How Hard Is The Spartan Beast Race?

How difficult is the Spartan Beast Race?  That was the first question that I thought of when I first learned of this race that was scheduled to come to my neck of the woods (Northern California – Sacramento) on 11/17/2012 and although I have read much about just how difficult it is…I’m just going to have to wait and find out!

I had heard of races like Warrior Dash, Tough Mudder, and other such Mud Runs, but honestly, I have never had the interest to do something like that.  I am a runner (or at least I like to think so) and these obstacle runs just seemed too cliche’, too gimmicky, too commercial, and although I’m sure a lot of fun and definitely a challenge….they just weren’t for me.  I am starting to think I was wrong because…

Then I heard about the Spartan Race.

I initially assumed that it was just like all the others due to it’s “Spartan” theme,  but I had to take a second look at this one.  There seems to be something different about this race that I can’t exactly put my finger on.  It seems grittier, tougher, and it appears a lot more challenging than some of the others I’ve seen and most reviewers seem to agree with that from what I’ve read.

There is something Gladiator-esque and warrior-like about this killer looking race without it really trying so hard to do so or without it being forced in a way that comes across phony.

The Spartan Race was even voted Best Obstacle Race 2012 by Outside Magazine, so that has to mean something, right?

This is going to be an EXTREMELY challenging test that I sure hope I am up for!

So What Is This Race?

The Spartan Race is an obstacle race that comes in a couple different distances and number of obstacles.  There are actually 50 of these races held across the globe.  Most people, it seems, start out with the Spartan Sprint, but I am going straight for the Beast (hopefully, not a move I regret).

Racing Distances

  • The first is the Spartan Sprint, which is 3+ Miles/15+ Obstacles. (check out my buddy Brett Banford’s review here)
  • The second is the Super Spartan, which is 8+ Miles/20+ Obstacles.
  • The third (and the one I have officially registered for), is the Spartan Beast, which is 13+Miles/25+Obstacles!
  • I think that they also have a Spartan Death Race for the SERIOUSLY motivated.

Complete, or should I say survive all three and earn the honor of the Spartan Trifecta!

The obstacles consist of many things such as lots of cross country/trail/mud running, jumping over/through? fire, climbing walls, ropes to climb, carrying cinder blocks through water, tons of mud to fight through, a real life gladiator pit to battle in, and I am sure some surprises along the way.  To best describe this race though, check out this video…If considering running the Spartan Race, this will give you a much better idea of what you are in for!

November 17, 2012 is the date when I will answer the question, “Just How Hard is this Spartan Beast Race?”  Until then, I am going to keep training.  Did you just watch that?  I HAVE to keep training!  I am currently doing an Insanity Asylum/Body Beast Hybrid, but I will be adding some distance trail running (my favorite trail: The Dipsea)  to that as well.

I have already recruited 3 brave souls to join me in this challenge.  I can’t wait til we all cross the finish line together…bloody, muddy, bruised, but alive (hopefully lol) just like Spartans! It really is going to be a blast!

If you are going to be in the Northern California are in November and would like to join us – contact me!  If not, click the link below to find one in your are and SIGN UP!!

Get off the Couch & Start Living! Spartan Race Voted Best Obstacle Race by Outside Magazine in 2012! Get $10 off, Use Code: SPEAR10 – Sign Up Now!









Jared Smith

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  1. Mary Riley says:

    You are a brave one, going for the Beast without dipping your toes in the water first. I wish you success!

  2. Oh my goodness!!!! Have fun! Looks crazy. I want to try the color run!

    • Erica, I have seen the Color Run…it looks like a blast. Runs like this one and the color run make me wonder about who the unlucky soul is that will be packing everyone in their car on the way on home…yikes!

  3. Wow!! My hat is entirely tipped. Your goal and your training for it is awesome. Thanks he good info on the Spartan race – we’ll be rooting you on. Good luck on the next couple of months!!

  4. We will all be thinking about you and wishing you luck!! Let us know how it goes! You are a brave one to be doing this :) I’m sure it will be fun!

  5. Wow, what a challenge. Good luck and have fun doing it. Hopefully those guys aren’t “shooting” at you too :)

    • Rich, I have heard rumors of paintball guns at previous races, I REALLY hope that is not the case in this one! Thanks for the support!

  6. Man I am jealous. Every time I see a Spartan it always makes me want to try it. But, I don’t think I am 100% ready for it yet. Maybe in another year. Looks scary and fun at the same time…lol. Wish you luck and safety.

  7. Melissa Rodriguez says:

    Best of luck with the Spartan Beast! It sounds comparable to worse (as in more challenging) than the Tough Mudder. And hopefully it will "win" you over to obstacle racing for sure :).

    • Jared Smith says:

      Thanks for the support Melissa! I think it already has "won" me over and I haven't even ran it yet! :)

  8. I just completed the Super Spartan in Vernon, NJ yesterday. It was 11 miles and on a ski mountain resort! I thought the Supers were only 8-9 miles, but I was surprised when I learned different when I got there. It was insane, but so awesome. I’m doing the Beast in SC next month to earn my trifecta medal. All I can say is I hope you do as much cross-fit type training as you can right now to prepare! Good luck and have a blast!

    • Brenda,

      That’s crazy and awesome at the same time lol! I have been doing lots of similar types of training and lots of hill work as well. I don’t know if it’s possible to actually feel totally “prepared” though, right? I have a buddy that is doing the Beast in SC as well. Good luck with earning your trifecta medals! The Super Exp will pay off big for you. Check back here to keep me informed on how it goes for you, I really want to know…mine will be only a couple weeks after yours! Best of luck!

  9. ayt so I'm in the same position you are in, this race is near me and I want to do it but I am not sure if the beast is the best place to start. I haven't registered yet but am leaning towards it. I need some advice.

    • Jared Smith says:

      Carlos, yeah, unfortunately NorCal is only offering the Beast or I may have opted for a less extreme race, but signed up anyway and have adjusted and upped my training. I think you should give it a go…it will be a challenge, but I think a blast as well. What are you currently doing for training?

    • Well currently I am doing the same thing I usually do but with a bit more cardio. I go to the gym and lift weights a couple times a week and the other days i run about a 1.6 of a mile. I want to know how much more intense I need to train and if I should focus less on weights and more on cardio?

    • Jared Smith says:

      Carlos, that's great! The Beast claims to be 13+ miles, so I would definitely increase your running, particularly hill work. I am concentrating more on functional fitness since that is what many of the obstacles will require. Pull-ups, push-ups, tons of core work, etc which I get through P90X2 and Insanity Asylum which I am using in unison with lots of running…fingers crossed that it will be enough, I think it will :) Keep me updated on what you go with. Look forward to maybe meeting you there!

    • So i just ran 5 miles haha, not the 13+ miles but i believe its a good improvement from 1 and a half miles haha, usually when i do weights i focus on functional fitness aswell but a little more intensity wont hurt. Yeah for sure ill hopefully see you there

  10. Just completed the Super….very, VERY tough. Best of luck to you on the Beast!

    • Jared Smith says:

      That's awesome Matt and thanks for the well wishes concerning the Beast! If you don't mind me asking, what type of training do you think most prepared you for it?

    • to be PERFECTLY honest, i didnt train much. I ran 2x a week a couple miles a day, i do strongly suggest upper body/core strength training….that would have helped me do less burpees

    • Jared Smith says:

      Thanks for the advice Matt! Despite being hard, I am sure it was a blast, right? :) I literally can not wait!

  11. I will too find out on November 17th! Have been reading some blogs and the more I read, the more I get scared :O! maybe its a good idea I stop reading now! I've run half marathons, currently doing a bit of crossfit and weight training in general. This will be by far the longest obstacle race I've done thus far. Good Luck and great article! See you on the battle ground! :)

    • Mayra Villareal says:

      Rosio you are FAQQing crayzy!!! Just saw the article & I die:/ but I know you can do it!!!!

    • LOL! didnt know this posted on here…but yeah ahhh im scared! mostly of the swim obstacles since i barely learned how to "swim" last month. ( really I just know how to float). Ive never "ran" for over 2 hours and 40 minutes so this should be interesting since average time is 4 to 5 hours…also if you do not successfully complete an obstacle you do 30 burpees which i hate! Obstacles include carrying a 40 pound bag of sand uphill and walking over hot coal! Ahhhh im scared! Wish me luck!

    • Jared Smith says:

      Rosio, Thanks! It sounds like you have trained pretty well. I am sure you will do great! Hopefully there won't be too much swimming….or we are gonna freeze lol! Low to mid 40's in the AM! Yikes! Best of Luck – see you there!

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