After two years of televising a handful of races, this year Spartan Race (in conjunction with NBC Sports Network) officially made the “TV races” their U.S. Championship Series. The series of 5 races was complete with it’s own point system and crowned a champion separate from the Tahoe based “Spartan World Championship”
For 2017, this series will be back, but with a couple of new wrinkles. First, the finale of the series will take place at a brand new Spartan venue, the 14,000 acre Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in West Virginia. This replaces Breckenridge, Colorado, which was the site of last year’s Series finale. Second, Spartan is putting some focus on Age Groups. It is not 100% clear from the press release but it appears that the 40 plus masters category will be competing all season and have a chance to compete for a prize pool. In addition, specific champion age group awards (but no cash) will be given for the final race of the year in 6 age categories. We are confirming this AG info with Spartan at the time of this post.
The complete press release is below:
Spartan Race Will Crown 2017 Spartan U.S. Championship Series Winners and First-Ever Age Group Champions in West Virginia
Spartan Race Partners with Wild, Wonderful West Virginia to bring NBC-televised race series to the world-renowned Summit Bechtel Reserve
Boston, MA (Nov 22, 2016) Spartan Race, the world’s leading obstacle race company, announced today that the finale of the 2017 Spartan U.S. Championship Series and the first-ever Spartan Age Group Championship will be hosted at the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve, an internationally renowned adventure destination, on August 26 and 27, 2017. NBC Sports will be on hand to film all the action as part of comprehensive, season-long coverage of the 2017 Spartan U.S. Championship Series.
The Spartan U.S. Championship Series will crown both individual race winners and an overall series champion based on cumulative points earned across the five race series and award more than $100,000 in cash and prizes. The Emmy-nominated series will once again be televised on NBCSN. As the final race in the Spartan U.S. Championship Series, The Ascent presented by Wild, Wonderful West Virginia will bring the most competitive field of athletes to test themselves on the most challenging course of the series.
“We are thrilled to partner with Wild, Wonderful West Virginia and the Summit Bechtel Reserve to bring the final race of the Spartan U.S. Championship Series to the great state of West Virginia. This world-class venue with its impressive terrain and amenities makes it the ultimate destination for Spartan Racers and adventurers, and is the perfect stage for the world’s best athletes to test themselves one last time before the Reebok Spartan Race World Championship in Lake Tahoe,” said Spartan Race Founder and CEO Joe De Sena. The 2017 Spartan U.S. Championship Series consists of:
RACE RACE DATE RACE TYPE EMERALD CITY OPEN (SEATTLE) APRIL 22 SUPER (8+ Miles, 25+ Obstacles) GOLDEN STATE CLASSIC (MONTEREY) JUNE 3 SUPER (8+ Miles, 25+ Obstacles) BLUE MOUNTAIN CHALLENGE (PALMERTON) JULY 8 SUPER (8+ Miles, 25+ Obstacles) SOUTHEAST SHOWDOWN (ASHEVILLE) JULY 29 SUPER (8+ Miles, 25+ Obstacles) THE ASCENT (WEST VIRGINIA) AUGUST 26 BEAST (12+ Miles, 30+ Obstacles)
The finale of the Spartan U.S Championship Series will headline Saturday’s events. The Elite Beast, the Spartan Age Group Championship Beast, and the Open category Beast races will also take place on Saturday. Sunday Morning will feature Elite, Competitive, and Open heats of the Spartan Super followed by the Competitive and Open Spartan Sprint race heats in the afternoon. The first-ever Spartan Age Group Championship is designed to give racers the opportunity to compete against their peers in specified heats for awards and distinction. The Age Group classes are as follows: 14-17, 18-24, 25-32, 33-39, 40-49, 50+. Also new for 2017, Spartan U.S. Championship Series Master 40+ winners will be crowned and have the chance to compete for a specific prize pool.
The weekend will also feature a variety of events and activities outside of the race to enjoy. Known throughout the nation for its impressive panoramic mountain peaks and rolling hills, West Virginia is a world-class destination for elite athletes, fitness enthusiasts, weekend warriors, and families alike.
“We look forward to welcoming the Spartan Race to West Virginia and are excited about the economic impact this event will have on our state and local communities. Bringing in visitors to this region is an opportunity for us to positively showcase our natural beauty, world-class adventures, and the wonderful people of this great state,” said Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.
“Wild, Wonderful West Virginia is known for our diverse outdoor recreational opportunities and when combined with dedicated locals and a strong commitment to hospitality this race is a perfect fit for the Mountain State. It is also a truly unique opportunity to showcase—on an international stage—the many things to see and do right here in our backyard,” said Commissioner of Tourism Amy Shuler Goodwin.
About Spartan Race, Inc.
Spartan Race is the world’s leading obstacle race company and the first of its kind to feature timing and global rankings. With more than 200 events in 30+ countries planned for 2017, Spartan Race has more than 1 million global participants, and offers open heats for all fitness levels as well as competitive and elite heats. With over 5 million passionate social media followers, health and wellness products, as well as the popular NBC television series, Spartan Race has made obstacle racing one of the fastest growing sports—and lifestyles— in the world. Spartan Race features races at three distances, 3+Mile/20+ Obstacle “Sprint,” 8+ Mile/25+ Obstacle “Super” and 12+ Mile/30+ Obstacle “Beast,” culminating each year in the Reebok Spartan Race World Championship. Visit spartan.com for more information, a schedule of events, and to register for a race.
About the Summit Bechtel Reserve
The Summit Bechtel Reserve is one of four “high-adventure” facilities owned and operated by the Boy Scouts of America. The site, which is spread across more than 14,000 acres of reclaimed mining land adjacent to the New River Gorge National River in the mountains of West Virginia, uses world-class outdoor facilities and programs to focus on leadership, adventure, service, and sustainability. It also serves as the permanent home of the BSA’s National Jamboree, which attracts more than 30,000 youth and adult members every four years to the organization’s premiere celebration of Scouting.
As the home of the National Jamboree, the Summit Bechtel Reserve will welcome more than 30,000 Scouts and volunteers in July 2017 for the Boy Scouts of America’s premiere celebration of Scouting. Situated in beautiful West Virginia adjacent to the New River Gorge National River, the 14,000-plus-acre site features an unrivaled mix of amenities and adventure facilities, including one of the longest zip line courses in North America, with nearly 5.5 miles of lines; approximately 680,000 square feet of skating and BMX ramps, parks, and street courses; treetop canopy tours; rock climbing; dozens of miles of single-track mountain bike trails; and more than 13 acres of archery, sporting clays, and aquatics centers. Visit http://www.summitbsa.org for more information.