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The Kids Are In The Game!

Benson Bear

Soon, the 2016 #racelocal Grand Prix will be on us.  Walls will be climbed, heavy things carried, miles will be run, mountains will be scaled.  There are medals to be earned.  One of the items we are very excited, and very proud, to announce about ~this year’s~ 2016 Grand Prix is it’s not just for *you* any longer.

It’s time to get the kids into the game!

A few early details for you: Some races will have a minimum age requirement, some will not.  Some will have a minimum age requirement, and require the child to run with their parent.  But this year your children are going to have the ability to run, crawl, jump, get muddy, and #racelocal right along with you! FULL details are coming very soon!

MaAlong with the registration information, there will be information about how to register your child for #racelocal as well.  While you are earning swag for your races, so will your child (or children). Oh, wait…you didn’t think we’d save all the cool stuff for the big kids, did you?  Oh, no…we have a lot of very cool things lined up just for the kids division!  The more they race, the more they earn!

What could be better than spending the day together, racing, and earning cool swag?  That’s what we thought, too…nothing!  Which is why we’ve put this whole thing (and prizes) together!

Racing should be able to combine all of your passions together, and now it can.  We told you the 2016 #racelocal was going to be bigger and better than ever, and we mean it.

Now, look – medals and prizes are fantastic, we all enjoy earning them.  We have all crossed a finish line with friends, our battle buddies. Imagine taking on a race with your family! Helping each other on the course, building memories as you finish the race together; those would be memories which would stay with you, and your family members, forever!  Ultimately this is the big goal, to bring us all together.  #racelocal #strongertogether


We hope you have questions, and we hope you’re as excited as we are! Keep your eyes peeled, more information will be coming soon!  All questions will be answered soon!

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Spahten Story: Linda Rae – This is what it is all about.

On October 29, Linda Rae Krov, shared a before and after photo and a brief message:

“According to Sara Jean Norman I should share a glimpse of my story:
After a conversation with some of my fellow Spahtens, I looked back on the last year in races.
Before joining this family, and I do mean family, I didn’t know anyone in New England outside of my job. Being as social Linda Raeas I am, this led to a lot of weekends stress eating junk food and drinking with co-workers. Needless to say, I gained a bunch of weight (almost 40 pounds).

I met a Spahten in the bathroom line at Blizzard Blast and next thing I knew, my weekends were booked with #‎racelocal and tons of other OCR events. I didn’t actually notice a change in myself until I put the pictures next to each other. The comparison is from Fenway 2014 and Run the Gauntlet 2015 (a little under a year apart).

Thank you all for being such a wonderful inspiration and positive influence! (Especially with the dirty jokes😉) Love you all!!!”

It was a “this is what we do and why we do it moment for me.” So I reached out to Linda Rae to ask for just a little bit more.

What got you into OCR?

Linda Rae SnowMy first OCR was the Spartan Sprint in Palmerton, PA back in 2012.  My Muay Thai training buddy had done a few Tough Mudders, and figured I would love the challenge of a Spartan.  While I loved it, I didn’t really do more than one a year until I moved up to Boston in 2014.

I moved to Boston to help open a school and I didn’t know anyone besides coworkers. I also realized that needed something besides school to keep me sane (and battle the pounds that kept adding up.) I read about Renegade Run and Blizzard Blast on a random facebook ads, and signed up for those two plus, the Fenway Sprint.

Thank goodness I signed up for Blizzard Blast because I randomly talked to a Spahten in the line for the bathroom.  She brought me over to the team space to meet people and they talked me into signing up for FIT with the team.  The rest is history.

How have battle buddies affected your racing?

The biggest change I have seen in myself, thanks to my battle buddies, is that I have a ton more GRIT.  In the past, I would have bypassed or burpied out of obstacles that made me even slightly uncomfortable.  (My first race, I cried at the top of a cargo net because the height freaked me out so much.)  Now, I try everything, and sometimes, even make myself do it again.  I NEVELinda Rae Battle BuddiesR would have even attempted doing three laps at Tuff Scramblers without a few very specific Spahtens there to push me and remind me that I was capable.

The other glorious thing about having such a large group of battle buddies is that I can ALWAYS find someone at the pace I am looking for.  Sometimes, I want to push myself to run more, sometimes I am all about aggressively hiking the whole race.  I have a people I can do either pace with.  To be completely honest though, the BEST part of having battle buddies, is definitely the jokes.  When you are covered in mud, exhausted, with a giant hole in the seat of your shorts, the jokes carry you through the race with a smile…. Among other things.

What are your plans for this winter and next season?

This winter, I will be doing Blizzard Blast again (maybe two laps?) and Polar Bear at Shale Hill.  I am also doing my first solo Half Marathon at Disney World in February. (I couldn’t resist a medal with a tiara). #blingwhore

Linda Rae LogNext season I have a few goals.

  1. At least a double Spartan trifecta, my first eluded me this year because of an injury.
  2. Completing a double lap at Shale Hill.
  3. Hitting the century club in Race Local.

These are pretty big pushes for me, but I think with enough of a push, it WILL happen.

One piece of advice you would offer to a newbie?

Don’t say, “I can’t do it” before you have attempted something.  If you are afraid of heights, take it one step at a time, let people help you. Take your time.  If it is too much to do the whole thing on your first race, go halfway.  Don’t just tap and walk by because of fear.

Also, don’t be afraid to talk to people!  My random talking to people at a race got me connected with the best group of people I know.

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What it takes to be an inspiration.

inspire2Just what does it take to inspire someone?

Not necessarily as much as you might think.  It will differ for each person.  You might not even realize that you are being an inspiration.Everything that you do can be inspiring to the right person.

Did you share a recipe that was healthy?  Someone might have seen it and decide that looks good and takes a step to cook a meal at home instead of going out.  Guess what! You just inspired someone.

Did you post a photo of yourself at the gym?  Someone might have seen it and decided they were going to do something active.  Guess what! You just inspired someone.
Did you do something that pushed you outside of your comfort zone?  Did you shout it to the roof tops when you finished?  Someone probably saw it and probably decided to do something else to step outside of their comfort zone.  Guess what! You just inspired someone.
I know that running a marathon or an ultra marathon is inspiring.  So is running a 5k when you couldn’t run 30 seconds a year ago.   You know what else is inspiring?  Walking a 5k even when you are worried people might be looking at you.
Anything you do that pushes you is inspiring.  Remember that what you are doing could be inspiring someone, just as you are being inspired by others.
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Resolutions and Goals

I am not a big New Year’s Resolutionist.  If I set them too quickly, without a lot of thought, they usually aren’t right for the long term and I give up.  If I spend too much time setting them, the year is too far into it and I give up.  Sometimes I set them too hard and challenging, so I give up.  Rarely do I set them too easy but when I do, they are over before I even get the satisfaction of working on them.  Sense a theme here?  I give up on them.

Goals should be in constant evolution as you grow and change.  When you realize there is something you want, figure out how to obtain it and go for it.  Don’t wait for the New Year to start your weight-loss journey, your sub 3:00 marathon, your quest for all the 4,000 footers in NH, the list goes on and on.

So what are you waiting for! Just because New Year’s Day has passed doesn’t mean it is too late or too early to set those goals.  Goals are motivation!

Set your goal.

Set when you want to achieve your goal.

Write down the steps needed to achieve your goal, including mini goals.

Execute your plan.



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Game time

It’s game time.

One more sleep until we bring the biggest and best team Spartan Race has ever had. One more sleep until several of us also take on Tough Mudder (same weekend, *really*). One more sleep until the Hurricane Heat.

There really isn’t a lot left to say or do. You’re ready for this. You’ve got this. You may be confident that you’re trained and primed and raring to go, you may be petrified that you haven’t done enough and you’ll struggle.

Doesn’t matter. You’ve still got this.


Now it’s time to make the choice, mentally. Do you want to go into this scared, and full of doubt? Or do you want to go into this pumped and ready to kill that course? You can make the choice about how you feel on that start line.

Trust your body. Trust that 98% of all Sprint distance starters finish. Trust that when you get told to do 30 burpees, you can, and you will. Trust that you will be surrounded by the best support system you could ever wish for. This community was *made* for this, and you are a part of that.

During our team heat, someone will be the first off that course, someone will be the last off that course. They get the same t shirt, they get the same medal – but I guarantee you that the person finishing last gets the bigger self confidence boost, and the bigger reward to their life, long term. It’s like a prize for being last, that no one told you to expect.

First or last, you will finish.



No more talk about how slow you are. No more talk about how big you are, or how scared you are, or how injured you are, or how unprepared you are. You will still step up to that line tomorrow, and you will run the same race as everyone else, and you will earn that damned medal, like everyone else. It will have even more meaning to you, because you earned it over 3 hours, instead of 1 – or you dragged your obese ass over an 8′ wall, instead of your 2% body fat ass … You will earn it all the more. Injury will slow you down, make you adapt and over come – but that finishers medal will be earned. The obstacles will be overcome.

As Spartan says … You will know at the finish line.

As Mens Warehouse says … I guarantee it.

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“Challenge” Review: Tough Mudder Miami

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Tough Mudder has been taking lots of heat and deservedly so for changing the date of the Boston event.  Even more criticism has come their way by scheduling the New England Mudder on the same weekend as the Spartan Sprint at Amesbury.  Add their high prices paired with bully behavior and many Spahtens have written off Tough Mudder for 2013 and beyond.  In my opinion, that could be a mistake.

Here’s what you see and experience at a Tough Mudder:

  • Money spent on the festival area and the course
  • A lengthy 10-12 mile course that is pure fun other than electrocution
  • Take a break from burpee penalties
  • Mandatory assistance to/from fellow mudders
  • Excellent spectator access to obstacles at many parts of the course
  • A large variety of obstacles, with new and unique additions built for 2013 (see pics)
  • Humerous and motivational signage throughout the course
  • The best pre-race starting line pep talk
  • Very well supported courses with water, bananas, oranges, energy gel chews (6 stations in Miami, only 2 had just water)
  • Protein bars, bananas, beer, and water at the finish line
  • Schwag bag with tech shirt, protein bars and energy gels courtesy of CLIFF
  • Foil blankets (race temps were in the 50s, which is freezing for South Florida)

The Miami event took place on March 3rd & 4th at the Homestead Miami Speedway.  One week’s time made a huge difference in weather.  It was cold, cloudy and windy, the exact opposite of the Spartan super a week earlier.  Despite that, TM made good use of the venue both inside and outside the racetrack.  Athletes ran on the racetrack, pit stop areas, burm top, and the surrounding fields.  The festival area, start and finish were located inside the track.  Although there were no trails, the 11+ miles were extremely fun and loaded with approximately 25 obstacles that were a refreshing change to my recent Spartan runs.

My only negative issue was the two obstacles that provided electric shocks.  The crawling “Electric Eel” zapped me 6-10 times and the “Electroshock Therapy” took out my buddy.  The shocks appeared to be much stronger and more  frequent than my last TM.

I too was disappointed that the 5/11 Boston event was moved to another date.  I negotiated pre-approval with my wife and I was ready to book travel pending the venue announcement.  I’m not a competitive runner, so the TM suits me well.  You get a solid distance to thoroughly enjoy conversation-paced jogging with your crew and fellow mudders.  The TM is a great event to share with friends, teammates, and comrades over a few hours.  My advice:  Do a TM when it makes financial sense and never regret the decision.  You will have a fantastic time with your mates.  I look forward to seeing many of you at the Ruckus!

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Seeing out 2012 in style …

This morning, right after the last snow storm of 2012, you could find a whole bunch of New England Spahtens hiking around Lynn Woods with tires, logs and heavy ruck sacks.

New England Spahtens pushing 300lb tires up to Stone Tower after the snow storm
New England Spahtens pushing 300lb tires up to Stone Tower after the snow storm

In 2013

  • We have more race series than ever coming to New England states.
  • We have more race series than ever *starting* in New England states.

We have some serious motivation going on in the Facebook groups. Some serious training going on in MA and CT. Some amazing people encouraging and leading by example. It doesn’t matter if you’re beginning your journey on the path to fitness, or have a few years racing under your belt – there are folks in the group who will encourage, motivate and challenge you to be a better, stronger, faster individual.


Corrine with a weighted ruck and log during early morning training at Lynn woods.Corrine with a weighted ruck and log during early morning training at Lynn woods.
Corrine with a weighted ruck and log during early morning training at Lynn woods.

Happy New Year Spahtens – 2013 will be awesome.


The Stone Tower Fitness group:

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Prepping for Spartan

2012, it’s been a year composed of challenges, motivation, and obstacles. For several months a flyer sat in the window of my hometown gym. On this flyer, there was a date, June 2nd, followed by Tri-State Spartan Sprint. Never in a million years could I have envisioned myself crawling under barbed wire, jumping walls of fire, or blasting through gladiators. With each decision to take on a new challenge comes the prep work necessary to conquer the unknown. It just so happens training every day at the intensity of contest preparation was all I needed.

On top of one new obstacle, I was well in to preparing for my first bodybuilding competition three months away. The days were long and the nights were longer. 6am Cardio, one workout in the middle of the day, and posing at night. I had absolutely no intention of throwing a Spartan Race into the mix until a friend approached me about building a team to race. I’m not someone to say no. Turning down a challenge with the mentality I have just isn’t me. Team Evolution quickly came together and the race was set in stone two months away.

Each day I trained, there were two reasons to push myself to the breaking point. I would wake up knowing I was running my first race and that i was 12 weeks out from my first bodybuilding competition. This gave new meaning to the word determination. Eight meals a day, lifting heavy, sleeping eight hours a night, no drinking, no going out, and no distractions. I was determined to give hell to both of these obstacles. Each run was important and each lift was a necessity. 6 days a week, 3 hours a day and an hour on Sunday. A grand total of 28 hours and 30 minutes spent in the gym a week, give or take. I was in the best shape of my life and could see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Not going to lie, I was going into this race completely blind. What obstacles were ahead, what the terrain looked like, who would be my competition and how was i going to hold up against it all? The three members of Team Evolution ran at 7am. My adrenaline was flowing. My body was pumped. As I stood at the starting line and listened to the sound of Spartans in the air, in came a team of Hurricane Heaters. I ran down the line as the smoke grenades went off slapping hands and hugging each person in front of me. They gave me hope, and lit the fire under me. Then there was just the mountain and myself.

It was only until 8:23 am June 2, that I realized how important all of the preparation I was doing had paid off. Each pull up, each push up, all the burpees, all the heavy lifting, and high intensity work outs made each obstacle leave a feeling of satisfaction afterwards. I pushed myself harder than I ever dreamed to be able to complete the course. No matter how difficult the path was, knowing I could do it meant anyone on the course had what it took to do what I’m doing. The Sand bag carry at the last mile was never ending. My legs were destroyed but my mind over came that. Seeing someone struggling as I pushed up the hill just led me to motivate them, “Keep Pushing, you can do it.” I said this not only for her but for myself as well. It made me push so much harder to get to the end.

Crossing the finish line bloody, tired, and muddy left the most incredible feeling of accomplishment. From that moment on, I knew there were more races in my future. My training was on point. Knowing there was no obstacle that could stand in my way from that point on meant what I did was right. There is no reason anyone should not be able to accomplish any obstacle. Determination will create an unbreakable desire to achieve your dream.

“I’ve never known anybody to achieve anything without overcoming adversity.”
—Lou Holtz

WOD 1: 3 Sets, 8 exercises. 2 body parts. 2 minute rest between sets. rep range 8-12.

  1.  Incline Bench Press (Hammer Strength or Free Weight)
  2. Flat Bench Dumbbell Press
  3. Decline Dumbbell Press
  4. Incline Dumbbell Flies
  5. Cable Flies
  6. Super Set – TRX Pushups & Dips (Weighted will be harder)
  7. Rope Tricep Extension
  8. Single Arm Tricep Pull Down Extension

Finish with 30 minutes of Cardio: 2 minute warm up, 30 second sprint, 30 second slow pace. Repeat till the 28 minute mark and finish with a 2 minute cool down. Mileage is not important.

Let Your Fire Burn Bright – Stay Motivated. Determined. & Inspired.