Photo courtesy of Nuvision Action Image

The Spartan Beast is back. On Saturday, June 30 the race is returning to Soldier Hollow. More than 10,000 spectators and competitors will be there for the event Outside Magazine dubbed best obstacle race in 2012. With its growing popularity, could this be a future Olympic event? It will be if Joe Desena, Spartan Race Founder, has anything to say about it.

“I think we’re about three Olympics away,” Desena says. “At the end of the day, the Olympics need viewers and this event is a fun one to watch.”

Competitors have no idea what obstacles they will be faced with. Course details are a tightly kept secret. Racers will travel over 12 miles through more than 30 obstacles that can include traversing walls and scrambling under barbed wire.

“It’s a monster, which is why we call it the beast,” Desena says.

With such harsh conditions, Desena explains people are drawn to the event because it’s in our nature. “It’s primal. We are wired to do this. We threw spears, we climbed, we crawled. That’s what we did for 900 thousand years,” he says.

The Spartan Beast is part of the Spartan Race series: the Spartan Sprint, the Super Spartan and the Spartan Beast. Each is more difficult than the last and Desena explains he is approaching the race series like a formal sport. That means standardizing the rules with the end goal of seeing it as an Olympic event.

As a former site for the Olympic games, Desena says of Soldier Hollow, “It feels natural for where we’re going with this.”

Elite heats will start at 9 a.m. with a three-person sprint relay heat at 9:30 a.m. Regular heats of up to 250 competitors each will start every 30 minutes from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The day-long events will culminate with a lively festival featuring entertainment, raffles, food, beverages, vendors and games.