8 THE QUEENS COURIER • DECEMBER 2, 2021 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
Thousands head to Citi Field for the Spartan Stadion 5K race
BY GABRIELE HOLTERMANN
More than 5,000 participants challenged
their athletic abilities during the Citi
Field Spartan Stadion 5K obstacle race on
Saturday, Nov. 20.
Th e home of the New York Mets was
turned into a rigorous racecourse with
20 obstacles testing the athletes’ strength,
endurance and speed. Th e race, which drew
runners of all ages, started at 7 a.m. with
waves of 15 racers released every minute.
Testing the runners’ endurance, the trail
led them through the stadium’s interior and
exterior, up and down staircases. Th e obstacles
— including a stadium stair run with
sandbags, weighted burpees and rope climb
— challenged the participants’ muscle
Before reaching the fi nish line
where racers received the coveted
Stadion’s race unique and
collectible yellow medal, they had
to make it through “the gauntlet,” a
jungle of swinging, heavy bags.
Founded in 2010 by endurance
athlete Joe de Sena, Spartan
Race quickly gained a massive
following of pro and amateur
athletes alike and now hosts
more than 250 events across
Spartan off ers six diff erent
races with varying degrees
Racers carry sandbags while running up and down stadium stairs during the Citi Field
Spartan Stadion 5K obstacle race on Nov. 20, 2021.
of diffi culty. Th e 5K, 20-obstacle
Stadion is fast and intense — perfect
for beginners and experts
alike. Th e most
c h a l l e n g -
ing one, the
is, according to
their website, a
“truly unique and
brutal challenge,” merging
the sport of obstacle
course racing along
with 50K courses and 60
Photos by Gabriele Holtermann
Dan, Meghann, Erin and Lucy — all
Ithaca College students — participated
for the fi rst time. Erin came up with
the idea to run the Spartan Race.
“I wanted to run a Spartan Race, and I
didn’t want to do it alone,” Erin said. “At
fi rst, they said no, but I convinced them
to run today.”
Th e group prepared for the race by following
the Spartan Race training plan and
built their endurance with 5K runs.
When asked if they had a time goal in
mind, they joked that they wanted to fi nish
the race in less than six hours.
Th e Stadion Race was Jason Jeff rey’s
third Spartan Race. Th e Brooklynite, who
works out six days a week, ran two outdoor
races in New Jersey and upstate New
York. His goal is to run the Spartan Super
and Ultra races.
“All my friends used to do it, and they
were like ‘man, you have to do one.’ And I
was like, ‘this is amazing.’” Jeff rey said. “So,
I want to do more. And I’m looking forward
Tyler Spencer, the race director for
Spartan Race, was elated to see the energized
and positive crowd in the stadium
aft er the COVID-19 pandemic halted all
“Th e Spartan Race is ripping people
off the couch and getting them out in
this wonderful environment,” Spencer said.
“And getting to see people back at races has
been fantastic for us. It’s just been a blast.”
Elite racer Miranda Kielpinski, who
placed fi rst, said it felt great to be back.
“I mean, winning is awesome, obviously,”
Kielpinski said. “But I like the competitiveness
and the community and the event and
the vibes and good energy. It feels great.”
Kielpinski’s training schedule consists of
running, cycling, rock climbing and circuit
training. She said that the pandemic actually
upped her fi tness level.
“I just kept the motivation going,” the
surfer from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, said.
“I feel like a lot of these girls are very motivated.
We have that in common to just
keep hoping that there’s a light at the end
of the tunnel.”
their abilities and
jump over walls as part
of the race.
Isaac Lacey, who placed
fi rst in the men’s elite runner,
also used the 2020 pandemic
related hiatus to focus
on his fi tness and improve his
Th e New Hampshire native
has been calling Brooklyn home for the past
11 years, and winning his last race of the
season in New York City was the “cherry on
top” of a successful 2021 race season.
“I knew that running was something
that was lacking to be competitive with
these other top elites,” Lacey said. “So yeah,
I was able to just really put in a solid year of
dedication to improving my running and
fi tness. 2021 has been a good opportunity to
kind of test that fi tness at a bunch of races.
And so I had a pretty good year.”
Th e athlete, who participated in his fi rst
Spartan Race at Citi Field in 2018, shared
that in 2022 he wants to participate in the
Spartan Ultra Race.
“It’s a great sport,” Lacey said, emphasizing
the camaraderie among the athletes.
“Ultimately, it’s a really great community. It’s
always awesome to come out, and see a lot
of friends and familiar faces I raced with.”
Anyone who wants to make a New Year’s
resolution for 2022 and test their athletic
abilities by fi nishing a Spartan Race for
bragging rights and the unique collectible
swag, including a special medal and shirt,
Participants tested their skills with
weighted burpees during the
Citi Field Spartan Stadion 5K
Racers prepare to climb a rope during the race. can head over to spartan.com.
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