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Thursday, June 6, 2019

2019 Spartan Race SEA Series in Lima Park | Batangas



Founded by adventure racer Joe DeSena in 2007, the Spartan Race has grown to become the world standard for endurance and strength races. A total of 240 races are now being held in 25 countries every year including the Philippines. The first leg of the 2019 Spartan Race Southeast Asia Regional series held in Lima Technology Center in Batangas on May 3-4, 2019 attracted more than 4,000 participants.


Obstacle courses such as Tyrolean traverse, barbed wire crawl, rope climb, twister, inverted wall and more are specifically designed to make racers go through various elements of challenges and wills them to step out of their physical fitness comfort zone.

Spartan Races to Join

The Spartan Race offer three core races varying in distance, number of obstacles and intensity. The Spartan Sprint typically covers a 5 km + 20 obstacle course, the Spartan Super is pegged at around 13 km + 25 obstacle while the Spartan Beast runs a length of 20 km + 30 obstacle race path. An added race in the Lima leg called the Hurricane 12 or HH12, is a bootcamp-style team challenge that started the night before and lasted 12 hours until the next morning.

A lady participant tries to complete the Rope Climb Obstacle
Participants of the Lima Park leg competed in three races: Sprint, Beast and Hurricane. Each races have their own categories namely: Elite, Age Group and the Open.

One of the more difficult obstacles: the Multi Rig
The more competitive racers participate in the Elite Category. This is where the strongest athletes race against each other. Podium finishers are awarded with cash prizes and plaques. The Age Group is equally competitive but athletes here competes in their own age group. Top finishers in either the Elite or the Age Group can qualify for the Spartan Race APAC Championship to compete with top athletes from Asia and Australia.

To earn a prestigious Spartan Trifecta Medal, one has to finish all Spartan races: Sprint, Super and Beast or an Ultra (40 km + 60 obstacle) in one calendar year.

Unleashing one’s Spartan Spirit

Cai Abbass started competing in June 2018 and has since placed 6th in the Southeast Asia Regional Series 2018 and 5th in the Beast Elite category in APAC 2018. This year alone, she has completed more than 50 kilometers spread across five Spartan Race events and qualified for the Spartan Race APAC Championship to be held in China on August 2019. 

Cai Abbass in action during the Spartan Race in Lima Park
Competition this year has gotten really tough as more and more athletes are competing in the Elite categories. Some athletes who have competed in Age Group last year have moved to the Elite category and they have been dominating. It would take so much grit, power, speed and athleticism to really come out on the top. This competition is very exciting and it pushes everyone to be better at the sport.” Abbass said.

For Samantha Soto, unleashing her Spartan Spirit at the age of 40 was no means a walk in the park. It was through hard-work and dedication that she finally succeeded in earning her first Spartan Trifecta medal in Batangas.

Sam Soto shows her first Spartan Trifecta Medals
“At age 40 with no athletic background, it’s easy to write off your body as “past its peak”. But since I’ve signed to my first Spartan race 6 months ago, I’ve never been this fit and strong before. I lost a ton of weight, I can totally outdo my 20yr old self in the gym.  Doing OCR taught me it’s never TOO OLD to reinvent myself, evolve and continuously set and smash new goals. I just ran Spartan beast – 21km + 30+ obstacles in Batangas to complete my first trifecta, something I never thought I could” Soto said proudly.

The Barbed Wire Crawl
While one—especially beginners can skip an obstacle, the Spartan Race enforces a strict rule stating “Athletes who fail to complete an obstacle must complete 30 burpees as a penalty before continuing”. Therefore it becomes an added motivation for every Spartan racer to finish the race without having to perform a burpee penalty.

The Inverted Wall Obstacle
For most Spartan Racers like Sam and Cai, reaching the finish line isn’t just the primary goal because completing all the obstacle courses makes finishing the Spartan Race sweeter. “There were a lot of heavy lifting through long distances, like Jerry-Can, which zaps a lot of energy. Obstacles that I thought I prepared for, like Olympus and Multi-Rig, was a lot harder on the day because they were slippery and well, I was exhausted. But this is the appeal and challenge of Spartan races is that it’s unpredictable, and you just keep believing that you have trained enough, and your muscles and mind can endure all the obstacles and mileage” Soto adds.


The 2019 Spartan Race Southeast Asia regional series will continue its 2nd leg in Ipoh Malaysia on July 20 and the final leg in Bukit Timah, Singapore on August 3.

Special thanks to one of the official partners of Spartan Race, Lima Park Hotel for accommodating members of the media who covered the 2019 Spartan Race Regional Finals.

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