If you’re thinking about a leisurely drive on the east side of the city Saturday morning you might want to change your plans. That’s when 6,200 racers will descend on Mesquite for the Spartan Race at the Mesquite MX track and Hafen Ranch near the Palms golf course.
“We’re expecting about 2,500 vehicles coming off of I-15 at exit 122 and coming in to the race area,” Lincoln Baker, race track coordinator said. “It’s going to be a very fun and exciting event.”
Sponsored by Reebok, Spartan Races, are the world’s largest competitive obstacle racing series in the world. They are held in places like Sacramento, Salt Lake City and AT&T Stadium in Dallas, TX. The local race has been held just outside of Las Vegas for several years but is moving to Mesquite for the next three years.
The first race time is scheduled for Saturday morning at 7:30 a.m. for the Elite Men class and 7:45 a.m. for Elite Women. Waves of 250 racers will take off every 15 minutes throughout the morning. Afternoon race times begin at 11:15 a.m. until all the runners are off.
It will take the average runner between two and four hours to complete the entire course.
Racers will run a nine mile track over, under and through numerous obstacles including a 200-yard stretch down the Virgin River waters. “We had 30 tons of gravel delivered to the site to create some of the obstacles for the racers,” Baker said. “At one point, runners will have to fill a five gallon bucket with about 90 pounds of gravel and carry it up and over a slight rise in the terrain. They’ll dump it back where they started and go on to the next obstacle.”
In all Baker and his crews have created 28 obstacles throughout the race track that covers hundreds of acres. Think barbwire, mud, 90 pound concrete balls, 15-foot rope climbs and lots of walls to climb over. All that while running through sandy desert paths that are not graded and a 50 foot high cliff that goes almost straight up.
“We started planning this course back in December,” Baker said. “We used Google Earth and GIS equipment to lay out the route. We’ve been here for a couple weeks actually building the course. We brought in six semi-tractor trailers full of equipment. In all, we’ll have about 70 staff members working on this race before, during, and after it.”
A festival area and a vendor village will fill the central area near the start and finish lines. Racers will know they’re done with the grueling course that tests every fiber of the body, mind, and spirit when they cross a field of fire at the end.
The public is invited to the race area. Travel east on Hillside Drive, turn right at the Palms golf course and follow the road to its end. You’ll be amazed at what you find.