A Spartan racer jumps over a fire, the final obstacle, at Killington Resort.
By Polly Lynn
The Spartan races took over the mountains at Killington Resort this past weekend for the annual race. Killington was the home of the Spartan World Championship last year, and this year’s course was equally as brutal, participants said.
Steep slopes with thousands of vertical feet were gained and lost as racers climbed Killington’s mountains hitting the peaks of Snowdon, Killington Peak and Bear Mountain. The obstacles themselves were more “natural” this year with more carries, logs, and walls as a-posed to the large constructed features that last year’s championship race brought. But, as with all Spartan events, “the course is known to destroy the body, legs, mind and soul” said race organizers, and it was intentionally designed to do so.
There were three races of varying distances offered to the 7,500 racers this year. The Spartan Sprint is the entry level Spartan Race distance. Sprints range from 3-5 miles. The Killington course was closer to 5 miles. In 2014 the average amount of obstacles per race was 20.3.
The Spartan Beast, the most popular option for attendees at Killington, is also the crown gem in the trifecta for most Spartan Racers. Average race distances for the Beast are between 12 to 16 miles with the average being 13.5 for 2014. The Killington course was 14.5 according to a GPS watch worn by a participant Saturday. Obstacles in a Spartan beast average at 28.5 for 2014 with the championship race in Vermont having 32 obstacles.
The Spartan Ultra beast is the hardest timed race that Spartan Race offers. In 2015 there are three opportunities to run a Ultra Beast, one of which was this past weekend. In 2014 there was just one chance and it was also at Killington during the Championship event. It is the Beast course twice, back to back.
This past weekend produced many great stories of successes in overcoming obstacles and persevering to the finish line. In addition to the dozens of Spartan designed obstacles throughout the mountainous course, some racers overcame impressive physical and mental disabilities which made their finish all the more rewarding. Here are a few of the many great stories to come out of the weekend:
Killington resident and columnist for The Mountain Times Brady Crain took on and finished the Ultra Beast. It was his debut into obstacle course racing and distance events of any kind (the last race he completed was a 5K in Texas in 1999.)
Elliott Megquier, a veteran Spartan racer with over 100 races under his belt, took on the Vermont Beast AND the UltraBeast this past weekend, finishing both. It was his first time running an Ultra Beast.
Local elite racers from Bridgewater, Vt., both took second place on Saturday and Sunday respectively. Ryan Kempson, 26, finished second in Sunday’s race with a time of 3:35:42, while his brother Matthew Kempson, 25, finished second in Saturday’s race with a time of 3:42:46.
Spartan Sprint — OPEN
1. Tom Martin, age 25: 1:18:36
2. Spenser Sawyer, age 16: 1:18:53
3. Christian Avery, age 21: 1:21:17
1. Abigail Serra, age 26: 1:21:45
2. Amanda Auger, age 25: 1:26:28
3. Jacqueline Duckering, age 34: 1:29:07
Spartan Sprint — Competitive
1. Kevin Lavoie, age 28: 1:04:17
2. Nate Baynes, age 28: 1:06:47
3. Nick Wyand, age 27: 1:07:42
1. Sylvie Manaigre: age 29: 1:22:02
2. Laura Messner: age 25: 1:24:06
3. Alexandra Sawicki: age 23: 1:28:51
Spartan Beast — OPEN
1. Vincent Larochelle, age 31: 3:46:22 (Saturday)
2. Phillip Gandhi, age 24: 4:00:05 (Sunday)
3. Dakota Seiple, age 21: 4:00:49 (Saturday)
1. Terri Moore, age 34: 4:04:49 (Sunday)
2. Rachel Beckmann, age 31: 4:14:33 (Sunday)
3. Natasha Kinkade-Grotke, age 41: 4:45:47 (Sunday)
Spartan Beast — ELITE (Saturday)
1. Jesse Bruce, age 34: 3:28:05
2. Matthew Kempson, age 25: 3:42:46
3. Junyong Pak, age 37: 3:46:12
1. Nancy Bourassa, age 36: 4:08:53
2. April Cockshutt, age 25: 4:29:35
3. Jackie Landmark, age 33: 4:30:42
Spartan Beast — ELITE (Sunday)
1. Ben Kinsinger, age 31: 3:19:49
2. Ryan Kempson, age 26: 3:35:42
3. John Kinnee, age 36: 3:36:47
1. Ember Shmitt, age 34: 4:41:58
2. Deanna McCormack, age 40: 5:05:28
3. Chrisa Dustman, age 39: 5:17:13
Spartan Ultra — OPEN (Sunday only)
1. Nathan Fry, age 31: 9:08:49
2. Kevin Salley, age 42: 9:11:58
3. Jake Silverman, age 17: 9:18:30
1. Kasey Horan, age 32: 11:15:25
2. Christina Armstrong, age 37: 12:09:46
3. Kerry Flanagan, age 28: 12:36:48
Spartan Ultra — ELITE (Sunday only)
1. Daniel Grady Jackson, age 28: 7:24:45
2. Derek Merkley, age 40: 7:51:34
3. Frankie DiSomma, age 25: 8:03:51
1. Rhonda Bullard, age 43: 9:28:04
2. Caroline Drolet, age 25: 10:45:14
3. Tara Cioppa, age 43: 11:49:38
Photos By: Paul Holmes, Robin Alberti, and Polly Lynn