Spartan Race Promises Grueling Obstacle Course

Rick Gregg
October 19, 2018 - 9:47 pm

Spartan Course

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Normally, Toyota Park hosts Chicago Fire soccer: 90-minute matches that would test anyone's mettle, even the world-class athletes on the pitch.

But the Fire are off this Saturday, and in their place will be a Spartan Race, with about 5,000 people crawling, hauling and sprawling their way across a specially constructed obstacle course.

"We've got a three-mile course set up," says Race Director Jason Barnes, "that incorporates the stadium itself, the soccer field inside the stadium, and then the surrounding areas out by the Dome area, the practice facilities."

The 22 obstacles competitors will face are no joke. They include:

 -- Monkey Bars

 -- Rope Climbs

 -- Sandbag Carries

 -- Spear Throws that harken back to ancient Sparta

  -- A dreaded eight-foot wall.

Spartan Course

"Some people are short enough where they can't even jump and grab the top, so it's a very challenging thing,” Barnes said of the latter obstacle.

There's also a separate, half-mile course for kids as young as four, with scaled-down obstacles. Barnes says it will take them about 20 minutes to finish. The adults will need about 90 minutes for their course.

Spartan Race has put on events at other major stadiums, including Citi Field in New York and Nationals Park in Washington.  At Toyota Park, the “build crew” was still putting finishing touches on the courses Friday.  

Gates open early Saturday morning, with the first athletes taking off at 7:30 a.m. and the final wave starting at 2 p.m.  Spectators are welcome. ​