Spartan returns to Palisades with 24-hour event

The Spartan North American Championship is scheduled to return to Palisades Tahoe with a 24-hour event.
Justin Scacco /

Each year thousands of athletes head to Palisades Tahoe to compete in Spartan’s annual obstacle course competition.

This year, the resort, which has attracted as many as 10,000 athletes when it hosted the Spartan World Championships, will see race organizers bring a new twist to the weekend of obstacle course racing — a 24-Hour Ultra World Championship.

Organizers are calling the course the toughest ever in the Tahoe area. Past courses have seen obstacles like sand bag carries, rope climbs, swims through frigid water, and others.

“Tahoe courses have been the pinnacle of (obstacle course) racing and this course will bring new challenges to what is already the most grueling event of the season,” said Spartan founder and CEO Joe De Sena. “Twenty-four hours with no sleep, an epic course in Tahoe – I can’t wait to see what this course brings out in our Spartan athletes.”

Athletes will compete for a share of $45,200 in the 24-hour race.

The weekend, hosted by North Lake Tahoe, kicks off with the Beast 21K on Saturday, Sept. 24. Last year attracted several thousand athletes from across the globe.

“North Lake Tahoe is thrilled to host the 24-Hour Ultra World Championship for the first time, welcoming Spartan athletes, their families and friends back to our region,” said Tony Karwowski, North Lake Tahoe Resort Association CEO, in a news release. “September is the perfect time for a late summer 24-hour event in North Lake Tahoe. Typically at this time of year warm weather sticks around and summer visitation tapers off, creating so many opportunities to reconnect with nature in the region. We can’t wait to inspire and be inspired by the athletic talent we’ll see at the Ultra World Championship.”

The Ultra World Championships is scheduled for the following day through Monday.

To compete in the Elite Championships, racers must complete an Elite Ultra between Oct. 21, 2021, and Sept. 19, 2022. To compete in the Age Group Championships, racers must also complete an Ultra during the same time frame. All athletes are eligible to enter the Open Division. Additionally, the Beast 21K is open to all racers.

For more information, visit

Justin Scacco is a staff writer with the Sierra Sun. He can be reached at

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