Spartan Trifecta World Championships
6th November 2018

Categories: Obstacle Race

My 2018 season officially ended after the OCRWC. The OMM was a fun event that I planned to do with a friend to mark the end of months of high pressure racing, and to mark the start of the off season adventures. Winning the Spartan World Championships in Lake Tahoe didn’t make me change this romantic plan, I still went to the OMM and followed through exactly how I had planned to, I just bolted on a ‘bonus’ event the weekend after. This was in the form of the Spartan Trifecta World Championships in Sparta, Greece. To win this would keep me in the running to win all the spartan world championship events (and apparently a million dollars).

My trust of this million dollar challenge extended about as far as I would trust drinking the muddy water in an OCR, but I figured a trip to sunny Greece before winter came would be nice, no matter how my presence was used.

The Trifecta World championships is not a single race but a combination of the three spartan race distances: Sprint (5-8km), Super (12-16km) and Beast (21-32km) all in the space of a weekend. Saturday morning would be the Super, Saturday afternoon the Sprint and finishing with a chasing start Beast on the Sunday to crown the overall winner.

My main goals with the first race, the Super, was to stay injury free and not to push too hard, whilst not loosing too much time to the other athletes. Smashing up my knees, ankle and hand by falling over on the first proper downhill and remembering the wrong memory test code screwed my goals up… still though, I was less than a minute behind when I crossed the finish line in third place.

Next up was the Sprint. Pushing harder than I had planned I won, earning myself a little over 30 seconds head start before Albert Soley Castells in second and Richard Hynek in third.

Come Sunday morning I was banged up and stiff from the previous days exploits, I was exceedingly happy to finally be able to race hard and leave everything out on the course. Trying to save energy in a race isn’t overly fun and I think the lack of concentration can easily result in mistakes being made.

As with any spartan race there isn’t much room for error. Only one attempt is awarded for each obstacle and failing results in a 30 burpee penalty. It’s an easy thing to screw up a balance beam or a slack line when under pressure, even easier when you have to hit a spear throw or remember a set sequence of symbols on a memory test.

My focus levels were high though and I slowly ticked of each obstacle that I figured I could fail. The kilometres ticked away too and my watch had logged over 30km by the time I was crossing the finish line, still in first.

I hadn’t made it easy for myself the day before, but still being able to start first was nice and I am proud that I managed to hold it together all the way to the finish without any mistakes.

Within seconds of crossing the line I was bombarded with question about Iceland and the ‘million dollars’ bonus. It has been a few days now and my answer is still the same. For now, I am happy to have a few days to rest and to see how my body feels. It has been a long season and I can’t think of many athletes that would race as much as I seem to.

It seems there is also a question of qualification. Spartan are claiming that I haven’t qualified to race in Iceland. I take this as either a personal slight, where they are saying I am not good enough to toe the line, another hoop they are lining up to make it harder for me to win or simply another opportunity for them to use me in spartan promotions. Whatever happens, I’ll be basing my decision to race or not on how I feel and what my most trusted advisers think…

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4 responses to “Spartan Trifecta World Championships”

  1. Taffy says:

    Joe DeSena went on the ORM Podcast & said he’d fly you out to a Ultra to qualify… so I think he’s not dead set against you getting the million – I think he’s probably sat on a couple of million anyway 😉
    I’m guessing qualification wise they just want you to jump through the hoops of what they said at the beginning, but either way, no-one is disputing your efforts, and we all know you can do it if you choose too! Congrats on a superb 2018!

  2. What an absolutely incredible athlete you are Jon. As a comparably very amateur runner and OCR participant, I have kept an eye on your race results and blogs this year with keen interest. It is great to see someone as humble as yourself just crack on and take part in a mix of races, distances and seemingly do it for all the right reasons (I.e. not the hype and acclaim). As an avid sports watcher and having quite a few qualifications on the fitness front (so I know a little bit about what I am talking about), you most definitely are one of Britain’s best athletes. Keep making us proud, and competing for the right reasons. Scott

  3. Jim says:

    Your attitude re: the challenge is spot-on. You certainly should go by how you feel, but IMHO I’d rather see you NOT go. It is a fake “challenge,” because I don’t see how anyone could possibly do it. I could be wrong, both because you seem like an insane athlete and because people have done impressive things like finish the Western States in under 15 hours, but this seems set for failure. 400 obstacles, on top of a likely icy course where the winner last year was far, far back from making 100 miles really doesn’t seem winnable.

  4. craig woodman says:

    Congrats Jon, words fail me – you’re just bloody amazing! How you keep smashing out these results weekend after weekend is beyond me. Love your humble approach and complete professionalism. See you soon, Clif Bar Craig

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