The Heritage Ranch in Red Deer Alberta was the site of the only double event weekend in Alberta. The Spartan Super took place on Saturday September 3 and the Spartan Sprint took place on Sunday September 4.
The Super course was ~12.5 km long with 29 obstacles, and the Sprint course was ~5.2 km with 23 obstacles.
Obstacle List (obstacles in blue were only in the Super)
O-U-T, 5 ft wall, 6 ft wall, Atlas Carry, Inverted wall, 8 ft wall, 7 ft wall, Rolling Mud, Stairway to Sparta, Tire Flip, Parallel Bar, Hobie Hop, Z-Wall Traverse, Cargo Bridge, Bucket Brigade, Sandbag, Tractor Pull, Swim, Balance Beam, Multi Rig, Barbedwire, Slip Wall, Hercules Hoist, Monkey Bars, Tree Maze, Spear Throw, Vertical Cargo, Rope Climb, and Fire Jump.
Speed! Both the Red Deer Super and Sprint were some of the fastest Spartan Races around. The terrain surrounding the Heritage Ranch was relatively bland. The majority of the course consisted of open fields with differing lengths of brush. Sections of single track were sprinkled into course but the single track was not technically difficult and required little to no technical running skills. There is also a lack of elevation change throughout the venue, with only two small climbs in the Super and one small climb in the Sprint. The open fields, relatively easy single track and minimal elevation change resulted in an extremely fast and exciting race.
Hercules Hoist and Monkey Bars Combo: Placement of the Hercules Hoist and Monkey bars provided an awesome challenge for racers. The Hercules Hoist and the Monkey Bars were placed within a few meters of each other. The Hercules Hoist was encountered first and was much heavier than previous years (supposedly ~135 lbs). Pulling the heavy Hercules Hoist sapped a lot of grip strength that racers would require at the Monkey Bars a few steps away. These obstacles on their own are quite easy, but putting them in succession makes for a much harder challenge.
Stacked Field and Pros: The Men’s Elite Heat was one of the most competitive fields to date. All of the top guys were on hand to battle it out for the top spot. There are too many to list here but to name a few; Mikhail Gerylo, Austin Azar, Josh Stryde, Luke Ball, and Kristian Wieclawek were all on site. But any of the top 10 males had a legitimate shot at the podium. This made for an extremely exciting race for both the competitors in the heat of battle and for the spectators as they watched the top guys go toe to toe!
On the Female side racers were graced with the presence of the 2015 Ultra Beast World Champion, Michelle Ford, Spartan Pro Team member Faye Stenning and 2014 World’s Toughest Mudder runner-up Allison Tai. Running in the midst of pros and a world champion isn’t an opportunity that comes around too often, so it was awesome to have these inspiring ladies out at a local race. For both men and women, simply being out on the course with Faye, Michelle and Allison tearing it up is a spectacular sight and incredibly motivating.
No Heavy Carries (sprint only): All of the heavy carries that were present in the Super got axed from the Sprint. I don’t understand why they were not included. The Sprint course ran right by the where the bucket brigade was in the Super, so it would have been easy enough to include. Although the race was still fun, a Spartan Race that doesn’t have a heavy carry definitely feels incomplete.
Lack of Terrain: As stated above this race was fast due to the terrain. I have no problem with a fast race, however the lack of variability on the terrain made things less exciting. Zig-zagging through open fields and encountering the occasional pile of horse dung isn’t ideal.
The Red Deer Spartan Super and Sprint weekend was overall an enjoyable weekend. However I feel that the lack of variable terrain hindered the course. Running through fields isn’t all that exciting when compared to other races and venues. Although not the best course I did have a great time. The course was fun, fast and enjoyable, but Spartan Race Western Canada has done better. The Red Deer Spartan Super and Sprint was fun, but the overall experience was just above average for me.
|Spartan Super||Spartan Sprint|
|1) Faye Stenning||1:21:37||1) Austin Azar||1:06:37|
|2) Michelle Ford||1:25:10||2) Mikhail Gerylo||1:07:41|
|3) Jessica Lemon||1:25:18||3) Graham MacDonald||1:09:14|
|1) Faye Stenning||32:14||1) Mikhail Gerylo||25:59|
|2) Michelle Ford||34:01||2) Kristian Wieclawek||26:13|
|3) Jessica Lemon||37:01||3) Austin Azar||27:28|
Photo credit: Adam Kuhn, Spartan Race.
Adam Kuhn lives in Calgary Alberta, where he works as a Geologist in corporate Calgary. Playing high level hockey and football in high school Adam has always loved competitive sports. Upon entering University, sports and exercise fell to the wayside as a life of partying ensued. Spartan Racing has gotten Adam off the couch (and booze) and has revitalized his life. A relatively new face in the OCR scene Adam’s competitive nature is back as he pushes his body to its limits as he competes in the Elite Heats, testing himself against the best of the best. Follow him on Instagram @adamkuhn20 and checkout his personal blog readysweatrun.com for more on his adventures.