Thomas Olsen competes in the Spartan Race.
Thomas Olsen competes in the Spartan Race.
Isabelle Phillips

Junior completes the Spartan Challenge

Through the mud, under the barbed wire, over the wall, and he claws his way to the finish line. The Spartan Race held in Phoenix, Arizona is a gut wrenching battle between the mind and body. It is one of the world’s hardest races, and junior Thomas Olsen recently finished it.

“My main reason for competing in the Spartan Challenge was to see if I could do it,” Olsen said. “I wanted to know if my body, as well as my mind could handle it.”

The Spartan race is different from a normal 5K or 10K race. It is an obstacle course that treks up mountains, through muddy terrain, across creeks and over massive walls. Spartan Race requires more than just endurance. It is a test of upper body strength, lower body, core strength, and mental toughness.

“Phoenix is riddled with mountainous inclines to surmount and endless crevices to avoid,” Olsen said. “The difficulty that comes with literally climbing a mountain brings me to enjoy the Phoenix Spartan Race.”

The Spartan Sprint is over 3 miles with about 20 obstacles. People tend to train in different ways, from doing immense amounts of running to core exercises, and also healthy diets.

“The best way to train is to do a whole lot of running and quite a bit of burpees,” Olsen said. “In my personal training, I would run a few miles per day and do a varied amount of sit-ups and push-ups.”

People choose to participate in the Spartan competitions for numerous different reasons. Whether it be a physical triumph or an emotional renewing, people from around the country come together and race and compete.

“Having tore my ACL, MCL and meniscus, and having surgery on them all, I wasn’t sure that my knee could handle what I was about to throw at it,” Olsen said. “ Mile after mile, as I counted down, I grew more and more confident that I would finish the race and eventually I did just that!”

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