Spartan Elite Qualification Process for 2020 Season

Click here for Spartan 2020 Season Pass. Open, Age Group, Elite.

When Spartan “released” the 2020 Season Pass details, one Pass was notably missing from the lineup. The Elite Season Pass came with the caveat that competitors would need to qualify to run in the Elite Wave in 2020. The details around that qualification process have been released.

TL;DR (too long, didn’t read AKA Cliff’s Notes):

  • Elite Waves are gated for races after January 1, 2020
  • Each application requires a one-time payment of a USD $30 fee
  • Application will be opened on or before 10/31/19
    • One or more top 3 finishes at Spartan events in the Elite and/or Age Group category within the previous 24 months
    • One or more top 10 finishes within the Elite category at any regular season Spartan event within the previous 12 months
    • One or more top 5 finishes within any Age Group category at any regular season Spartan event within the previous 12 months
    • US$2000 or more of lifetime prize money earned to date in the Spartan Elite category. (International Prize money will be converted from local currency to USD based on current exchange rates)

Here is the official information is from the Spartan Zendesk site:

NEW for 2020: Elite Category Qualification Requirement

In the interests of continuing the growth of Spartan OCR as a truly competitive global sport, a competitor may no longer register for any Elite category heat (or purchase an Elite Season Pass) without first meeting qualifying criteria listed below. This rule applies to all Elite category heats globally starting on January 1st, 2020. 

Any Elite competitor already registered for an event on or after Wednesday, January 1st 2020 must complete the qualification process or will be moved to the Age Group category. Competitors who are automatically moved may apply for qualification at a later date.

​Elite Category Qualification Application Process

Any prospective Elite category competitor, whether a prior Spartan participant or not, may submit an application for Elite category qualification via (submission details coming soon).

Each application requires a one-time payment of a US$30 fee, payable to Spartan HQ upon application submission. This fee covers program administration and processing and is non-refundable in the event of application rejection.

Successful applicants will be emailed a unique Elite Qualifying Code (EQC) which will be good for the remainder of the 2020 season. This code must be input each time the competitor registers for an Elite category heat, or chooses to purchase an Elite Season Pass.

Application will be opened on or before 10/31/19.
Initial applications will be reviewed within 30 days.
Starting on January 1st 2020 all applications will be reviewed within 72 hours.

Denied applicants will have 7 days to dispute their decision without having to repay the application fee. Any disputes after 7 days will require a new application and application fee.

​Elite Category Qualification Criteria

To earn an Elite Qualification Code (EQC), a competitor must be 14 years of age or older as of Wednesday, January 1st, 2020 and meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • One or more top 3 finishes at Spartan events in the Elite and/or Age Group category within the previous 24 months
  • One or more top 10 finishes within the Elite category at any regular season Spartan event within the previous 12 months
  • One or more top 5 finishes within any Age Group category at any regular season Spartan event within the previous 12 months
  • US$2000 or more of lifetime prize money earned to date in the Spartan Elite category. (International Prize money will be converted from local currency to USD based on current exchange rates)

Elite Category Automatic Qualification

On December 1st, 2019, the top 30 male and female athletes from certain 2019 championship series and events will be automatically sent Elite Qualifying Codes (EQC) via email, which will be good for use throughout the 2020 season. These athletes do not need to separately apply for an ECQ. 

The eligible events for automatic EQC qualification are:

  • All 2019 National & Regional Series, final leaderboards
  • All 2019 championships, final leaderboards
  • The 2019 World Championship, 2019 Trifecta World Championship, and 2019 Ultra World Championship, final leaderboards.

In addition, all members of the Spartan Pro Roster and selected athletes at any HQ designated Spartan Combine event, will be issued an Elite Qualifying Code (EQC) and do not need to submit an application.

​Downgrading from Elite Category

An Elite competitor with an EQC may freely choose to register for, and compete in, the Age Group or Open categories at any event globally.

Click here for Spartan 2020 Season Pass. Open, Age Group, Elite.

Some of the links that ORM uses are affiliate links. They help pay for our operations. However, all race and product reviews are independent, and our opinions are our own.

2020 Spartan Season Pass Info Released

Spartan teased the information for the 2020 Season Passes earlier today.

The Season Pass has always been a popular choice amongst Spartan enthusiasts to get the most bang for their buck. This year, Spartan is including even more with their Season Pass (for even more USD).

The Elite Season Pass is also changing for 2020 – Elite competitors will have to qualify AND apply to run as Elite. The Season Pass will be fully gated, meaning you will not be able to sign up before submitting qualifying information

Season Passholders Receive:

  • Unlimited US Races (Includes Spartan Trail)
  • 50% Discounts off Spartan Ultra & Agoge events
  • One (1) Spectator Pass per event
  • Multi-Lap Discounts
  • Passholder T-shirt
  • Passholder Hat
  • Passholer Jacket
  • 10% Merch Discount at all races

How to Sign Up For Spartan Race Season Passes:

Open Wave Season Pass Sign Up
$799 (additional $100 off, for the first week of Sept.)

Age Group Season Pass Sign Up
icon$999 (additional $100 off, for the first week of Sept.)

Trifecta Pass

$349 – Any Wave for Stadion, Sprint, Super, and Beast.

If you are a 2019 Season Pass holder, you can use code SP2020 until 9/7 and it’s $100 off!

2020 Elite Season Pass: Article here on Qualifications & Application process.

Some of the links that ORM uses are affiliate links. They help pay for our operations. However, all race and product reviews are independent, and our opinions are our own.

Spartan Rule Changes 2019!

How to Sign Up For Season Passes

Open Wave Season Pass Sign Up
$799 (additional $100 off, for the first week of Sept.)

Age Group Season Pass Sign Up
icon$999 (additional $100 off, for the first week of Sept.)

From Spartan Race HQ:

Today we have released our latest update to the Spartan Rules of Competition. It will go into effect for races starting on August 24, 2019, We have updated the language and formatting of the rules, added some brand new rules, and recategorized some of the obstacles. While a full list of changes is listed on the last page of the rule book, there are a few changes we want to make sure you are aware of before your race.

● You are not required to complete 5 burpees at the Atlas Carry.
You are only required to carry the Atlas Stone along the required route and return to the starting point.
● You are allowed to carry the bucket above the head or on the shoulder during the Bucket Carry. Also if the lid comes off you do not need to restart the obstacle unless the material has also been displaced.
● You are not allowed to use the vertical truss as a ladder in order to start hanging obstacles, EG Monkey Bars. You can, however, use the Horizontal Truss to start the obstacles.
● You must complete the Dunk Wall as it is now a mandatory obstacle.
● You are considered to have completed the balance beam once you have touched the descending beam with at least one foot.
● Spartan is not obligated to review 3rd party video footage for any reason.
● We have defined what standing on top of means at the Hercules Hoist. Competitors hips may not rise above the top of the barrier.
Also, we wanted to clarify a few questions we often see:
● Competitors are not allowed to pre-run the course or engage with obstacles unless prior approval has been granted by Spartan. Events like Spartan’s Open house is considered approval for the areas mentioned for each specific event.
● During flip obstacles, you must fully disengage with the object. This means you cannot rest it on your foot, or keep your hands on the object.
● You are allowed the use the vertical support on the Z Wall. However, you cannot touch the top or bottom of the cutout to your advantage.
You can find the full Spartan Rules of Competition here.
Register for West Virginia, Tahoe, and more here.

Warrior Dash Cancels All Races – Going Out Of Business

Update – All Warrior Dash participants with a canceled race ticket, can race Spartan for free. Continue reading for details.

Anyone else can sign up for a 2019 or 2020 Spartan Race Here.

How to Sign Up For Season Passes

Open Wave Season Pass Sign Up
$799 (additional $100 off, for the first week of Sept.)

Age Group Season Pass Sign Up
icon$999 (additional $100 off, for the first week of Sept.)

Warrior Dash has canceled all upcoming races and ceased operations as of today. Their parent company, Red Frog, appears to be closing their doors. An email, sent by one of Red Frog’s Event Operations Managers, was sent to staff members which stated the following ” Today we just got word that Red Frog is no longer a company. I wanted to let you guys know sooner than later…this sucks all around.”

According to multiple sources close to ORM, Red Frog has been attempting to sell Warrior Dash since May of this year, but at this point, it has not been revealed if they found a buyer for their assets.

Warrior Dash Cancel

Warrior Dash’s website still lists 10 upcoming races for 2019, along with another 10 for sale for 2020. All of their social media pages were still active as of the time of this article.

**Update – The website still lists those races for sale, but as of 9:30 pm EST you can no longer complete the purchase. Here is a screenshot from Eventsprout, which is another Red Frog owned platform.

No word yet on when or how customers who have purchased tickets to future events will be refunded.


Red Frog launched their first Warrior Dash on July 18, 2009, in Joliet, Illinois. Along with Tough Mudder and Spartan Race, Warrior Dash helped kick off the mud run and obstacle racing boom of the next 5 years. At their peak, Warrior Dash produced 49 events in 2012. The last few years have seen that number slowly descend to 23 per year. However, Warrior Dash has been getting healthy numbers, at 4,000-6,000 attendees per event, as we showed in our recent state of the OCR industry report.

In 2012, Red Frog also created The Firefly Festival in Dover Delaware. This summer festival has been a massive success attracting hundreds of thousands of attendees over the years. The headliners have included such acts as The Killers, Paul McCartney, Eminem, 21 Pilots, Bob Dylan, and more. Red Frog sold its holdings to the Festival to the Coachella festival producers in 2018.

No word on yet on what will be happening with the registration platform Eventsprout or the Food and Beverage division they launched a few years ago.

We will have more on this story as it develops.

7/31/19 4:30 pm Update – Spartan Acquires Some Warrior Dash Assets. Click here for more

7/31/19 7:31 am update

3 of the biggest obstacle races have responded to the recent Warrior Dash news by offering customers free or discounted entry. It is a silver lining that comes along with the sad news. This has been common practice in the OCR industry since the boom/bust days of 2013/14 when races were closing frequently.

Tough Mudder – Free Tough Mudder 5k ($50 upgrade to a TM Classic)

Spartan Race – Free Sprint or Super distance.

Savage Race – Free Blitz distance race.

Here are statements that ORM has received in recent hours.

Tough Mudder

I’m very saddened to hear that Warrior Dash and Red Frog Events have closed up. In their 10 years, Warrior Dash has been a great entry-level event for many people new to OCR, and we wish the best to their staff and partners who are surely going through a challenging time.

Tough Mudder would like to welcome any of the Warrior Dash participants who have been affected by the cancellation of their upcoming events.  For any participant who had already purchased a Warrior Dash ticket for a 2019 or 2020 event, we’d welcome them to come run for FREE at any Tough Mudder 5k in 2019 or 2020, or upgrade to a Tough Mudder Classic for $50. They can claim their entry by emailing a copy of their Warrior Dash ticket or purchase confirmation to
Kyle McLaughlin- Chief Executive Officer
Spartan Race
Warrior Dash Nation,

While we understand an obstacle has been put in your path, we’re here to support you. We don’t want anything to stand in the way of achieving your goals and therefore we will waive the registration fee for entry into a Spartan Sprint or Super event in the US for all currently registered Warrior Dash racers. Instructions will follow in the coming days.

We know you are members of a passionate community – and we’re here to assure you that we share your values for grit and determination – and will leave no man or woman behind. We look forward to seeing you out on the course.

Aroo and Welcome to Sparta!

Sign up for a 2019 or 2020 Spartan Race Here.

Joe Desena – Founder

Savage Race

We’ve always honored that for people who signed up for an event that went under. If they signed up for a warrior dash that got canceled this year then we can accommodate with a blitz entry.

Send email to with proof of purchase for any warrior dash event that was canceled.

Lloyd Parker and Sam Abbitt – Co-Founders.

Rugged Maniac

Warrior Dash Nation, we’re very sorry to hear the news. Rugged Maniac is here to help. If you signed up for a Warrior Dash event that was canceled, we’re here to ensure you still get an epic race experience in 2019 or 2020. Simply email us at with your receipt for any canceled Warrior Dash event and we’ll let you sign up for any Rugged Maniac event for free! This offer only exists until August 16th.

Didn’t sign up for Warrior Dash and still want to run Rugged Maniac? You can save 25% with the code WARRIOR on any Rugged Maniac event between now and August 16th! This code expires on August 16th, so act now.

Rob Dickens- CEO Rugged Maniac

7/31/19 10:45 am – 2 more race companies allow free transfers.


Due to WD closing down. BoneFrog is offering anyone with proof of registration for any of the events that were canceled a FREE Sprint at one of our 2019 events. You must email into us via FB or IG with proof and we will send you a code. You will be able to upgrade as well once registered.

Conquer The Gauntlet
Attn: Warrior Dash Nation and OCR community. We are sad to hear the news of the cancelation of the upcoming Warrior Dash events. We desire to help all those already registered for a WD event find an OCR that they can attend. If you are already registered for a Warrior Dash event please send us an email to and we will waive your registration fee and get you registered for one of our upcoming Conquer The Gauntlet events. Please include email and ticket number.









VJ Shoes Comparison Review : XTRM, Irock 3, MaXx

Looking for comparison on the VJ Sport USA shoes?

Here we take a look in the differences and similarities with the Irock3, The MaXx, and The XTRM.


PS Here is an in-depth written review on the XTRM from earlier this year.

If you want to take a peek at the new New Spartan Shoes, click here.


Terrain Cancels New York Venue Last Minute – ORM has Questions.

This morning at 12:48 am Terrain Race sent out an email to participants of this weekend’s upcoming event near Hudson Valley, New York.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, we have to move the event from the Wurstboro-Sullivan County Airport (“Gotham Airport”) in Wurstboro, NY to the Holiday Mountain Ski Resort in Monticello, NY, approximately 10 miles from the original venue. Packet Pick-up will be at the new venue location. 99 Holiday Mountain Rd. Monticello NY 12701. Friday, July 26th, 2019. From 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM

We reached out to the Wurtsboro airport earlier this afternoon. An employee at the venue told us

“We were not informed of this decision until the early hours of this morning” They went on to say that “They (Terrain) were supposed to be here yesterday and never showed up. We called them and emailed them several times, but got radio silence all day. The next thing I heard was a phone call at 6:00 am that a driver was here to looking to get their truck trailers which had been left on site waiting to set up the race”

“We had worked with the town to help them get permits as Terrain had waited until the last minute to get the proper paperwork completed.”

Next, ORM reached out to the Town of Mamakating. We spoke with Mary in the Code Enforcement Department, who was unaware anything had been canceled or moved. Mary said that the town had “bent over backward” to help get this event off the ground. She mentioned Terrain had given them only 3 weeks notice of the event, and “the town had to work fast to get all of the paperwork approved”.

We reached out by text and email to both Bill Spata, president of Terrain Race, and Caleb Bacon, director of PR for Terrain. Caleb texted us back stating “I can confirm we have changed locations”

Terrain New York Cancel

Terrain’s business practices have been called into question by many in the OCR community for the last 6 months. Around October of last year, they began promoting “Free Races” on their website and social media pages. The company then charge $17 in fees (including a mandatory donation) upon completing registration. When participants arrive, they are charged an additional $20 in parking and a $5 bib pick up fee.

While you can find post-race photos from many smiling participants on Terrain’s social media pages, there have been many reviews written online by displeased customers.

Here are a handful of reviews we found on Mud Run Guide:

Atlanta, GA Event 3/9/19 –  “…was disappointed that there was no direction at some of the obstacles, and one of the obstacles wasn’t even assembled…or had fallen apart from earlier waves of runners. It was also a bit unnerving that there were 0 fire/paramedics on the course, sans the last obstacle..monkey bars, which were right by finish area. One runner fell off of the obstacles and landed flat on his back. Luckily, he wasn’t injured…and continued the race, but it was scary that no one was there/near that I saw, if he had injured himself and needed medical attention”

Tuscon Event 4/6/19 – … “After getting in line, I hear that they RAN OUT OF BIBS! How did that happen!? You know people want to save money, and time, on race day. Shouldn’t you have a minimum of the same number of bibs, as registered runners? An hour later, more bibs arrived, making my time spent there…an hour and 25mins. The next day, race day, traffic was backed up a good distance from the gates to get into the race venue. I’ve been to several OCR’s now, never has it been this backed up. Took about an hour from traffic stopping to finally parking the car…On to the actual run, it was lackluster at best. A couple of fun obstacles, a few random mud pits that were no more than calf-deep, a couple of walls to jump over, etc.”

Maryland Event 4/27/19 – “Not well organized, nothing after the event…not even a stand to purchase a drink. I do at least 3 OCRs per year. This was by far the worst I’ve ever attended and unfortunately, I traveled a good distance to participate. Packet pickup was Friday for a Sunday race. So I had to pay $10 to get bibs, $20 to park and cars were so close to each other I could barely get out. Also, this was my friends first intro to OCRs. I will not participate in any terrain race again. Horrible experience and waste of money!”

Austin Texas Event 4/26/19 – I have done several obstacle races and this was my least favorite…First, many of the obstacles are pretty trashy. Carrying sandbags around a tree? Pulling tires up a hill? Come on guys…really?? Also, there isn’t much variety. If you are a woman with only average upper body strength, you will be disappointed. But hey, you can always carry sandbags around a tree. So there is that.

We will have more on this story as it develops.

**Update 7:45pm . – Caleb Bacon, Vice President of Branding and Promotions for Terrain Race reached out to Obstacle Racing Media via text. He asked us to add the correct address of the new venue location to this article. ORM complied with that request.

He then asked us to change the headline of the article stating – “Misleading headline. Just trying to get this sorted out before the lawyers do because I like you. Cancels venue may make some people think the event was canceled. Leading to lost revenue. The legal term for that is “damages”.

**Update 8:32 pm – 

We received a phone call from Alex Livak, who identified himself as the in-house counsel for Cool Events. He believed our headline to be “grammatically horrid”, and insisted “you can’t cancel a venue”. We asked him if he could relate any facts to  ORM on a reported heat stroke-related fatality at a recent event. There were several posts on social media in recent weeks about a man being taken to the hospital for heatstroke at the July 13th San Bernadino  Terrain race. Alex was not familiar with the issue, seeming genuinely surprised, stating “we do 5 events a weekend”. He said he would get back to us “when he had a chance to”.