Mud, sweat and tears as Spartan racers take on Olympic park obstacle course
- Credit: Reebok Spartan Race UK
Thousands of runners both great and small channelled their inner Spartan to take on a gruelling obstacle race through rain, mud and fire on Saturday.
The Reebok Spartan Race UK kicked off its inaugural challenge of the year in the inspiring surrounds of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park with a 5km sprint that would have tested the mental and physical strength of even Team GB’s top Olympians.
Those brave enough to take on the challenge were put through their paces, facing high walls to be vaulted, barbed wire to be crawled under, weights to be hauled, ropes to be climbed and every step or staircase in the park to be scaled.
The Recorder’s Freddy Mayhew, Mark Shales and Iain Burns took on the challenge and were joined by people from across the British Isles trying their hand at the assault course.
“I came especially for this,” said Dubliner Edzma Ocalinas, 40. “I was ok on most obstacles, except for the spear throwing. I called my boyfriend as soon as I crossed the finish line and he said “well done”.
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Also taking part was technology worker Jenn York, 33, from Angel. She said: “It was tough – it was exactly what it said it would be. It was good all-round. Not just cardio, not just weights – you were made to do absolutely everything.
“The box-jumping and the rope-climbing was the hardest for me.”
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Mobile developer Daniele Bogo, 32, and media operations manger Lorena Perez, 36, both from Walthamstow, were running their first Spartan race. “That was hard,” said Daniele. “The hardest part for me was the rope, that held me back. I enjoyed it apart from that.”
Kelly McBeth, 28, who was part of a team of 15 raising money for charity Fareshare that diverts still-fresh “waste” food to charities and community groups, said: “It was quite challenging, but everyone was helping each other out which made it a lot more fun.”
This year’s elite winner of the first Reebok Spartan Race Sprint was Tristan Steed. He completed it in 35mins 2secs. The open race winner was Joshua Hopgood who ran the course in 38mins 23secs.
Peter Phillips, managing director of Sports and Entertainment Ltd and general manager of Spartan UK said: “The first Spartan Race was a huge success – it was great to see so many competitors at different levels of ability find their inner warrior and push themselves to the limit.
“It is always encouraging to see so many new comers to Spartan finish the race with smiles on their faces. We look forward to the rest of the series and seeing more and more people participate”.
The next race in the series is the 13km a Reebok Spartan Super Race at Aston Down, Gloucestershire, on May 28. This an opportunity for those who competed at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to get the second part of the Trifecta medal.
Visit spartanraceuk.uk to sign up or for more information.
Click here for your race day results, times and pictures.