4 key changes to the Spartan Race World Championship 2015

By SOLO

So, it looks like the Spartan Race has finally relented to the pressure from events like BattleFrog and OCR World Championship, and changed the format of its main championship of the year. My Monday morning has been rattled by the latest post from Obstacle Racing Media, discussing the changes to the infamous championship race.

Here are the 4 key changes that we can expect in 2015:

1. New  location

Not Vermont! The Spartan Race World Championship 2015 is moving to Squaw Valley, near Lake Tahoe in California.

What does this mean?

For many (many!) racers on the East Coast and not within driving distance from California, that means flight tickets. The price of that racing weekend has just gone up exponentially.

tahoe-inner

2. New date

The Championship will be moved from third or fourth weekend of September to the first weekend of October.

What does this mean?

It means that, technically, you can attend both the Vermont race and the World Championship in California. I predict that most elite racers with a shot at the sizeable cash purse will choose to skip Vermont.

The racers who are into “the-more-the-better” approach will do both. However, the Beast/Ultra Beast weekend in Vermont will have significantly less hype (and people) in 2015.

3. Qualification requirement

The Spartan coin will be required in order to get into the elite heat at the 2015 Spartan World Championship. Top five men and top five woman at any of the 2015 races will earn the coin.

Spartan-Coin-7081
Photo source: ORM

Racers from around the world will get the Spartan Coin for placing in the top 5 at any global event. There will be 10 coins up for grabs at each race (5 for top men and 5 for top women) , with a trickle down if there are repeat winners. In addition, there will also be several global qualifying Championships, where the top 20 finishers will also get the coin.

What does this mean?

There has been a lot of discussion in regards to what it takes to register for the Elite Heat. Until now, the only determining factor was the willingness to pay extra $30 for registration. Now, that there is an official (and stringent) criteria, the Elite Heat is limited to top 300 men and 300 women.

For an average racer, racing in open heats, this, of course, does not change much. However, I expect that the elite heat at any given Spartan Race will be more competitive, as the elite racers will be aiming for the top 5 finish, in order to earn the coin.

Notice, however, that it becomes easier to qualify as the season progresses. For example, if Jen Milligan – one of the fastest Canadian females – races in Ottawa and places first, she gets the coin, as well as the four women that finish directly after her. If Jen races in Toronto two weeks later, and comes first again, her coin goes to the 6th woman in that race. If you are hoping to qualify, plan your racing schedule accordingly.

4. New race

2015 will see the birth of yet another Ultra Beast – one held on the Sunday of the World Championship weekend in California.

What does this mean?

For the Ultra Beast enthusiasts, this means a new course to be conquered (in addition to Australian UB and Canadian UB). For those in California or nearby, this means not having to fly to Vermont to take a shot at the longest race of the series.

Depending on when the Canadian and Australian Ultra Beast races take place, there is now an opportunity for the Ultra Beast QUAD – four Ultra Beasts in one calendar year. Anyone?

YOUR TURN:
What are your thoughts on the new process? Does this change anything for you? Will you be going to Tahoe? Or Vermont? Or both?

*The official announcement can be found here.

Hugs,
SOLO

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Posted December 15, 2014

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