Doing things the Spartan way

BURLINGTON, Vt. - On May 16, two runners from Saranac took part in a race which asks, "Are you tough enough?"

The Spartan Race, an international adventure racing series, according to their Web site, launched this year at the Catamount Outdoor Center and will extend across the country and into Canada and the United Kingdom. Next year, the race will be brought into China, New Zealand and Australia.

The 5-kilometer race is far from a straight course. From throwing a spear, to crawling under barbed wire, to swimming across a 40-meter pond, the race is meant to test endurance.

According to the Web site, www.spartanrace.com, the obstacles are inspired by Navy SEAL training, Spartan training, and American Gladiators.

"Being a steeple chaser and having done a lot of snowshoeing, this was the most grueling day of running I've ever gone through," explained long-time runner and Saranac High School's assistant track coach Matt Medeiros.

Medeiros first heard of the Spartan race three weeks beforehand from 16-year-old David Dormann who runs long-distance on the school's track team.

Dormann heard about the races from his father who is an Army recruiter.

"The Spartan race was actually set up by the Marines," Medeiros explained.

Prior to the start of the race, participants did not know what to expect of the course, other than the few obstacles they could see at the starting line.

"You could see where they would shoot you with the fire hose, then the fire jump," Medeiros said. "They shot us with the fire hose preemptively to jump over the fire."

With 12 obstacles in one lap of the race, Dormann felt crossing the pond was the most difficult for him.

"It wasn't that bit, it's just that I had all these clothes on and they weighed me down a lot," he explained, adding the race is definitely not for novice runners.

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