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Following a largely cancelled 2020 race season in the United States, Spartan kicked off its 2021 campaign in grand fashion in Jacksonville, Florida this past weekend.
With more than $15,000 on the line, the kickoff of the United States National Series was electric from start to finish. The flat and fast course at WW Ranch Motocross Park tested elite athletes as they raced across 5K of technical terrain and battled 20 obstacles in the highly competitive Sprint, which is the shortest-distance race of the five-race National Series. (San Luis Obispo and Big Bear Lake are Supers, and West Virginia and Utah are Beasts.)
And the Winners Are...
In the end, Veejay Jones (25:40) and reigning Spartan World Champion Nicole Mericle (27:46) took first place. Ryan Woods (26:51) and Logan Broadbent (27:09) finished second and third, respectively, on the men's side. Myriam Guillot-Boisset (30:32) and Rose Wetzel (31:21) took second and third, respectively, in the women's race.
Check out the full coverage of both the men's women's Elite races below.
Strict COVID-19 safety measures were put in place for the duration of the event, including reduced capacity and social distancing. (For more information on how we're keeping racers safe, click here and here.)
In addition to the Elite Heats, Open and Age Group racers competed in the Sprint and the 10K, 25-obstacle Super, and Spartan held its first-ever Friday evening Spartan Trail event.
Next up on the U.S. schedule is the San Antonio Spartan Super 10K and Sprint 5K Weekend (March 20) and the Las Vegas Spartan Super 10K and Sprint 5K Weekend (March 27). There are limited spots available, so make sure to sign up now.
The Global Season Gets Underway in Japan and Spain
There was plenty of other Spartan action overseas, as well. The global season started in Okinawa, Japan, with a Sprint and Super in Chura-Sun Beach. The event also featured the season’s first Spartan Kids race.
The Trail World Championship Is Off and Running
The Spartan Trail World Championship also began with the Transgrancanaria, held in Gran Canaria, Spain. The first of 10 stops on the Trail World Championship schedule, the event featured a 42K Trail Run Championship and a 129K Trail Ultra Championship. Competing for a $25,000 purse, Frenchman Aurélien Dunand-Pallaz (13:42:42) took the top spot on the men's side in the 129K, and Spain's Azara García de los Salmones was victorious on the women's side. Spaniard Andreu Simon (2:41:27) placed first amongst the men in the 42K, and Virginia Perez Mesonero (3:14:39), also from Spain, was the top female.
The weekend also featured Open Heat 17K, 30K, 42K, 65K, 129K, and 250K race distances.