More than 10,000 competitors from all over the world are expected in Killington this weekend for the third annual Spartan Race World Championship. While the 15-mile obstacle course may be grueling for the racers, it’ll be a boon for local businesses.
Spartan Race events have made a name for themselves for putting participants through – well, hell. “We try to hit every pain point, says Pittsfield resident Joe Desena, one of the founders of Spartan Race. “So there are rope climbs, and it’s very difficult for people to pull their body up a rope 20 feet over water; there’s fire to deal with, you’re jumping over fire and that’s a concern for many; there’s crawling under barbed wire and climbing over walls,” adds Desena.
His company has evolved into one of the leaders in the fast growing for-profit obstacle racing industry. This year alone, Desena says Spartan Race will host more than a 130 competitions in 17 countries. “It’s very addictive, even though its painful and I’ve been there, I stated doing lots of races in the 90s and I found the same thing. In the middle of the race I would say, what did I do why did I sign up for this? And as soon as you finish, I don’t know if it’s all the drugs that are released in your brain, or the euphoria, but you get back to the starting line and you want to do it again.”
While the top elite finishers in Saturday’s World Championship will win $15,000 each in prize money thousands of amateur racers and kids will run the Killington course as well.
Bill Miller, Assistant Manager at the Summit Lodge in Killington says they’ve been booked solid for this weekend since last spring and he says businesses on the mountain are gearing up for a fabulously busy few days.