), Supers, a 12-hour Hurricane Heat, and Kids races.
The area is teeming with well-trodden horse trails that make much of the course low on the technicality scale. But you'll still find yourself plunging through river runs, scrambling up red clay-laden mountainsides, and doing some backwoods bushwhacking. While we can't guarantee simplicity on this course, we can certainly guarantee a damn good time, and an unbeatable high at the finish line.
Seattle Spartan Trifecta Event Weekend (Aug. 13-14)
It may be summer, but just on the outskirts of Seattle, Snohomish, Wash. still offers the same cold and wet conditions. Fog will likely fall on early-morning racers as they prepare to tackle Trifecta-qualifying races (or an entire Trifecta) on over 300 acres of lush, abundant greenery and damp, rolling, wooded trails.
With just under 1,000 feet of elevation gain — totally doable for a beginner — the weekend's rugged Sprint, Super, and Beast courses offer insane views of the Puget Sound and the treacherous, snow-capped Cascade Mountains. After your race, be sure to spend some time in Historic Downtown Snohomish — one of Budget Travel's 2020 "Top 10 Coolest Small Towns in America."
New England Spartan Event Weekend (Aug. 13-14)
Back on the East Coast, the New Hampshire Motor Speedway (home to the longest-running motorcycle race in North America, the Loudon Classic, and NASCAR racing) will — fittingly — produce one of our fastest Sprint and Super courses on the schedule.
Rolling hills, steady streams, and flat fields will greet you (and Spartan Kids, too) on race day, and the only thing standing between you and the finish is three to seven miles and some signature obstacles. This is an awesome venue to challenge your friends to a race, or put your money where your mouth is and bet on it, speedway-style.
Hawaii Spartan Trifecta Event Weekend (Aug. 20-21)
The Hawaii Trifecta Shield Weekend has, and continues to be, a top fan favorite, in addition to being one of our most bucket list-worthy locations. With an authentic Hawaiian luau on Friday night featuring local cuisine and music, you'll have unlimited opportunities to connect with fellow Spartans and make lifetime memories with friends and family.
The weekend's races — Sprints, Supers, Beasts, Ultras, and even Kids races — unfold on Hollywood’s “Hawaii Backlot,” named for having been the site of over 60 Hollywood films, television shows, concerts, and music videos since 1955, including Jurassic Park (1993), 50 First Dates (2004), and Jumanji (2017). With views of sparkling seas and white-sand beaches, you'll traverse miles of rolling, wooded, and humid trails beneath towering palm trees.
This is one location you'll want to take an entire weekend (or more) to explore, with one of the world’s most famous beaches, Waikiki Beach — once occupied by Hawaiian royalty — just blocks away. And onolulu, just a 20-minute drive to the venue, has so much to offer: rich history, the city’s most popular state park, zoos, snorkeling, and demanding hikes with panoramic views.
West Virginia Spartan Trifecta Event Weekend (Aug. 26-27)
This weekend — featuring Sprints, Supers, Beasts, and Kids races — is designed to test your grit. With seemingly infinite miles of rolling West Virginia hills and steep inclines, the technical terrain — and deep swims — of Summit Bechtel Reserve will build physical and mental strength and provide you with a high that is only fit for the oldest mountain range in the world, the Appalachian Mountains.
Every race distance also offers the unique chance to race in a dedicated heat with the U.S. Marine Corps, if you're looking for an added challenge and some extra on-course morale and camaraderie. Whichever distance you choose, don't forget to look down while crossing the extensive suspension bridge, where you'll witness some of the most epic white-water rafting waves in the state.
After the race, don't miss out on the chance to test your adventurous side even further. You can choose from kayaking and rafting, rugged ATV river rides, 50+ mile “bikepacking” trips, shooting sports, and history-infused hiking.
Vermont Spartan Event Weekend (Sept. 10-11)
Killington — the most difficult U.S. course on the schedule — is a BEAST. Course Manager Steve Hammond once described this Vermont course by saying, “You won’t know until you go,” which hints at the never-before-seen obstacles you’ll face throughout your off-trail descents, enormous Green Mountain climbs, shockingly-cold plunges, and a finish line that resembles a scene from a battle.
Nestled in the birthplace of Spartan, this weekend's festivities are extensive, with everything from Sprints to Ultras to Hurricane Heats. These courses will push you (and your calves and quads) to your absolute breaking point, but if you can persevere to the finish, you'll have the holy grail of Spartan races underneath your belt.
Portland Spartan Event Weekend (Sept. 17)
Just a few weeks after hosting the 2022 U.S. Motocross National Championships, Washougal Motocross in Washington state will become home to Sprints, Kids races, and four-hour Hurricane Heats. Within spitting distance of both Portland, Ore. and Vancouver, Wash., the world-class track provides the perfect mix of dirt (or mud, if it rains), tunnels, ponds, and rolling hills contrasted by a couple of steep and technical climbs and descents.
When you're not climbing, you'll have plenty of opportunities to pick up speed and make up time on fast, flat trails that wind through deep forest, offering absolutely staggering views. This is a great day-trip venue for West Coast beginners and returning Spartans alike (or an awesome morning activity for travelers already on vacation).
What better way to close out your summer than to spend a few hours in perhaps the most all-American setting on Earth: a ballpark? Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, the home of MLB's Philadelphia Phillies, has strong historical roots by its very presence in the nation's first capital.
As racers conquer the three-plus miles of stairs, sandy field, and obstacles, the Philly skyline towers in the background. Don't miss out on the chance to ring in fall beneath the 52-foot Liberty Bell replica standing tall above right-center field (or the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to high-five the Phillie Phanatic).