Spartan Race 2018 North American Championship Recap

We know it may be difficult to keep track of all the Championships this time of year, especially since Spartan keeps coming up with different ways to celebrate champions. Just two weeks ago, the 2018 Spartan US Championship Series winners Ryan Woods and Lindsay Webster were crowned in Utah.

Here are the remaining Championships that Spartan Race will deliver in the United States alone by the end of the year. The Stadium Series (Fenway), Mountain Series (Tri-State), Honor Series (???), World Championship (Tahoe).  There are additional regional and national championships in several countries, but the events most North Americans will be interested in are the Trifecta World Championship in Greece and Ultra World Championship – 24 hour event in Iceland.

Adventurey will be putting on their World Championship in England in a few weeks after already producing their North American Championships (NORAM) with Ryan Atkins and Lindsay Webster taking both the 3K and 15K titles.

Tough Mudder will also be crowning their Tougher Championship in Seattle next month, and doing that 24 hour thing aka World’s Toughest Mudder in Atlanta in November. (Oh shit, I almost finished this article, and forgot Tough Mudder X)

Exhausted yet!? Awesome, let’s get to yesterday’s results.

Robert Killian, who finished third to Woods and Atkins in this year’s US Champs Series, beat both of his closest rivals to take home the win and $12,000 first place prize. This might be the biggest win for Killian since he shocked the world back in the fall of 2015. Back then, he was an Army Ranger that came out of nowhere to beat the best OCR athletes in the world including multi-title champions Atkins, Cody Moat, and Jon Albon in Tahoe.

These days, “The Two Ryans” and Killian are separating themselves from the rest of the men’s field and will certainly be the favorites to battle it out for supremacy in Tahoe in a few weeks.

On the women’s side, Lindsay continues her world domination with a smile on her face beating out the other 3 members of the “fearsome female foursome” Nicole Mericle, Faye Stenning, and Rea Kolbl; who finished 3rd through 5th respectively. Relative newcomer Rebecca Hammond had a very strong showing, and finished a little less than 3 minutes behind Lindsay to take 2nd.

One more important note  about yesterday’s race was the improved live Facebook coverage. Spartan has given us several pairings of Spartan Pros (and dare we say Spartan Pro Wannabees) over the past year in the broadcast booth.

The results have been decent to cringeworthy since David Magida left the booth a few months ago. For this event, Spartan hired veteran action sports broadcaster Pat Parnell , who brought a great rhythm and a level of professionalism previously not seen. Pairing a pro like that, with a knowledgeable Spartan athlete, in this case Kevin Donahue, seems to be what Spartan needed to make for a great broadcast. It’s the standard straight man  (non athlete)/color man (athlete) combination that works most of the time in sports. In addition, they seemed to have ditched the super cheap “cell phone/no graphics coverage” that we’ve seen on the recent broadcasts and gone back to a more expensive production package.

Here are the top 10 men and woman along with the payouts for the 2018 Spartan North American Regional Championships:

1st Robert Killian/Lindsay Webster: $12,000

2nd Ryan Atkins/Rebecca Hammond: $8,000

3rd Ryan Woods/ Nicole Mericle: $5,000

4th Cody Moat/Faye Stenning: $2,000

5th Mikhail Gerylo/Rea Kolbl: $1,000

6th Jesse Bruce/Alyssa Hawley: $900

7th  Ian Hosek/Amelia Boone: $800

8th Ryan Kempson/Kristin Saad: $600

9th Logan Broadbent/Cody Mezebish: $400

10th Mike Ferguson/Kaci Monroe: $300

Spartan Race – Surprise Drug Testing

At last month’s Spartan Super in Utah, athletes were told at the start of the race that the winners would be drug tested. For four years Spartan has put its racers on notice that they might be drug tested if they reached the podium, and one of the many check boxes racers of all skills have clicked on to get to the next screen included the promise to abide by the anti-doping rules that Spartan has adopted.

For 99% of the people who jump over fire to cross the finish line, doping controls never cross their minds. How many weekend warriors would bother with the time, expense and health risks that doping entails in order to get a medal and a banana? However, racers who are in it for the money sometimes take that risk.

A little background: Spartan announced its drug testing policy in 2014, but it did not get around to doing any actual testing until the 2017 World Championship in Tahoe after a few false startsThis hit the news at around the same time that OCR star Ryan Woods was disqualified from the OCRWC after testing positive for a banned substance he says he took by accident. 

The OCRWC family of races has tested frequently and consistently, and last month Spartan raised its drug testing profile by the surprise announcement in Utah. Even Lindsay Webster got a little worried at the start when she heard about drug testing at the start line. On a recent podcast she told ORM’s Matt B. Davis that she started second guessing all of her recent medication choices.

Since Lindsay really is the sincere, honest Canadian she appears to be (as well as a champion athlete), the drugs she was worried about? Advil and Tylenol. Which are both completely legal.

 

In an Instagram post, Ryan Woods talked about his reaction.

 

Great post, but we could have done without the visual, Woodsy.

And as comments showed, some people will always be angry about those who have been caught cheating.

Joe Di Stefano told ORM that the top three men, top three women as well as a random competitor  were tested by a third party, who collected the urine samples and shipped them off to a lab at UCLA. To the relief of everyone, none of the samples tested positive. By contrast, the same company’s work at a recent CrossFit championship turned up fourteen athletes using banned substances.

OCR athletes can feel smug that our sport is cleaner than CrossFit. However, CrossFit prize purses are an order of magnitude greater that OCR’s, and the question remains whether our athletes will continue to compete clean as the rewards for winning grow.  For now, it is reassuring that Spartan Race is keeping its promise of random testing, and it is also reassuring that the threat of testing was enough to put a little fear into athletes who should have nothing to worry about (Lindsay Webster) as well as those who have learned to be much more careful about what substances they put in their bodies.

Is Lindsay Webster The Greatest Of All Time?


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Lindsay Webster just got back from sweeping the NORAM OCR Championships. She won the 3k, 15k , and team championships. On today’s podcast we talks about:

  • Winning when it counts.
  • Drug testing in OCR.
  • Being under rated.
  • Why World’s Toughest Mudder is NOT her favorite.
  • Coming out of the shadow of being “Ryan’s girlfriend”.
  • Having the eye of the tiger.
  • Globe trotting this year and in 2019

Plus: More earworms!

Todays Podcast is sponsored by:

Wetsuit Wearhouse – Save 15% using coupon code ORM15 on all purchases.

Show Notes: 

Photos by Hubert Schriebl

Obstacle Racing Majors Archives

2018 NORAM OCR Championship Results

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The first ever North American Obstacle Course Racing Championships (aka NORAM) took place over the weekend in Stratton, Vermont.

The weekend is put on by Adventurey LLC, who are also the event producers behind the Obstacle Racing World Championships (OCRWC), which has been held every October since 2014. You may recall that Adventurey launched a United States OCR Championship last September in Texas. However, that event was scrapped in favor of a North American Championship this year.

The races were dominated by Canadian Super Couple, Ryan Atkins and Lindsay Webster. They both won the short course (3k) on Friday and the long course (15k) on Saturday. On Sunday, they put a co-ed team together with Nicole Mericle and won that. It should be noted that Ryan also put himself in the men’s team category and finished up his leg in enough time to get back to help the women win that category. He settled for 2nd in the men’s team category with fellow Candians Marco Bedard and Benjamin Morin Boucher.

If you are keeping score at home, that’s 7 podiums including 6 firsts over the weekend for the duo.

Here are your official results for the 2018 NORAM OCR Championships.

3k (Friday)


Men
1. Ryan Atkins – 18:23
2. Veejay Jones – 18:38
3. Jesse Bruce – 19:13

Women
1. Lindsay Webster – 21:51
2. Nicole Mericle – 22:38
3. Alexandra Walker – 24:48

15k (Saturday)

Women
1. Lindsay Webster 1:48:01
2. Nicole Mericle  1:54:35
3. April Cockshutt 2:04:07

Men
1. Ryan Atkins  1:33:03
2. Mark Batres  1:36:30
3. Jesse Bruce 1:38:39

Team (Sunday)

Men
1. Team Platinum Rig – 58:47 – Samuel Hebert, William Brouard, Jesse Bruce
2. Team NorthMen – 59:19 – Marc Andre Bedard, Ryan Atkins, Benjamin Morin Boucher
3. NexGen OCR – 1:01:24 – John Penland, Veejay Jones, James Nair

Women
1. Mom Squad – 1:21:57 – Julie Hartjes, Rachel Corigliano, Ashley Samples
2. Bad Ass Masters – 1:35:26 – Darla O’Connor, Heidi Williams, Lisa Nondorf
3. Strong As a Mother – 1:38:21 – Chrisa Dustman, Cynthia Campanaro, Heather Gollnick

Co-ed
1. Team Suunto & Benji – 1:07:10 – Ryan Atkins, Lindsay Webster, Nicole Mericle
2. Conquer the Gauntlet Pro Team – 1:15:23 – Evan Perperis, Matt Willis, Amy Pajcic
3. Team Hotwheels MudGear – 1:22:06 – Alexandra Walker, Mark Batres, Natalie Miano

 

 

Ryan and Lindsay get VO2 Max Tests


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HumanN (makers of Beet Elite), sent Ryan and Lindsay Atkins to have their VO2 Max tested. Lindsay took questions from the OCR community about those tests, and we attempted to answer them here.  Spoiler Alert: We also learn about the law of diminishing returns!

Todays Podcast is sponsored by:

 

Ragnar Relay and Ragnar Trail Series

runragnar.com Enter code ORM18ALL for $60 OFF any 2018 Ragnar Relay

Show Notes:

Law of Diminishing Returns

Listen using the player below or the iTunes/Stitcher links at the top of this page. 

Tough Mudder Introduces Their 2018 Pro Team/Competitive Series

12:20pm Update – Here is the podcast interview.

In September of 2017, TMHQ announced the first ever Tough Mudder Pro Team. Ryan Atkins, Lindsay Webster, Hunter McIntyre and Stef Bishop had already been featured on most of TM’s online content, so few were surprised.  Today, the 2018 team is being announced much sooner in the year. TMHQ revealed this morning that Ryan, Lindsay, and Hunter are all coming back, and they have added two more women. The first is Corinna Coffin. Corinna had been mostly dormant in OCR since BattleFrog folded in the fall of 2016. She came back last July to win the first ever Tough Mudder X.

The second woman is Allison Tai. Along with being the favorite guest of The World’s Toughest Podcast, Allison won last year’s Holy Grail Leaderboard (Total competitive miles) with 305 total miles. Stef Bishop is not returning to the team. Stef won World’s Toughest Mudder in 2016, then had a relatively disappointing 2017 Tough Mudder season.

Matt B. Davis spoke to TMHQ’s Eli Hutchison and Corinna Coffin to discuss some of the news. The podcast episode will be released later today, so be sure to download it so you can listen to it on your next run.

Matt and Eli will be talking about the evolution of the competitive series. Many Mudders enjoyed the Tougher and Toughest events in 2017, as well as Tough Mudder X and World’s Toughest Mudder. Tough Mudder is now calling these events, Fittest, Fastest, and Toughest, with the culmination being World’s Toughest Mudder on November 10th and 11th in Atlanta, Georgia.

Check out the video introducing the different championship series here!

Photo Credits: Tough Mudder