WENTWORTH - They thought they were dying. The heat of the sun was nearly as hot as the fire pit.
The Halifax Canada Spartan race is one of many obstacle races across the country where competitors not only must run against each other but they must overcome obstacles that will test both their endurance and their bravery. This is the fifth year the event has been hosted at Wentworth.
This years winners of the elite category for men were: first place, Charles Lalande: second place, Benjamin Morin-Boucher; and third place, Arthur Chateauvert.
The top three females were: first place, Heidi Cook; second place, Jen Milligan; and third place, Tara Bassili.
This was the seventh race of the year for second place finisher Morin-Boucher, who has only missed three races this season because of injury.
“The best part of the race was the hiking, and the burpees were the worst part, he said. “To train for this type of event I do sprint intervals, hill climbs, upper body training and I eat good.”
First time runner Jeremy Noble said the race was “hard and fun. The hill climb was difficult and the rope climb were scary.”
Even though the hill and the rope climb were difficult they were his favorite part of the race because of the challenge they offered.
“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” said first timer Braeden Bent. “The hill and the ice bath were the most difficult for me. The Ice was a shock to the system on such a hot day."
Jonathan Cales did the Mud Hero run last year and decided that he would try the Spartan race this year.
“The race was grueling, and the toughest part was the hill climb, it was like running 5km up a hill because we had to do it twice. It is a great test to see what you are made of,” he said.
The race is designed to make the participant a stronger and better person by overcoming fears and obstacles, including rope climbs, fire jumping, heights, mud crawling, hill climbing, barbed wire crawling and even ice pools.
Those who earn a spot on the podium will also get a chance to compete in the NBC televised event in September.
Spartan racing is a global phenomenon and is part of the fastest growing sport in the world says Joe Baxter from Obstacle Course magazine.
What’s more this race is designed as a family event, so even children can see if they have what it takes to be a Spartan warrior in the kids event.
This year there was a 43 per cent female participation; something which race organizer Silica Sevigny says is good to see, because so many events tend to cater towards men.
Having a larger female participation gives a chance for more families to get involved. Combined, the Spartan races this year have had over 1 million participants, a number that Sevigny would like to see double in the future.
“We are building a community, not just a race,” said Sevigny.