The Reebok Spartan Race World Championship returns to Squaw Valley this weekend | SierraSun.com

The Reebok Spartan Race World Championship returns to Squaw Valley this weekend

For two days, athletes will compete in the 2017 Reebok Spartan Race World Championship from the mountain terrain at Squaw Valley.

From Sept. 30 – Oct. 1 men, women and kids will scale structures, maneuver through obstacles and push their physical and mental limits in the name of human-powered sport.

"The Reebok Spartan Race World Championship is the ultimate event of the race season and we don't take that lightly, which is exactly why we hold the race at Squaw Valley," said Reebok Spartan Race World Championship race director, Dan Yotive.

"The mountainous terrain and elevation makes this one of the world's most challenging Spartan race events," he added.

Yotive said that this year they've added an additional 2 miles to Saturday's Spartan Beast course, making it 16 miles long with close to 40 obstacles; saying it will make for some really incredible competition, exciting for spectators to watch.

For the athletes, these events are a true test of grit, and they're passionate about every challenging moment.

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"I had gotten into these races to push myself mentally and physically to my limit, and prove I could overcome challenges," said local athlete Jessie Hester.

Hester, of Tahoe City, has participated in three other obstacle races and was first introduced to the Spartan race company last year.

"The Spartan is unique since all the obstacles are completed solo. I keep racing because of the Spartan community. It is amazing to see the caliber of athletes these races attract; maybe even more impressive than the top athletes is the opportunity it gives for people to come together through training and races, and to overcome anything they are facing in life," Hester said.

Another athlete, Hunter McIntyre, who is an obstacle course racer and Second Skin ambassador, echoed Hester's sentiment of challenging oneself and fueling competitiveness.

"I compete in 10 to 15 events a year ranging from obstacle course races and Crossfit events. The reason I compete is to see how far I can push my limits. In the off-season, I test my strength. In-season, I focus on how fit I can get in the mountains. During competition, I choose competitors who I want to battle against from start to finish," he said.

The athletes say they're both excited about Squaw's terrain. They said this weekend will be the most challenging course yet with varied, mountainous terrain, and elevation to keep things interesting.

Squaw officials are excited to host the athletes this weekend.

"As a community with an inherent love for human-powered adventure, we're thrilled to host Spartan's top athletes at Squaw Valley," said Sam Kieckhefer, who is the public relations coordinator for Squaw Valley.

"Our high-alpine environment provides an excellent natural venue for the Spartan Championships, and as the weather begins to turn, Spartan is a great way to cap off our summer events lineup for both competitors and spectators alike," he added.

Cassandra Walker is a features and entertainment reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at cwalker@sierrasun.com, 530-550-2654 or @snow1cass.