Spartan Beast: The Magnificent 7

A Spartan Race is very different from your average 5K — they come in three different sizes: a Sprint is 3 to 5 miles with 20 obstacles, a Super covers at least 8 miles and the Beast contains more than 30 hurdles over a 13-mile course. The obstacles themselves also range in difficulty from the military-style barbed wire crawl, to a rope climb and bucket carry, where participants tote pails of rocks over challenging terrain. And the penalty for failure is steep. For each failed obstacle, racers must tackle 30 burpeees — a multi-step exercise that combines a squat, pushup and jump.  

“We had no idea what we were getting into,” Arant said, of the group’s first race. “We were worried about even finishing it.”

They weren’t the fastest, but Arant, Stephens and Angie Durfee made it through.

The following year, Firehouse owner Laura Johnson joined in.

“The first time I did it, I got home and my son said, ‘Did you win? Did you win?” she said. “For us winning is really… completing the whole race without injury. This is more about helping your teammates through it and getting everybody across the finish line.”

To read the full story and see our favorite photos, pick up the Oct. 27 edition of the Pioneer or subscribe to our e-edition. Current subscribers are provided complimentary access to the e-edition with registration.

Photos courtesy Laura Johnson and Dawn Curry