Just 1 week before the 24hour World’s Toughest Mudder in Las Vegas Nevada, the November 7th-8th Spartan Race Fenway Park Sprint Weekend became the final Northeastern OCR event for several Spartan Elite athletes and a few soon to be discovered contenders to log in miles before tapering off. For a few moments Saturday morning, the magnitude of the historic home of the Boston Red Sox was overshadowed by the excitement of Spartan Pro Team Athlete Isaiah Vidal rounding the warning track fighting for the top spot but unable to overcome the 4 second lead of Brakken Kraken (23:09). This course was much faster than the advertised 30 minute “fastest finish time” with Massachusetts’ own Junyong Pak coming in 3rd (25:01). Honorable mention to 1st place Open Wave racer Vincent Larochelle (25:56) who could’ve made it tougher for the elite men to cash in had he run against them. The Elite women did not disappoint either with 1st place Kate Cramer (26:37) and 2nd place Jackie Landmark (27:28) finishing top 10 overall!
Saturday Masters Division Winners:
- Men – Kevin Donoghue (27:46), Charles Vassallo (28:31), Joe Benoit (29:50)
- Women – Robin Fontaine (37:50), Kristen Mullen (39:13), Deanna McCormack (39:40)
Sunday’s chilly races were just as fast with Isaiah Vidal (23:26) taking 1st place from the Elite men followed by Ryan Kempson (24:45) and Kiaran McCormack (25:05). The Elite women matched Saturday’s intensity with Cassidy Watton (26:38) striding in 1st followed by Kate Cramer (27:16).
Sunday Masters Division Winners:
- Men – Charles Vassallo (26:23), Stephen Keith (28:05), Kevin Donoghue (28:44)
- Women – Mary Ann Belarmino (35:43), Robin Fontaine (36:18), Gridska Flynn (36:53)
Not to be outdone, Elite female Orla Marie Walsh, who podium’d for 3rd place on Saturday and Sunday (30:06 / 28:53 respectively), returned to the course to assist paralyzed Team Believe (@teambelieve923) members Tim Morris and Lindsey Runkels as they wheel barrowed over obstacles and expectations to reach the finish line. Elite racer and team captain Mark Jones of the 2014 1st place World’s Toughest Mudder Spartan Wolfpack was also on hand to lend support to these Adaptive Athletes.
The inspirations of Team Ilene led by Ilene Boyar (@teamilene) proved yet again that Brittle Bone Disease is no match for determination and perseverance while the veterans of Team Oscar Mike (@oscarmike) reminded us there is a life worth conquering on the other side of a wound, especially when that wound is taken in our place.
Yes, there were timing chip issues which were mostly resolved in Chronotrack before the end of the weekend; Yes, there was confusion during the water jug carry on the 1st elite wave Saturday morning; and Yes, there were some “elite” athletes who ran even faster after failing an obstacle to escape burpee accountability but… does any of that really matter compared to seeing a 57 year old Damian Mark Ryan go from death bed in 2014 due to complications with obesity and Type II Diabetes to conquering the Fenway Sprint (twice in 1 weekend)?? We think not.
Nevertheless, DO YOUR BURPEES BEFORE WE’RE FORCED TO NAME NAMES!
God Bless & Keep Running,
Nelson Runaway Diaz
Nelson "Runaway" Diaz
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Such a great experience! And great athletes!!!
Great article about the Fenway Sprint. Nelson does such a terrific job of capturing the excitement of that weekend. Nice for me as a new participant to read about the Spartan Elite and Masters. Loved reading about the adaptive athlete teams and best of all my newfound team, Team Believe! Amazing photo of Tim Morris and teammates- how could I not be inspired.? Appreciate the shoutout and can’t wait to race again!
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