CrossFit to Partner with Spartan Race for San Francisco Event in December

Photo Credit: Spartan Race (@ spartanrace)
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CrossFit has announced a major partnership with Spartan Race for the latter company’s Oracle Park Spartan Stadium Event Weekend, which will take place Dec. 3 in Levi’s Stadium, home to the San Francisco 49ers.

Dave Castro, the former Director of the CrossFit Games, who is now an advisor to CEO Don Faul, first announced the partnership on his November 14 weekly recap, and again on a video with Spartan founder Joe Desena and Obstacle Racing Media. 

Remind me: Spartan Race – part of the Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) world – was founded back in 2007 and is one the major players in the space. Their 2023 schedule features dozens of races all over the country with the World Championships to take place in December.

Many notable CrossFit athletes have participated in Spartan Races over the years including Rich Froning and Sam Briggs, just to name a few.

  • Castro: “I think this is really cool, we’re experimenting with doing a partnership around the event (in San Francisco, December 3rd)…and we are giving away tickets to affiliates and their members to rally the community.”
    • “We sent out an email to Bay Area affiliates today (regarding registration details),” Castro said on his YouTube channel.
    • For affiliates outside of the area that may not have received the email, Castro extended an open invitation, “email me, [email protected], and I’ll forward you the link […] to register for free.”
  • He also noted that he was asked to add an obstacle, which he did– ring muscle-ups.
  • Castro also said that he would run the race and “called up Don Faul and said hey, we’re gonna race against each other and I’m gonna crush you.”
  • “He’s fit though and I’m excited to race against him and all the other CrossFitters and affiliates,” Castro concluded.

Worth noting: Obstacle courses have been a mainstay of the CrossFit Games for many years.

  • The first time an obstacle course race was featured in the CrossFit Games was 2012 at Camp Pendleton. That year, Spencer Hendel took first for the men, while Talayna Fortunato took first for the women.
  • The 2017 Games, the first in Madison, Wi, also featured an obstacle course. Dubbed the “Sprint O-Course,” competitors raced head-to-head and Patrick Vellner and Tennil Reed-Beuerlein won respectively.
  • Elements of OCR have been infused in Games events ever since, including ruck runs, odd object carries in the middle of longer running events, tests lik “Happy Star” and the Ranch Loop in 2020, The Capitol in 2022, and more. 

One big thing: This could be seen as the first real partnership between CrossFit and what could be called a quasi-competitor such as Spartan Race, and begs the question, is this a one-off, or part of a bigger partnership to come in the future?

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