How I fell in love with Spartan

By Obstacle Course Racing champion Tina Ormuz.

Tina is originally from Maienfeld in Switzerland, the little town that served as setting for the story of Heidi. This is where the similarity ends for Tina is a fierce competitor and multi-awarded Spartan champion. In 2019, she competed in 38 races and won the first place in her age group in the Spartan World Ranking. Currently recovering from a cycling accident, she recounts her debut in OCR (Obstacle Course Racing) and how her passion for the sport developed.

I remember it as if it was yesterday. Bash, a gym buddy asked me in early 2017 if I wanted to run a Spartan Race. I did not know much, just heard a few things about Spartan Races. I mean, just Google “Spartan Race” and you’ll see images of people covered in mud, crawling through barbed wire, climbing ropes, overcoming walls up to 10 feet, and scaling slippery walls with only hand grips. Sounds fun right? Oh, and the punishment when you “fail” an obstacle: 30 burpees. I’m sorry, who are the people who willingly put themselves through this? Probably only super athletes I thought first. Right? Wrong!

Basically, nothing about a Spartan Race sounded easy, but that’s what sparked my interest.

I was in a workout rut and I needed to do something that would push me totally out of my comfort zone – but was I capable of becoming a Spartan? The Spartan website promised that a Spartan Sprint is “three miles that will change your life forever”. I was ready for such a change. I signed up for my first Spartan Sprint in Abu Dhabi in February 2017 and the rest is history.

In 2017, I ran four Spartan Races (2 Sprints, 2 Super and 1 Beast) and completed my first Trifecta. In 2018, I really wanted to take it to another level and put in the work. I started to travel internationally to compete. From January to November I ran a total of 33 Spartan Races, finished almost 20 times on the podium including the 4 European Series – DACH, Spain, Italy and European Mountain Series. Unfortunately, a car accident on 1st Dec 2018 and a broken hip stopped me from running for a couple of months. Nevertheless, I finished with a strong result x9 Trifecta and with much more races completed than I ever expected. My love for this Sport has really no limits. Another highlight of 2018 was when I became a Spartan Global Brand Ambassador. Jan/Feb 2019 I wasn’t running at all and did lots of physiotherapy. March 2019, I got the good to go to start running again and on 9th March 2019 I was back to Spartan Racing (sorry not sorry – could not help myself). 2019 was another amazing year of racing, traveling, adventures and new friendships. I raced on 5 continents and earned a couple more podium spots and medals. And although I was on crutches in total 4.5 months throughout the whole 2019, I was able to earn x11 Trifecta and to finish on the 1st place in my Age group in the World ranking.

If you’re not familiar with Spartan Races – it’s the World’s Best Obstacle Race. There are various distances and types of races: Sprint, Stadium Sprint, Super, Beast, Ultra, and Trail. They offer distances from 3 miles up to 30 miles and up to 60-plus obstacles as well as the Extreme Endurance experiences (HH, HH12, HH24, Agoge) which last up to 60-plus hours and are team based and challenge you physically and mentally. And if that’s not enough for you, there even is an event called death race.

The Spartan Sprint and Stadium Sprint are the shortest distances with three miles of racing and 20-plus obstacles. As a beginner, that’s in my eyes the perfect fit for a first race experience. Grab a couple of friends and just have fun out there!

Spartan races are not just about winning and competition – it’s so much more. The Spartan community is a crazy bunch of its own. Throughout my journey of running Spartan races I met so many amazing and inspiring athletes – made friends all over the world and memories for a life time.

Tina Ormuz, 12th Aug 2020

Posted on 13th Aug 2020