More than 4,000 competitors battled through a gruelling eight-km obstacle course to challenge themselves and have some fun.
The Spartan Race was held Saturday and Sunday at Heritage Ranch in Red Deer. The course meandered throughout Heritage Ranch and featured 25 obstacles.
The course was designed by race director Johnny Waite,who said while there is a competitive portion to the race, it’s the “open wave” runners who make the sport.
“They’re out here to be fitter, to be with here their friends and to challenge themselves and see how fast they can get,” said Waite. “One of our mottos is to rip people off of the couch. We want to get a million people off the couch and we’ve succeeded.
“Yes the first person across is awesome, we high-five them, they’re inspiring. But, the last person across is way cooler in my books.”
For Meghan First Charger, this event was her third. She participated with her husband Jerry, who has done the races for five years.
“She was going for her trifecta and I was supporting her,” said Jerry, who came to Red Deer from Raymond for the event.
Meghan said this year was better for her as she cut her time in half. She said she enjoys it for the challenge.
“I hate running, but I love the obstacles,” said Jerry.
The event in Red Deer is called a sprint, and it is spread out over eight km, Waite said the length was because of how flat the terrain is. Among the obstacles were a rope climb, climbing A-frames, crawling under barbed wire, cargo nets, rolling mud puddles and even spear throwing.
Next to the main course was a scaled-down version for kids, who also got a chance to get muddy and tired.
“We try to mimic our adult course, but the obstacles are smaller,” said Waite. “But mom and dad went through rolling mud, they’ll go through rolling mud. Mom and dad went over a slip wall, they’ll go over a slip wall.”
Waite said Heritage Ranch is one of Spartan Race’s most popular venues. Because of its location between Edmonton and Calgary, he said it gives them a large area to draw from.