Things are heating up as Hong Kong’s first Spartan Race gets set to take the city by storm this November 6. With hundreds of contenders already signed up – including two of our own Localiiz team – the competition will be tough. To understand what motivates these warriors, we catch up with four hopeful contenders, including one of our own, ahead of the big challenge.
What is the Spartan Race?
For those not in the know, the Spartan Race is a series of 170 obstacle challenge events held in over 25 countries around the world. This November 6, the adrenaline-fueled series is making its debut in Hong Kong, offering open heats for all fitness levels, as well as competitive and elite heats. First-time racers, such as our contenders below, might be keen to take part in the Sprint Race, which is the shortest distance at 6+km, while seasoned Spartans can opt for the Elite Class.
Despite the short distance, the course packs in 20 Signature Spartan Obstacles, including the Atlas Stone Carry, the Rope Climb, the Spear Throw, and the Hercules Hoist.
Do you have what it takes to be a Spartan? OF COURSE YOU DO! You don’t have to be Tarzan to tackle the challenge – just ask our first-time contenders below.
It takes all sorts to take part in the Spartan Race, and with the support that the race provides – free training workout sessions, training videos, nutrition advice – it’s a great way to make that change.
So now is your chance to get off the couch and join hundreds of people already signed up for the race, and still claim the $790 early bird rate!
Spartans-in-training — The Localiiz Debrief
Meet our four contenders: 24-year-old office worker, Caroline Davis, 25-year-old personal trainer, Daniel Williams, 29-year-old Localiiz marketeer, Suzannah Van Rooy, and 28-year-old teacher, Andrew Rueger. Check out what these four Spartan hopefuls have to say about the race – we’ll give you a heads up, it turns out they are quite human.
How would you describe your level of fitness?
Caroline: I am a full-time office worker who donates to Pure monthly
Daniel: I’ve always been athletic and played a number of sports, competing in a wide range of events including rugby, basketball, football, and cross country running. I’ve also received serious injuries to almost every part of my body, from my ankles and knees, to my ribs and my neck. I have sustained two knee surgeries, broken ribs, collar bones, dislocated shoulders … the list goes on and on.
Suzannah: I’ve spent my life playing on one team or another, but have recently moved from the gym to the yoga mat.
Andrew: I played ice hockey and golf growing up and was never a runner or a gym goer previous to this.
How do you train and how often?
Caroline: I have trained zero for this. Last week I ran two miles so I think I can finish the race!
Daniel: Right now I train three times a week and the schedule looks like two strength-focused days, a main lift followed by accessory work, and also a cardio or challenge day.
Suzannah: I haven’t gone out of my way to change up my routine much; I’ve stuck to 3 to 4 yoga classes a week, but have added in 1 to 2 runs and weight training sessions a week for giggles.
Andrew: I am trying to train a minimum of five days a week specific to the Spartan Race, but I play ice hockey at least once a week on top of that.
What is your favourite workout style?
Caroline: Pure group classes and swimming laps.
Daniel: Strength training and challenge workouts. Challenge workouts would be similar to CrossFit style WODs (Work Out of the Day) such as bear crawls for X number of metres, followed by a series of movements for time, or hit X amount of reps.
Suzannah: Other than group classes, the kind of workout that happens completely unintentionally. Fortunately, Hong Kong has a way of keeping you active organically.
Andrew: Faster pace whole body work. I am also not much of a gym or class person, I enjoying pushing myself through a workout or run to get further or more done than the last one. I have really started to enjoy running, something I will expound upon in another question.
Why take part in the Spartan Race?
Caroline: For the social aspect, I want to get a group of friends together and do something different with our weekends.
Daniel: I like the mental challenge of pushing myself to the limit and trying new things.
Suzannah: I have a strong sense of curiosity and like to dabble in new experiences. I might have also been strong armed by the aforementioned, Caroline Davis.
Andrew: A friend of mine in the US is an elite racer, finishing the Killington Beast 13th overall a few weeks ago. He suggested I give it a try if I was ever close to a race, so when the Hong Kong race came up, I had to give it a try. I am very much goal oriented and this is a goal to train for, and a reason to get in better shape.
How are you going to prepare for the race?
Caroline: Keep pestering friends to sign up for my team.
Daniel: I’ll be training three times a week with a focus on relative strength, core work, and chaotic work. This differs because as opposed to focusing on an external load and moving that for repetitions in a controlled manner, it’s about moving myself as explosively and as efficiently as possible. As well as this, it’s about getting comfortable with objects that are ‘chaotic’ or ‘random’, this could be in weight or movement. This is what Spartan is all about.
Suzannah: I’ve turned my attention to amping up my cardio, core-work, and preparing myself mentally. It’s part of my natural diet to carb load, so that’s on lock.
Andrew: Really trying to lean out and continue some weight loss by eating healthier and training on a regular basis. Watching my intake and using some tech to monitor my approximate output of calories on a daily basis.
What are your goals for the Spartan Race?
Caroline: Keep the team together. Don’t get lit on fire.
Daniel: With how bad my knees are due to years of wear and tear and surgeries, my main goal will be to complete the race.
Suzannah: Do not get injured. Find fit man to help me up the Rope Climb and potentially carry me across the finish line.
Andrew: Honestly, I just want to finish. But I do have a goal of finishing in less than an hour and a half. Certainly not record pace by any measure, but considering I had never run more than one mile in my life until about a month ago, and I finished my first 10K yesterday, I think I have made some major progress. I also hadn’t worked out regularly in about 10 years, this has been a pretty big life change.
Motto you “train” by
Caroline: Maybe I’ll go to the gym today…
Daniel: Train Smart and Hard.
Suzannah: Get to it, get through it, get a burrito.
Andrew: I guess it would have to be one of the Spartan Race quotes that popped up on either Facebook or the website that kind of rung true to me: “If it doesn’t challenge you, it sure as hell won’t change you.”
So what say you Hong Kong … are you looking for a challenge that will change you?