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To close this year, Reebok Spartan Race held the Spartan World Championships in Lake Tahoe, California this past weekend. Zuzana Kocumova, of Czech Republic, finished first for the women’s side — taking home $15,000 and several other prizes. Kocumova won the European Spartan Race Championships and also competed in the 1998 Olympic Games in cross-country skining.
She says, “I used to be a cross-country skier, but now I run, ride a bicycle, climb rocks, do burpees, and I dance a lot. I like move and here you can use every type of movement in life.” Kocumova has been skiing since she was three, and does all of her training outdoors. This was the cross-country skier’s first race in the U.S., and the fourth in 2015. Kocumova notes the differences between the European race and the U.S. race, “The European Championship was longer than here and the weight is heavier. The monkey bars are not as difficult in Europe. There were no balance obstacles today but in Europe there are usually balance obstacles, and I like those.” As for the change in altitude, the functional athlete wasn’t phased. She says, “I was here a week before the race so I felt quite well at this high altitude.”
As for the men’s side, Army National Guard Captain Robert Killian placed first — earning the $15,000 grand prize. The top 20 athletes in each gender also received prize money. In the end, these two athletes finished faster than anticipated for a course that’s as tough as the “Tahoe Beast.” Since the race has gotten so big, a rep from Lake Tahoe contacted the Spartan Race organization — offering to host the event. Spartan Race CEO, Joe De Sena says, “They made us an offer we couldn’t refuse, so we brought the event out here and we’ll see if it stays here. We hope it does”
Next week marks the start of the 2016 Spartan Race, De Sena advises to get your tickets as soon as possible. He says, “2016 is the year of the sellout. I think we start shutting our doors and saying ‘Sorry you can’t get in this race anymore, it’s sold out.’ We’ve never done that, but the reality is poeple are going to have to start signing up early. We’ll be at about 160 races around the globe, and it’s a big machine to control.”
De Sena wishes for the Spartan Race to be a part of the 2024 Olympic Games. “I want to make this is a legitimate sport and our goal is to motivate people, rip them off the couch, and get healthy again,” he says.