Spartan racers will be tackling big obstacles at Big White next month.
The Spartan Race will take over the Kelowna area ski hill Aug. 27-28 with four different levels of obstacle courses.
The races include the kids race of 1-3 kilometres with obstacles, the Super 10K race with 25 obstacles, the Beast 21K with 30 obstacles and the Ultra 50K with 60 obstacles. Among these categories, there are also age groups to split up participants.
“Big White offers tremendous elevation gain, steep technical terrain and great views all around. Being secluded from the city and proving a great village with tons of accommodations and services, it proves to be one of the great destination races of the year,” said Nicolas Bertrand, director of operations.
Racers can expect classic spartan obstacles like the spear throw, barbed wire crawl, rope climb, Hercules hoist and walls.
Bertrand emphasized these obstacles are not easy and the Big White race is expected to be demanding.
“Tyrolean traverse is one that is difficult because racers have to make their way across a horizontal rope plus a negative 30 feet,” he said.
Selecting venues in advance allows people to have a decent idea of what to expect and how to train for that specific event.
“If it’s high altitude on a mountain, if there is a lot of positive gain, people will usually follow a different training regimen than if the race is a fast low elevation run,” Bertrand said.
Spartan racers from all over the world will be participating.
Laura Hein McElduff from Northvale, New Jersey completed her first Super Spartans race in 2012 at age 42 at Mountain Creek in Vernon, New Jersey.
“I love the challenge. I like to train for months to improve a skill and see how it works on course. I love the community and the camaraderie, even among competitors,” McElduff said. “I have had the privilege to do races all over the Northeast, in North Carolina, in Ohio, in Tahoe, and in Abu Dhabi. Seeing people from all over the world competing and pushing themselves is amazing.”
Tonya Davison is also travelling to Kelowna this August from Alberta. She shared her reasons for racing.
“I have the goal to do an Ultra. Before I started racing in Spartan, I was overweight and unhealthy,” Davison said. “I remember watching the Spartan team challenge on TV and was like that looks fun.”
Now, Davison is a Spartan ambassador and Big White will mark races number 19 and 20 for her.
Kim Tilley of Oak Creek, Colorado, did her first race in Breckenridge Colorado at the age of 61.
“I did over 400 burpees in that race at an elevation of over 11,000 feet and I was immediately hooked,” Tilley said. “My chronological age might be 65 but, in my mind, I am 30.”
The Festival Area will be wide open for anyone to join in on the fun. This is where racers and spectators arrive and get ready for the race and also where participants finish the event.
The main stage will be animating the crowds and playing music. Vendors and partners will be showcasing product samples and the start and finish lines are set for spectators. Food, beer, cold showers, and photo opportunities are also part of the mix.
Check the website for more information.