USA’s Robert Killian and Aaron Newell, Canada’s Ryan Atkins and France’s Myriam Guillot-Boisset Advance to Spartan Ultra World Championship in Åre, Sweden for the 2019 Million Dollar Challenge
SPARTA, GREECE (November 4, 2019) – More than 1,200 athletes from 65 countries around the world journeyed back to the ancient ruins, rivers and mountains of the legendary city of Sparta for the second annual invitation-only Spartan Trifecta World Championship Obstacle Course Race (OCR) weekend. With $40,000 USD in prize money on the line for athletes with the top cumulative times across the three signature races of Spartan’s coveted TRIFECTA, the weekend was a true test of strength and endurance for some of the best endurance athletes from around the globe.
In the end, USA’s Nicole Mericle, the 2019 Spartan Women’s World Champion earned the No. 1 spot on the podium with a cumulative time of 4:36:27 after placing second in the 5K, 20-obstacle “Sprint;” and first in the 10K, 25-obstacle “Super” and 21K, 30-obstacle “Beast.” In the men’s race, Czech Republic’s Richard Hynek placed No. 1 with a cumulative time of 4:02:37 across the three race distances, with a second-place finish in the Sprint, sixth place finish in the Super and first place finish in the Beast.
With Europeans sweeping the men’s Trifecta World Championship podium, North American favorites including Ryan Woods (USA), Spartan Men’s World Champion Robert Killian (USA), Ryan Atkins (CAN) and Aaron Newell (USA), were left out, placing fourth, fifth, sixth and eight respectively. Spartan Women’s World Championship third place finisher Myriam Guillot-Boisset (France) placed fifth overall in Sparta, while second place WC finisher Lindsay Webster did not race due to an injury. Killian, Atkins, Newell and Guillot-Boisset are now the top contenders for the $1 Million Prize at this weekend’s Spartan Ultra World Championship in Åre, Sweden.
Paying homage to King Leonidas and the Sparta 300, the Spartan events spanned the ancient and modern lands, with the start line just steps from the historic statue of the revered King. The weekend kicked-off with an opening ceremony at the Central Square of Sparta followed by a parade of nations through the city streets. All of the athletes invited to compete have earned a coveted “Spartan TRIFECTA,” in the 2018 or 2019 season, which is accomplished by completing all three race formats in a calendar year.
With the Trifecta World Championship now behind them, athletes will set their sights on the third annual Spartan Ultra World Championship, taking place in the picturesque mountain village of Åre, Sweden November 9-10, 2019. Combining the beauty of the Scandinavian country with the grit of Spartan, the 24-hour endurance event will test the world’s best athletes as they face harsh winter conditions, high elevations and miles of technical terrain, just 350km below the Arctic Circle.
The Ultra World Championship is also the final stop on Spartan’s Million Dollar Challenge, which offers the largest purse in OCR to elite athletes competing in Spartan’s three World Championship events during the 2019 season. The challenge began September 29 at the Spartan World Championship Powered By Rakuten in North Lake Tahoe, California, USA, before moving to the Trifecta World Championship in Sparta and now its ultimate destination ion Sweden.
In order to take home the $1 Million prize, Killian will have to complete 105-miles (169-km) on the 5-mile (8-km) looped obstacle course, Atkins and Newell would need to cover 110-miles (174-km) and Guillot-Boisset would need to cover 90-miles (145-km) within the 24-hour time period – as per the bonus point system outlined in the challenge. Mericle, who placed No. 1 in both the Spartan World Championship Powered by Rakuten and this weekend’s Trifecta World Championship – is ineligible for the prize as she failed to meet the qualification standards for next weekend’s event by not completing a Spartan “Ultra” in the 2019 season.
The Trifecta World Championship was held under the auspices of the Municipality of Sparta. Sparta’s rich history, architecture and landscape created a unique destination for competitors and visitors alike, allowing athletes and their guests from around the world to learn about Spartan history and visit the extraordinary country.
With more than 250 events across more than 40 countries on six continents, Spartan is the world’s largest obstacle race (OCR) and endurance brand. Providing transformation through sport, Spartan attracts more than one million annual participants across all fitness levels, from beginners to elite. More than five million participants have finished Spartan events, creating a lifestyle that extends beyond races including health and wellness products, training and nutrition programs, and popular media content, which has made OCR one of the fastest growing sports in the world. Spartan events feature races at various distances, Stadion and Sprint: 3-mile/5-km and 20 Obstacles; Super: 8-mi/13-km and 25 Obstacles; Beast: 13-mi/21-km and 30 Obstacles; and Ultra: 30-mi/50-km and 60 obstacles. Visit spartan.com for more information and registration.