Tame the Beast at the 2017 Breck Spartan Race Aug. 26-27 (video) | SummitDaily.com

Tame the Beast at the 2017 Breck Spartan Race Aug. 26-27 (video)

Summit Daily staff report
news@summitdaily.com

You'd better eat your Wheaties, Breckenridge: the biggest and baddest Spartan Race of them all is back.

This weekend (Aug. 26-27), one of the most intense obstacle races on the obstacle-racing circuit returns to Breckenridge for a third season of masochism at 9,600 vertical feet. Like last year, the Colorado Rockies Spartan Race is expected to draw thousands of crazies from across the state and nation for three levels of torture on Crossfit-style courses: the 12-mile Beast with 30 obstacles, the 26-mile Ultra Beast with 50 obstacles and the 5-mile Sprint with 20 obstacles. Every rock wall, jungle gym, barbed-wire pit and bucket of dirt will be strewn across fire roads and singletrack trails on Peak 8 and Peak 9, taking Beast and Ultra Beast competitors on Saturday to the top of . The Sprint competitors aren't forced to climb quite as high, but that won't make things any easier.

"I was walking crooked for weeks after," laughed Robert Killian, a Green Beret with the U.S. Army National Guard who was crowned Spartan Race World Champion in 2015. Killian and a small collection of super-athletes, including current world champ Jon Albon, are signed up for the men's and women's Beast Elite races on Saturday morning, when they'll duke it out at lightning-fast speeds en route to the 2017 world titles. They race on the standard and most popular Beast course, covering 30 obstacles and 12 miles in just over two hours. And even though there are dozens of Spartan Races across the globe, Killian, Albon and the rest of the world's best agree: In Breckenridge, the altitude and mountain itself are as daunting as the mud pits, walls and log carries.

"It's my home course, but in a Spartan Race the terrain dictates a lot," said Killian, who lives and trains on the Front Range, before the 2016 event where he took second place behind fellow animal Cody Moat. "The obstacles aren't easy no matter where you go, but they're easier when you aren't as high (up)."

Beast of all sizes

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New this year at Breckenridge is the Ultra Beast: a diabolical course designed to lure ultra-runners and other endurance types to the world of obstacle racing, or maybe just remind them why it might be easier to run 100 miles at 10,000 feet. With 50 (or more) obstacles spread across 26 (or more) miles, the best Ultra Beast competitors leave the start line at Beaver Run Resort around 6:30 a.m. on Saturday morning and won't finish until seven hours later — at the earliest. It's the only Spartan distance with a strict cut-off time, so if you're still on the course nearly 15 hours after the starting gun at 9 p.m., you'll go home with a DNF. Don't let that happen.

On Sunday, us Average Joes and Janes come out to play for the Sprint. This abbreviated version of the Beast is held on a bite-sized course of five miles at the most, bit it still takes competitors through 30 obstacles. At $99 for the afternoon group, registration fees for the Sprint are also more palatable than the Beast ($139 and up) and Ultra Beast ($200).

Kids, be sure to eat your Mini Wheaties too. Little Spartans older than 13 years old are welcome to race in the Sprint or Beast events, but there are also half-mile and one-mile races made just for kids on both Saturday and Sunday. Registration for those is $25 to $30 per child. That's barely more than spectators pay to simply enter the finish area, so if you're bringing the kids to cheer for mom or dad or sister, consider signing up for a kids race. They happen all day, both days.

2017 Breck Spartan Race

What: The third season of an international obstacle course race held on the slopes of Breckenridge, with divisions for Ultra Beast (26 miles), Beast (12-14 miles), Sprint (3-5 miles) and kid (1 mile) competitors

When: Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 26-27, at 6:30 a.m. with staggered starts

Where: Beaver Run Resort start line, 620 Village Road in Breckenridge

Cost: $200-$215 for Ultra Beast, $139-$204 for Beast, $99-$144 for Sprint, $25 for kids

The Beast and Ultra Beast races are on Saturday and the Sprint races are on Sunday. First responders and military personnel get a 25 percent discount on all distances. Arrive at least one hour before your start time — there’s no parking at the venue and VIP parking is $40 per vehicle. Registration is still available for all distances except the Beast Elite men’s division. Spectator tickets are $20 and required to enter the finish area at Beaver Run. For competitors, the entry fee includes a finisher’s medal, finisher’s t-shirt, Coors Light, professional photos from the course and a snack swag bag.