We are Spartan: Thousands ready to do battle as ‘mud and guts’ obstacle race series kicks off in Hong Kong

Hong Kong launches inaugural Asia-Pacific Spartan Race series, with first of four regional qualifiers at Kam Tin Country Club in Yuen Long on Saturday, leading to finale in Australia in November

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 April, 2017, 11:14am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 August, 2017, 1:52pm

More than 5,000 competitors from 20 countries will descend on Kam Tin Country Club in Yuen Long on Saturday as Hong Kong plays host to the first leg of the inaugural Spartan Race Asia-Pacific Championships Series.

The Spartan Sprint event is the first of four qualifiers – the others being in Taiwan, South Korea and Malaysia – leading up to the grand final in Australia at the end of November.

Racers will compete for over US$50,000 in cash and prizes across the entire series, with the elite winners of the men’s and women’s races over the 5km, 20-plus obstacle course on Saturday taking home HK$17,500.

Hong Kong is the shortest of the four qualifying events, with the Taiwan, Korean and Malaysia Super events taking place over 13km and containing more than 22 obstacles ahead of the 21km finale in Australia.
Watch: Last year’s Spartan Race in Hong Kong

“The inaugural Spartan Race Asia-Pacific Championship Series is a testament to the passionate athletes and weekend warriors who have propelled us from hosting Spartan events in two Apac countries in 2015, to what will be 10-plus Apac countries and regions in 2017,” said Asia-Pacific Spartan Race managing director Michael Goodwin.

“The Apac Series in not just for the elites who are arguably the best athletes in the world, but is also a public challenge to everyone who knows what they can do and be more than they are today.

“Prepare yourself for a brutal cross-section of terrain and some of the world’s best obstacles as we look to break and transform you to bring out the Spartan legend from within,” Goodwin said.

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Elite racers will be awarded points based on their rankings from any of the five events of the Championship Series. The top 10 male and female elite racers – as well as the top three male and female elite master’s racers – with the most points win prize money at the end of the series.

While prize money is also up for grabs for the top finishers in the first four qualifying events, the winners will also receive a guaranteed spot in the final event in Australia.

Due to popular demand, one more competitive heat has been added to the morning schedule designed to bridge the gap between the elite and open race categories.

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Runners in the competitive heats race over the same course and follow the same rules as the elite racers, but compete for bragging rights rather than prize money.

The event will also feature a junior category with 1,500 racers aged four to 13 competing over a specially designed course of between 500m and 2km.