CrossFitters Test Their Fitness at the Spartan Games: Battle of the Fittest

November 30, 2020 by
Image - Brent Doscher/Spartan
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This summer, Spartan Founder and CEO Joe De Sena wanted to answer the call for more live competitions from athletes and the passionate fans of fitness during the COVID-19 pandemic.  So, he gathered 24 male and female athletes in a rural farm in Vermont in early October to battle it out for four days with a $100,000 prize purse on the line. Spartan also documented the competition calling it the “Spartan Games: Battle of the Fittest, presented by Harley-Davidson” which will debut on December 2 in a four-episode weekly series broadcasting on the Spartan Games YouTube Channel.

One big thing: Among the athletes competing in the competition that is billed as the “hardest extreme fitness competition” are CrossFit Games veterans Samantha Briggs, Kristi O’Connell and Emma Chapman. 

The details: De Sena gathered some of the top athletes from across different fitness disciplines at the Riverside Farm in Pittsfield, VT, the birthplace of Spartan. Those athletes included Olympians, professional athletes, ultra runners, mountain bikers, triathletes, obstacle course race (OCR) champions, functional fitness, and other strength and endurance-based athletes.

  • The athletes competed in 10 events spread across four days. The events included two Spartan Cross obstacle races, a 45-minute max distance open-water swim, Highland Games events, CrossFit-style workouts, a five-hour max distance mountain bike, wrestling, a six-hour max distance trail run and a 1-mile 1,000 foot elevation run with a weighted vest.
  • The four-episode series will provide viewers with an all-access, unfiltered look into a fitness test that Spartan says is “unlike anything the world has ever seen.”
  • Briggs and O’Connell, considered to be among the top endurance athletes and fierce competitors in CrossFit, competed in the Spartan Games just three weeks after competing in the online stage of the 2020 Reebok CrossFit Games. O’Connell also competed at the Heart of America Team Competition prior to heading to Vermont.
  • Briggs, the 2013 “Fittest Woman on Earth”, placed 27th in her eighth Games appearance this past September.
Image – Brent Doscher/Spartan
  • O’Connell is a five-time Games athlete, finishing in the top-ten four of those years including ninth this year.
  • Chapman competed with the Central Beasts team that placed fifth at the 2019 Games. This past season the former New Zealand women’s national soccer team player placed 29th in the Open. In 2018, she placed first at the Tough Mudder X World Championship and has also competed as a defender on the CBS game show Million Dollar Mile.
  • Corinna Coffin competed at the 2018 Games, placing 18th with Salt Lake City CrossFit Black. She’s also an accomplished Spartan athlete, winning the Spartan Stadium Series in 2019, placing second at the 2014 Spartan World Championship and placing first at the Tough Mudder X World Championship in 2017.
  • Also competing in the women’s field is three-time Regional athlete Lauren Weeks who competed at the 2018 Tough Mudder X World Championship, placing fourth.
  • Faith Cooke has two Regional appearances as a CrossFit athlete and is an accomplished weightlifter qualifying for the USA Weightlifting National Championships.
  • On the men’s side Herman Demmink competes as a crossFitter in the 35-39 age division. In 2019 he finished 21st worldwide in the Open in that tough division.
  • Another familiar name and favorites in the men’s field is Hunter McIntyre. One of the most successful OCR athletes of all time, he competed at the 2019 Games after being granted a wild card invitation. He placed 61st in his lone Games appearance.

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