Married With Championships; Ryan Atkins and Lindsay Webster Crowned at Spartan World Championships
History was made at the Spartan World Championship in Abu Dhabi today (Saturday afternoon UAE time) as the husband-wife duo of Ryan Atkins and Lindsay Webster won World titles in their respective divisions, becoming the first married couple in Spartan Race history to stand on top of the podium together.
Power Couple: Combined the two have won just about every major Obstacle Course Race title. Alone each are considered among the best or the best to ever lace up a pair of racing shoes in their respective divisions. The one thing to elude them was that shared moment atop the grandest stage in Spartan and on the toughest course ever thrown at their athletes. The world’s largest sand dune Tal Moreeb, 13.2 miles, 35 obstacles and the midday heat and sun of the Liwa Desert stood in their way.
Men’s Beast: Five times Atkins had to watch someone else get crowned as the Spartan World Champion from the runner-up spot. Questions loomed if this would be the year considering the terrain and the course and if it would favor other runners with more experience running in soft sand. His fitness and strong mental fortitude answered those questions as he completed the rugged course in 2:13:40.
Russian and European champion Sergei Perelygin made it interesting throughout using his familiarity in running in the Middle East deserts, at certain points in the race pulling even with the Canadian, but came up short by less than a minute, finishing in 2:14:12 for his first podium at the World Championships. Atkins rival, Brit Jonathan Albon kept it a close three-person race until succumbing to the brutal heat and finishing third with a time of 2:20:04.
Women’s Beast: Webster’s run was a little less dramatic than her husbands as she seeked her third world title in the last four championship races. Known for making little mistakes on the course she encountered her first one at the dreaded “Spear Throw” at the halfway point of the race. She missed her target and had to head to the penalty area to do her 30 burpees for failing an obstacle. Fortunately for her so did the other two women who were trailing her. She knocked out the burpees roughly a minute before those women and got a head start walking/crawling up the face of Tal Moreeb. She maintained that lead throughout and easily made short work of the final four obstacles and celebrated as she crossed the finish line in 2:38:54 and was greeted by her newly crowned champion husband.
American Annie Dube was in fourth at the “Spear Throw” and hit her throw giving her the second spot which the rookie held till the finish, completing the course 2:41:22. Russian Alisa Petrova (2:43:07) edged out Canadian Emma Cook Clarke for the final podium spot.