Stadium Series Update: A Unique Racing Experience

Stadium Series Update: A Unique Racing Experience

By: Spartan Stadium Pro, McCauley Kraker

Can’t get enough of Spartan? Need to shake up your racing schedule but not sure where to turn? Heaven forbid, you’re not a fan of mud?

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Not everyone is suited to excel at outdoor Spartan Races. Those without the endurance background or training often struggle with the more challenging longer distances. So where do the outliers, the athletes like CrossFitters or parkour participants go to compete and test their mettle?

Enter the Stadium Race Series. Spartan has utilized the stadium as a race venue for several years now, but this season gave this alternative race version its own points series with the intent of crowning the fastest, strongest athlete in the Spartan World. To kick off the new series, Spartan signed two new members to a specially-created Stadium Team, Karlee Whipple (currently ranked #1 in the women’s stadium points series) and myself. We’ve had a blast this past year traveling around and representing Spartan at these races!

Here’s a brief recap for those of you unfamiliar with this format of Spartan Race: The Stadium Sprint follows a rough format, deploying 20-25 obstacles over a 2.5-4 mile course. These races offer an incredibly unique experience — one that serves dual purposes: First, to test your limits in a unique race format that’s different from your typical obstacle race, and secondly, to give you a hands-on, behind-the-scenes look at the professional stadiums, locker rooms, dugouts and all the great sites that would otherwise only be seen on TV on a Sunday or on a pricey off-season tour.

Fans of Spartan Race have certainly enjoyed the new format as evidenced by five-figure numbers turning out for hallowed venues such as Fenway Park and AT&T Stadium.

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Spartan’s Stadium Sprints can be best described as a combination of a CrossFit endurance workout, stair climbing session, and indoor track race. Running is fast and furious, consisting of narrow hallways, sharp turns, and endless stairs acting as combination between the strength and plyometric-oriented obstacles. And did we mention just how fast the running is? Case in point: the men’s races often contain running at 4:30-5:00 per mile pace between obstacles, something that is unheard of in the endurance-based outdoor races.

Video Cameras throughout the stadium follow racers as they traverse basements and upper decks, giving friends and family a chance to see their favorite competitors on the stadium’s video screens as they race. And we can’t forget the cool schwag. Each race offers unique, one-of-a-kind medals, customized in the likeness of the stadium hosting the event.

The Stadium Series has the potential to bridge the gap between the aerobic based endurance athletes that currently dominate the outdoor races, and the explosion-based athletes that excel in shorter, strength-oriented events.

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Let’s take a look at the podiums of these first six races of the year. You’ll see a myriad of athletic backgrounds and body types, resulting in a unique mix of strength and endurance going head-to-head. You’ll also see close finishes, some of them coming down to the very second. In many of these races the final podium positions are not decided until the last gauntlet, leading to fast, exciting finishes.

2015 Season Highlights


  • Long-time Spartan Pro-Team Member Shaun Provost returned from injury to an emphatic win over a competitive field in Boston, while my brother, Brakken and I tied for first in the men’s race.
  • After missing his spear throw in Tampa, Isaiah Vidal mounted a furious comeback and won by one second (yes, one second!), diving at the line to secure a victory over Ken Corrigliano.
  • In Hawaii’s Honolulu Stadium, Miguel Medina was able to eek out a narrow win over fellow Spartan Pro, Chris Rutz, conquering the final wall just a hair quicker for what ended up being a mere two second victory.
  • Despite doing 90 burpees throughout the race, Becca Clifford stayed tough and almost pulled out a victory at her hometown race, Milwaukee’s Miller Park, finishing in second place behind winner Sarah Pozdol by a mere 25 seconds. That burpee amount is a record for a podium performer in a Sprint.
  • After catching glimpses of themselves on the 70-yard-wide high definition scoreboard, participants in the Dallas AT&T Stadium Sprint were reminded of the truth in the old adage that everything is bigger in Texas. The race, at a little over four miles, was the longest of the year, the distance more than appropriate given the massive billion dollar venue Spartans were allowed to explore.

The first year of the Stadium Series comes to a close next weekend with the AT&T San Fran Stadium Sprint. This beautiful venue will serve an important purpose as both the Women’s and Men’s series champions have yet to be locked up. Expect a stacked field vying for the year-end prizes.

Regardless of what happens come race day, it has been an exciting season of races. From Australia, to the mainland and Hawaii, Spartans have rolled, crawled, and ran their way throughout the hallways, bleachers, and turf of some of the more famous stadiums in the world.

Not content with this year’s success, Spartan has decided to up the ante for the next Stadium season, with races planned at even more stadium venues. Check the upcoming race page and see if your favorite stadium will be included. We hope to see you at one next year!

Full Podium Results:

Boston (Fenway Park):

Men

  1. 26:21- McCauley Kraker
  2. 26:21- Brakken Kraker
  3. 26:47- Joshua Zwonitzer

Women

  1. 29:29- Shaun Provost
  2. 31:24- Jackie Landmark
  3. 34:11- Jennette Gardner

Milwaukee (Miller Park):

Men

  1. 31:02- McCauley Kraker
  2. 33:11- Justin Jindra
  3. 34:21- Robert Muzikowski

Women

  1. 37:09- Sarah Pozdol
  2. 37:34- Becca Clifford
  3. 42:35- Jeanette Gray

Tampa (Raymond James Stadium):

Men

  1. 39:00- Isaiah Vidal
  2. 39:01- Ken Corigliano
  3. 43:03- Joe Patrolia

Women

  1. 45:42- Kate Kramer
  2. 49:13- Karlee Whipple
  3. 49:50- Rachel Corvington

New York (City Field):

Men

  1. 29:24- Hunter Mcyntire
  2. 31:59- Alexander Nicholas
  3. 32:14- Michael Day

Women

  1. 35:36- Cassidy Watton
  2. 35:43- Jackie Landmark
  3. 37:07- Karlee Whipple

Hawaii

Men

  1. 30:01- Miguel Medina
  2. 30:04- Chris Rutz
  3. 35:52- Jeremy Schmalfelt

Women

  1. 35:35- Brittani Lum
  2. 43:21- Ashley Mier
  3. 46:25- Jaime Hipsher

Miller Park (Part 2):

Men

  1. 35:14- Brakken Kraker
  2. 39:30- Simon Thompson
  3. 40:17- Kevin Butler

Women

  1. 41:08- Orla Walsh
  2. 44:02- Karlee Whipple
  3. 45:32- Julie Hartjes

Dallas (AT&T Stadium):

Men

  1. 35:32-Brakken Kraker
  2. 39:03-McCauley Kraker
  3. 39:07-Isaiah Vidal

Women

  1. 42:12-Kate Kramer
  2. 42:26-Jackie Rust
  3. 50:44-Megan Boyd