Spartan Race was born in the mountains of Vermont. The company founder, Joe Desena, saw a modern world that with every technological advancement, became more sick, lonely, and stagnant. He and some like-minded friends formed a philosophy that was about bringing humans back to basics: Eat whole foods, exercise outdoors in the natural elements, and master your mind, just like the Spartans of 300 BC.

Arizona is one of the more convoluted courses on the Spartan Race calendar, the trails, and tracks never cease to twist, turn and keep you guessing as to which direction they will take you next. Nestled neatly in the northeast corner of Phoenix within the county of Maricopa, the reservation is a 40 square mile area, just a fraction of the ancestral territory of the once nomadic Yavapai people.

Three words to describe the enormous area that Fort McDowell commands: warm, dusty, and dry. This event favors runners that can move quickly between obstacles and punishes those that take it for granted. Hydration is key to success at the Arizona Super and Sprint. Many areas of the course will be single track trails with cacti on either side. When you see an opportunity to accelerate, such when making your way over the dried riverbeds, do what you can to seize it.

What makes a Spartan Race special? The spontaneous camaraderie that pops up on a Spartan Race course. I’m constantly hearing stories from racers who started the race alone and ended it with a group of supportive strangers. They were nervous to compete for their first time, but as they were struggling to get over the 10-foot wall, another racer offered them a hand and hoisted them over. Spartan Racers are competitive, but they know that by bringing others up, they bring themselves up too. Even elite racers are quick to hug their opponent after crossing the finish line. It’s a really great atmosphere of positive people suffering together.

WHEN: Feb 10-11, 2018

WHERE: Ft McDowell, AZ

HOW: Register Here: https://www.athlinks.com/event/27699


Wear something that you usually train in! You’re going to get wet and muddy so wearing a moisture wicking material like compression gear is suggested; No cotton. Make sure to bring some fuel and hydration on the course with you, especially for the longer distances. There are a few water stations on course, but you might want to consider wearing a hydration pack.

Take a fun post-race pit stop at the worlds fourth tallest fountain. Fountain Park (12925 N Saguaro Blvd, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268) is just 10 minutes away from the venue and has some great restaurants, shopping, and a walking path. The fountain, built in 1970, goes off on the hour for 15 minutes from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Cool off after the race with a kayak on Salt River, just 15 minutes away from the venue. It’s on my Arizona bucket list! Check out Saguaro Lake Ranch’s website for booking information. (http://www.saguarolakeranch.com/activities/kayaking/)

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