Samantha Briggs Makes Her Move, Sets World Record in Episode 2 of the Spartan Games

December 11, 2020 by
Image - Brent Doscher/Spartan
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Episode two of the “Spartan Games: Battle of the Fittest, presented by Harley-Davidson” featured two grueling events. The 24 athletes were put through a functional fitness workout and then took on a mountain bike event. 

But before the athletes started the day, a change in the overall leaderboard occurred as both Hunter McIntyre and Aaron Newell were assessed penalties for their actions against each other in the opening event of the competition. The penalties dropped McIntyre from the overall lead to second behind reigning two-time Spartan Ultra World Champion Ryan Atkins. Newell received a harsher penalty than McIntrye and saw his placing drop from sixth to eighth.

Event 4, DEKA Strong: Featured ten functional fitness workouts or “zones” that are part of the Spartan decathlon training series. Each athlete had to complete each “zone,” for total time they included were: 

  1. 30 reverse weighted lunges, 
  2. 500 meter row,
  3. 20 box jump overs, 
  4. 25 med ball sit-ups, 
  5. 500 meter ski erg, 
  6. 100 meter farmers carry, 
  7. 25 calories on an Assault Bike, 
  8. 20 deadball shoulder overs, 
  9. 100 meter Tank push/pull,
  10. 20 weighted burpees.
Image – Brent Doscher/Spartan

Once again the athletes with CrossFit backgrounds took the top spots in the event.

  • 2013 CrossFit Games champion Samantha Briggs was considered one of the favorites heading in, despite being one of the older competitors in the field.
  • “I’m 38 now so I’m kind of coming into the end of my career,” said Briggs. “I want to make the most of the opportunities that come up and when a competition as cool as this comes up I’m not going to turn it down.”
  • Briggs flew through all ten zones as expected and set a new DEKA Strong world record for women, completing the challenge in 13:35.82 for her first event win of the competition.
  • Another favorite in the event, 2018 Games athlete Corrina Coffin, was matched up with Briggs in the opening heat and finished second overall with a time of 14:05.
  • Coffin’s runner-up finish was her third in four events.
  • Two-time CrossFit regional athlete Faith Cooke continued the momentum she gained from sweeping the Highland Games events to end day one with a third place showing in DEKA Strong to start day two.
  • The top three finishers broke the previous world record. Following Briggs, Coffin and Cooke broke the previous women’s record of 14:21, set by Taylor Loyd.
  • On the men’s side, the two athletes with CrossFit training in their repertoire took the top two spots.
  • McIntyre won handily with a world record setting time of 11:59, nearly 30 seconds faster than second place finisher Herman Demmink.
  • Demmink, a CrossFitter, strength and conditioning coach and former collegiate baseball player picked up his best finish of the competition and continued his streak of top five finishes to four-straight events.
  • Professional Spartan Race athlete Ryan Kent came in third with a time of 12:39.
  • The top three men’s finishers broke the previous men’s world record time of 12:42 previously held by Ryan Corning.
Image – Brent Doscher/Spartan

Event 5, La Ruta Mountain Bike Challenge: The final event of the day seemed easy enough, five hours to record as many laps as you can on a nine mile 1,537 ft elevation course. However, nothing regarding the course and the Vermont terrain the athletes had to traverse on their mountain bike was deemed easy by the athletes at days’ end.

  • Just like in the opening event of the competition, the husband and wife duo of Atkins and Lindsay Webster won their respective races, using their endurance to distance themselves from their competitors despite some unfortunate incidents.
  • Atkins chain broke within the first few meters of the race and had to quickly repair it and catch up with the pack.
  • The five laps he completed in 4:30.28 was good enough to beat triathlete Josiah Middaugh.
  • McIntyre, who regained the lead in the overall standings prior to this event, saw that position once again taken from him as two flat tires during the race resulted in a seventh place finish.
  • Demmink had his worst finish of the competition with a ninth place.
  • Webster finished with four complete laps in 4:32.42 to claim her second event win of the competition.
  • Coffin was the top finisher amongst CrossFitters in fourth place followed by Briggs in seventh and Emma Chapman in ninth.

Day Two leaderboard:

  • Atkins regained the lead in the overall standings to end day two with 78 points, six points ahead of McIntyre.
  • Demmink remained in third with 59 points followed closely by Kent.
  • Three-time Regionals athlete Lauren Weeks dropped from the top of the leaderboard, replaced by Coffin.
  • Webster is in second, just two points behind Coffin.
  • Weeks dropped to third with 60 points.
  • Briggs moved up to fourth place with 55 points followed by Cooke (50 points) and Kristi O’Connell (46 points).
  • Chapman remained in eighth place with 33 points.

What’s next: Episode 3 will feature two events once again but one of them will be a unique test of fitness, wrestling. The day ends with another endurance test, a six-hour maximum distance trail run.

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