The Spartan World Championship will return to Abu Dhabi this year with an even tougher obstacle course designed to test the mettle of some of the planet’s most determined athletes.
This is the second year that the capital will be hosting the race organised by Spartan, a leading endurance sports and extreme wellness brand.
The two-day championship will kick off on December 3 at a new site in Al Wathba. The race venue — Al Wathba, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort and Spa — is located half an hour outside of Abu Dhabi City. The course will be plotted out in desert terrain.
The best Spartan athletes — who will qualify throughout the racing season — will go head to head in the men’s and women’s individual World Championship Super on Saturday, December 3, competing for more than $125,000 in total prize money.
The Team World Championship Super will be held on Sunday, December 4.
But the programme wasn't developed with only the elite in mind.
Families and Spartans of all ages have the chance to compete in various tournaments, including the Age Group World Championship Beast, Open Beast, Open Team Super and Kids Open.
“We’re excited to be back in Abu Dhabi after an unreal first year in the desert,” Joe De Sena, Spartan founder and chief executive, said. “We’re putting together a new course that will be one of our hardest yet — whoever leaves with the title is going to earn it.
“But just as important is the opportunity for all our Spartans to challenge themselves on the same course as the Elites. If you join us in Abu Dhabi, you’ll leave a different person. You’ll unlock your physical and mental potential. It’s possible thanks to the continued support of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council.”
Athletes in the Elite and competitive Age Group divisions can qualify through race series held in 14 countries, two regional championships, or at various wild card events throughout the year.
There are no qualifications for the Open Beast (set over 21 kilometres with 30 obstacles), Open Team Super, Open Super (10k, 25 obstacles) or Open Kids divisions.
Aref Hamad Al Awani, Abu Dhabi Sports Council General Secretary, said that hosting the Spartan World Championship fits within the council’s philosophy of supporting and promoting a healthy lifestyle.
“It was a great honour and prestige for Abu Dhabi to host the Spartan World Championship, and we are absolutely thrilled the endurance event is returning to the capital city for the second time in two years,” he said. “This event allows the elite athletes as well as participants at all levels, from men, women and the juniors, to compete. It encourages and creates awareness among the community to lead an active lifestyle to prepare for the competition.”
Last year, Abu Dhabi became the first city outside the US to host the Spartan World Championship. The event took place in the Liwa Desert to coincide with the UAE's Golden Jubilee.
It comprised three events ― the Spartan Kids World Championship, the Elite Spartan World Championship and the Spartan Team World Championship.
Canadian power couple Ryan Atkins and Lindsay Webster topped the podium of the championship. Atkins finished in 2:13:40 to take the men’s World Championship Beast while Webster finished in 2:38:54 to win the women’s World Championship Beast. Meanwhile, France edged out Russia and Canada in 1:09:39 to win the Super 10K, 25-obstacle World Championship Team race.
Athletes can register for the World Championships, and find out more information, at race.spartan.com/en/race/championships/world