Sprinting over mountains, hurdling over obstacles, dashing through the mud and water, darting under barbed wire requires a lot of willpower.
Unbeknownst to most, there are four freshman boys in our school that possess these qualities to partake in this highly challenging Spartan Race: Rassa Wood, Kayhon Wood, Aidan Rickert, and Kai Liebowitz. In fact, these boys have each received an award referred to as the “Trifecta” for competing in three races: a three-mile, an eight-mile, and a 13-mile.
Throughout the course of the Spartan Races, there are lots of different levels of ground, which are used to tire out the runners.
“They’ll throw hills in there to kind of tire you out and then they’ll do an obstacle and then throw in another longer hill to try to wear you out, so you’re tired and you feel like you can’t do it, but you have to,” described Liebowitz.
“There were lots of climbing obstacles and grip strength obstacles. If you couldn’t do the obstacle, then you had to drop down and do 30 burpees to make up for not being able to do it,” said Kayhon Wood.
The Spartan Race is an intense obstacle course designed to test one’s stamina and persistence. Founded in the United States by Joe De Sena, Spartan Races currently exist all over the world in 30 different countries. These extreme races often vary in length and consist of many different types of obstacles, such as the rope climb, monkey bars, rings, bucket and sandbag carries, spear throwing, and even running through mud and water.
None of these boys are expert runners or have they been in cross country or track, but that does not hinder them from competing. They have been training for the Spartan Races since the beginning of 2019 and Liebowitz has even gone on a strict diet to help prepare his body for the race.
“I tried to cut out all refined sugars in general, so I basically cut out all junk food,” said Liebowitz.
The boys all competed in the San Jose Spartan Sprint last March, the Monterey Spartan Super on June 1, and most recently the Central Californian Spartan Beast on Dec. 14. The last race was 13.1 miles long, a half marathon full of obstacles. The boys finished together in five hours, 39 minutes and 38 seconds.
“Never think about the race as a whole, always think about it mile by mile, so that it’s easier to get through it. Also, it’ll be worth it in the end, so you just need to keep on going,” said Rickert.
Evidently, it is not easy to complete a Spartan Race, as it takes a lot of time and perseverance, but these boys enjoy the challenge and plan on competing in more races in the future, perhaps even in different states or countries.
“I think it’d be awesome if we could compete somewhere like Greece or Hawaii,” said Liebowitz.
Although the race requires a lot of strength and stamina, there were aspects of the race the boys enjoyed a lot.
“The barbed wire obstacle was pretty fun. The mud pit was also a lot of fun to go through,” said Rassa Wood.
“If you’re trying to compete in a spartan race, just make sure that a month before the race, you eat healthy and run outside once or twice a week,” advised Liebowitz.