Do you fancy taking on a physical challenge with a bit of a difference this year? How does an endurance event requiring you to wade through muddy bogs, scale slippery 8-foot ramps, clamber up 25-foot-high cargo nets, leap over fire and more, sound to you?
Well if that has peaked your interest then you’ll be delighted to hear that one of Britain’s biggest sporting series, Spartan Race, is coming to Perth in 2018. Combining running with fun and challenging obstacles, this physical and mental test was completed by over a million people across 30 countries last year, making it the world’s leading obstacle course racing series.
The Perth event will be the only one in Scotland this year, and will take place on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th September. Designed to cater for all fitness levels, there are three main types of Spartan Race; Sprint (5km+), a Super (12km+), and a Beast (22km+). There is also a race for the little ones, and the Spartans Kids Race is for children aged between 4 and 13 over a 1.5km course.
For beginners, the Sprint race is recommended and with over 20 obstacles to overcome on the course it’s a firm favourite with both new and experienced Spartan racers. It takes an average runner around an hour and a half to complete a Spartan Sprint and each one has its own unique challenges and character. For those who have more experience in endurance events, the Super or Beast races may be more appealing.
The Perth race will kick off in the city centre with runners making their way through crowd-lined streets before they head out onto the hilly trails of Kinnoull Hill and Deuchny Woods. It’s a picturesque route with stunning views over the city and the River Tay, although you may be more focused on the obstacles ahead of you than the views behind you! Spartan Sprint is an accessible challenge; even if you’re overweight, or if you have never run before, it’s something that anyone can do.
General Manager of Spartan Race UK, Sam Lansdale, is looking forward to bringing the series to Perth and hopes as many of the local community get involved as possible.
“It’s always a pleasure to host events in Scotland,” Sam said, “in areas both of such natural and man-made beauty. Racers will find themselves drawn in by the atmosphere of the landscape. We have an event that will test mental strength, endurance, grit and perseverance. The scenery will boost enjoyment and inspire everyone to get to that finish line even faster.
“A big part of our race is about community and pushing yourself to achieve something more than you think you can. It’s about resetting your frame of reference, from wanting to sit on the couch all day long, eating junk food to going outdoors for a ten minute jog. That’s your initial step on the ladder to completing your first Spartan Sprint.
“We have mums, dads, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters and many others taking part who are maybe just looking for a new kind of fitness challenge. The Spartan Sprint is an accessible challenge; even if you’re overweight, or if you have never run before, it’s something that anyone can do.”
The sport of obstacle racing is booming as a worldwide craze and attracts millions of runners and keep-fit enthusiasts who are perhaps tired of the more traditional endurance events. Contrary to the misconception that the sport is dominated by men, 40 percent of the Spartan Race participants are women. Obstacles are kept top secret until race day in order to surprise the runners, so you can do as much research as you like but you won’t know what to expect until you see an obstacle mid-race!