The boss of one of Britain’s biggest sporting series, Spartan Race, which is launching its 2018 UK season from Kent in South East England this spring, has challenged the country and region’s ‘couch potatoes’.
Last year, more than a million people in over 30 countries ran a Spartan Race, which is now proclaimed as the world’s leading obstacle course racing series. Its biggest-ever UK season, with 25 races confirmed nationwide, including its Irish debut in Dublin, will kick off in a Kent village just outside London, this April, the company has announced.
The popular event will challenge participants to wade through muddy bogs, scale slippery, 8-foot ramps, clamber up 25-foot-high cargo nets, lug 10kg sandbags up steep hills, climb 15-foot ropes, crawl under barbed wire on their tummies, then leap a ‘fire jump’ finale over blazing logs.
Sam Lansdale, General Manager of Spartan Race UK, said “A big part of our race is about community and pushing yourself to achieve something more than you think you can. It’s about re-setting your frame of reference, from wanting to sit on the couch all day long eating junk food to going outdoors for a 10-minute jog. That’s your initial step on the ladder to completing your first Spartan Sprint.
“We have mums, dads, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters and many others taking part, who are maybe just looking for a new fitness challenge. The Spartan Sprint is an accessible challenge. Even if you are overweight or if you have never run before, it’s something that anyone can do.”
The organising team at Spartan Race add that the event brand is part of a current boom in the UK’s live entertainment industry, with the sector taking a record £17bn in revenues last year, according to new figures just released by leading accountants and business analysts Deloitte.
Responding to growth forecasts for the UK’s ‘live economy’ and expected extra revenues of £400m in 2018 (generated by cinema visits, music festivals and live tours of TV shows such as The X Factor), Spartan Race has increased its fixtures calendar by 50%.
Designed to cater for all fitness levels, there are three main types of Spartan Race, a Sprint (5km+), a Super (12km+) and a Beast (22km+).
An average obstacle course racing (OCR) runner takes around 1 hours 30 minutes to complete a Spartan Sprint. Among trophies Spartan Race UK won for its 2017 season were the Mud Run Guide awards for ‘Most Innovative OCR Series’, ‘Best OCR For Beginners’, and ‘Best New Obstacle’.
Obstacle racing, Spartan Race adds, is ‘booming as a worldwide craze, attracting millions of runners and keep-fit enthusiasts, including 5km and 10km racers, half marathoners and marathoners seeking a fresh challenge.’ Approximately, 40% of Spartan Race runners are women. Obstacles are kept top secret on race day to surprise racers. Failure to complete an obstacle incurs a compulsory set of 30 ‘burpees’ or squat-thrusts.
Spartan Race events are also open to juniors, with a record eleven Spartan Kids races planned this year. Children aged 4-13 run a 1.5km course.