If running 26.2 miles in the New York Marathon doesn’t seem challenging enough, New Yorkers can now compete in the Spartan race, which combines running with fire jumping, spear throwing and wall climbing.
This new form of “obstacle racing” was founded by adrenaline junkies Joe De Sena and Andy Weinberg in 2010. There were 34 Spartan Races last year in the U.S., Canada and United Kingdom with over 350,000 participants. And the number of participants keeps on climbing. Over 500,000 individuals are expected to compete in Spartan races during 2013, including one at New York’s Citi Field in April. Though Spartans may conjure up images of male Greek soldiers, there’s plenty of girl-power in these challenging races. Forty percent of the participants in last year’s race were women.
Reebok recently signed a multi-year partnership to serve as the sport’s title sponsor and plans to develop a line of athletic products geared towards the Spartan Race athlete. Several New York celebrities including model Brooklyn Decker and former New York Giants All-Pro Tiki Barber celebrated the announcement by participating in a Spartan obstacle course featuring a seven-foot climbing wall, barbed wire mud crawl and 70-pound buckets.