Spartan Race Australia has long been a proponent of balancing the needs of competitive obstacle racers, with their desire to inspire and challenge anyone to take part in their events. With this in mind we recently saw the announcement of some major changes to the Spartan 300 event, as well as the re-introduction of the Spartan Race Gladiators.
With changes that will no doubt be met with broad approval from the obstacle racing community I had the opportunity to sit down and speak with Spartan Race Australia CEO, Max DeLacy, to learn more about what this all means.
The Spartan 300 has traditionally been a series of 12 to 15 ninja warrior style obstacles in the final 300 meters of the Stadium Sprint and Super events. It was originally unveiled at the ANZ Stadium Event in October 2015 and was seen as the ultimate challenge to finish off what had already been a tough but rewarding event.
The idea of the Spartan 300 was to level the playing field and provide an opportunity for the all round obstacle racer to make up some ground and really show off their obstacle racing, rather than pure running, ability. In addition to that the 300 was a timed separately and offered a prize pool of $1,000, $500 and $250 for first, second and third respectively.
As a result this was a highly contested event that appealed to not only to elite obstacle racers, but also those with a background in other competitive endeavours such as crossfit. With competition however, comes the desire to perform at your best and while the initial feedback on the 300 as an “event within an event “was overwhelmingly positive Spartan Race Australia always had a three phase plan to implement and wanted to see that the best of the best rose to the top.
This has led to the decision to run the Spartan 300 as a completely separate event within the wider Stadium Sprint/Super races. This provides the opportunity for all racers to complete the normal race to the best of their ability and then recover before tackling this grueling 300 metre challenge. Running in waves of 4 it will provide a spectacle for other racers and the public to see and also pit the top obstacle racers against one another in a closely fought competition. The first time this will be implemented is at the upcoming Stadium Sprint at Suncorp Stadium on the 29th of February 2016. The elites will be taking the field at the Spartan 300 between 10 and 10:30am with announcements to be made on the day so that there is plenty of time to get over there and see the action as it unfolds.
In addition to the above Max was also pleased to announce the return of the Gladiators to Spartan Race Australia events. In the revised format the Gladiators will now be positioned after the timing mats and be completely optional. Those who do not wish to run the gauntlet can simply pass to the side.
The driving force that allowed for their return was the recognition that Spartan Race Australia has a lower number of events than our American counterparts and as such the organisation of Gladiators for each occasion is much more manageable. Above all Spartan Race want consistency at their events and the decision to re-introduce the Gladiators reflects Spartan Race Australia’s confidence in achieving this.
Max outlined that a lot of work had been done behind the scenes to allow for their return and did so because he saw how much some people enjoyed facing off against the Gladiators. As long as there are smiles on both sides as you come into face the Gladiators Max believes it can only be a good experience.
All in all there are some positive changes taking place at Spartan Race and in particular the Spartan 300 has the potential to really become a stand out event in its own right. Have you previously competed at the Spartan Stadium Sprint/Super? If so what was your original impression of the Spartan 300 and do you think this is a move in the right direction?
This is all good news but what about those trying to get a double trifecta within Australia. Can’t do that with only one beast.
This is true Shawn, most of us that have gotten the double tri went to Hawaii in 2014 & 2015 to do the trifecta weekend.
Check out https://m.facebook.com/Aussie-Spartans-Invasion-Tribe-341794009333971/
We’re planning on taking 300 to Hawaii this year & we have some good travel packages available
Love the 300, short, sharp & intensive. The decision to have it as a seperate race is fantastic, plus you can run it as many times as you like (budget allowing) to improve your time
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