Spartan Race Debuts At Kualoa

The final obstacle in the Spartan Race is a couple of guys with pugil sticks Photo from Spartan Race

The popular Spartan Race is coming to Hawaii Aug. 17 at Kualoa Ranch.

“It is our first time in Hawaii and it was a race that was demanded,” says Spartan Race public relations manager Carrie Adams. “It was requested that we bring the race, and so we did, and the people of Hawaii should be very proud. That’s not something that happens all the time, but the demand was so high that we responded.”

Founded by Joe De Sena, the first Spartan Race was held in 2010 in Vermont with fewer than 1,000 people. This year, there are more than 60 Spartan Races taking place worldwide.

More than 6,000 people are expected to take part in the upcoming local Reebok Spartan Race, which also includes the Spartan Kids Adventure Race (for children ages 4 to 13) benefiting Big Brothers, Big Sisters Hawaii.

“The Spartan Race is what’s referred to as obstacle course racing or OCR,” explains Adams. “A lot of people have heard of mud runs or fun runs, we are something very different. We are a race that is trying to elevate this idea of functional fitness and movement into a sport, so we challenge athletes with rugged terrain to run on, and then a variety of obstacles to test a variety of their skills, whether it’s endurance, agility, speed power, strength.

“Anybody can do it.

Certainly, you’ll go faster if you’re in great shape. We encourage people to train, but more than anything we want people to get off the couch and get outside and get active.”

As for the different obstacles on the 3- to 5-mile course, Adams says you can expect to climb walls, to go under things, traverse across things, there’s a spear throw, and usually something heavy to carry or drag.

“The last thing you see before the finish line are couple of guys with big pugil sticks and you have to cross those guys before you get to the finish line, which is kind of a fun way to finish and a standard for us, and absolutely one of my favorite parts of the course,” adds Adams.

Finishers receive a medal, T-shirt, headband and free beer (one for participants over age 21). It’s a family-friendly event, and there also will be live entertainment.

Cost is $99 before Aug. 15, $119 on-site race day. The Spartan Kids Race costs $25. To register or for more information, visit