Introducing Spartan Games, a Grueling Competition Featuring 24 Superhuman Athletes

During a five-day period between Oct. 9-13, Spartan brought 24 athletes, male and female, to Vermont for a first-of-its-kind competition consisting of grueling mental and physical feats. Spartan Games, presented by Harley-Davidson, was held at Riverside Farm in Pittsfield, Vermont, the birthplace of Spartan.

With $100,000 in prize money at stake, elite athletes across multiple disciplines — including OCR, ultra running, swimming, mountain biking, functional fitness, and other strength and endurance-based events — were put to the test. The male and female winners take home $20,000 apiece, and the second-place ($12,000), third-place ($6,000), fourth-place ($4,000), and fifth-place ($3,000) finishers (both men and women) are also in the money. Additionally, in the team portion of the Games, the winning team shares $10,000.

Spartan Games Athlete Breakdown: The 12 Women | The 12 Men

The 12 star-studded female participants include CrossFit World Champion Sam Briggs; Spartan World Champion Lindsay Webster; Million Dollar Mile defender Emma Chapman; 2:24:28 marathon finisher Kellyn Taylor; top 10 CrossFit athlete Kristi O'Connell; CrossFit and DEKA competitor Lauren Weeks; Spartan World Champion Nicole Mericle; adventure racer and professional acrobat Chelsey Magness; elite ultra racer Samantha Wood; triathlete Faith Cooke; Spartan pro and triathlete Corinna Coffin; and Spartan Ultra World Champion Rea Kolbl.

On the men's side, the 12 world-class athletes include XTERRA World Champion Josiah Middaugh; Spartan World Champion Ryan Atkins; Million Dollar Mile defender Max Fennell; 2008 Olympian Jarrod Shoemaker; elite Spartan pro Aaron Newell; American Ninja Warrior's Grant McCartney; former NFL linebacker Curt Maggitt; SERE specialist Matt Stevens; elite Spartan athlete Hunter McIntyre; ultra-marathoner Mike Wardian; elite Spartan pro Ryan Kent; and CrossFit athlete Herman Demmink.

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'The Ultimate Contest'

"Spartan and other athletes have been sidelined for too long now as a result of the pandemic,” said Spartan founder and CEO Joe De Sena. "Athletes have been craving live competition and our community wants to see action, so we’ve created the ultimate contest, designed to bring these athletes to their breaking points, which we will document every step of the way for the series.”

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The series that De Sena speaks of, chronicling the five-day competition, will stream on Spartan's YouTube channel this winter. Prior to that, during the Games themselves, Spartan's Instagram account featured highlights and behind-the-scenes action.

OCR, Trail, Biking, Swimming, Functional Fitness, and More

All 24 athletes on hand were restricted to Riverside Farm, where they ate, slept, and competed together. The four-episode series will provide viewers with an all-access, unfiltered look into a fitness test unlike anything the world has ever seen. Athletes had to conquer 11 grueling strength and endurance disciplines, including OCR challenges, long-distance trail runs, mountain bikes, swims, DEKA functional fitness challenges, and more. The athletes’ every move will be tracked, capturing remarkable performances and fierce rivalries.

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All Spartan Games athletes and staff were tested for COVID-19 before entering Riverside Farm, and remained on the property for the duration of their stay to ensure a safe environment.  

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