In five short years the Spartan Race has grown from a single event with 500 competitors to its second world championship with 500 elite athletes (and thousands of amateurs) vying for the title. While the Spartan Race now reaches around the globe, the popular obstacle race heads to its home state of Vermont to crown its new champion.
The race will favor endurance over speed as the 12-mile course has at least 5,000 feet of elevation gain — and will take the winner near three hours to finish. Running up and down Mount Killington, the racers hike up steep inclines, down technical terrain, and through obstacles that might include a 65-pound sandbag carry, rope climb, and crawling through constant mud.
The best Spartans are lean, functionally strong athletes with both high-end speed and all-day endurance. Here are the top Spartan racers to contend the men’s race and take home $15,000 for the win.