By Mark Cabrera
When I hear the word Spartan, I remember the movie “300” starring Gerard Butler.
The Spartans in that movie are a group of elite Greek warriors back in the old days. They are soldiers wearing armored skirts, a red cape, a helmet with a Mohawk top, a shield and their mighty sword.
Nowadays, a sports group organizing an Obstacle Course Race (OCR) race adapted the word “spartan.” An OCR is a modified version of the military training obstacle course. This reminded me of my high school and college days when we used to train as Air Police in our school’s ROTC program.
According to Spartan Race Philippines, the Philippine counterpart of the global Spartan racing event, “Spartan” is a frame of mind. Spartan is a sport, a community, a philosophy, a training and nutrition program, yada yada yada, and a timed obstacle race.
Spartan Race is innovating obstacle racing on a global scale. With more than 130 races around the world annually, they offer three core races each escalating in distance, obstacle count and challenge level. The Spartan Sprint (5K/ 20 obstacles), the Spartan Super (10K/ 25 obstacles), and Spartan Beast (Half Marathon/ 30 obstacles). The Spartan race courses are riddled with signature obstacles, mud, barbed wire, walls, rope and fire. For diversity, they also offer a kiddie race from a .5 to 1-mile race.
On September 23, 2017, four Boracay athletes competed in the Inaugural Spartan Sprint race and did quite good, with three of them winning in their respected categories.
“Lifeguard King” Don Milanes, won 1st place in the 40 to 49-years-old Sprint Competitive Category. “Ultimate Running Hall of Famer” Joe Tindogwon 1st place in the 40 to 49-years-old Sprint Elite Category. And “Kiteboarding Legend” Khristopher “Ken” Nacor won the Overall Sprint Competitive Category.
Since then, the Boracay Spartans emerged and competed in four Spartan Philippines races in 2018, and in five races in 2019. In all races, they managed to win numerous podium finishes in both Age Group and Elite Categories. The most memorable win was when the Boracay Spartans Team placed second during the World Team Championship Philippines Qualifying Round last June 16, 2018 in Foressa Trails, Balamban, Cebu.
This win qualified them to compete in the World Team Championships in Lake Tahoe, California that year. Unfortunately, due to the Boracay closure of 2018, they were not able to raise enough funds needed to compete in the World Championships. Calling potential sponsors! We have world-class contenders here.
Training and Nutrition
I asked Renelito Tangkay, team member, how they train and prepare for this grueling race. He said that most of their workouts involve cross-fit training, but most of the team members are focused on running. They do long distance running to build endurance. They also hit the gym regularly to develop upper body strength. To mix things up, they also go biking and swimming which is good for the heart and lungs.
On nutrition, Renelito tells us, “Actually, we don’t have big sponsors yet so we can’t afford the proper diet similar to the professional athletes. We just consume bananas, potatoes and eggs. We get our body’s protein requirements from chicken and pork. We also observe proper water intake to avoid dehydration. Water is our natural fuel. During races, we consume a lot of coconut water. We also take some serious coffee to boost adrenaline. We avoid drinking carbonated beverages, beer and liquor when the race is near.”
The Boracay Spartans’ battle cry? “No Whining, No Quitting, NO Excuses” AROO!
Shout out to the Boracay Community!
Renelito would like to send a message to the Boracay community:
“The Obstacle Course Race/Spartan Race is a community sport. It is a sporting lifestyle that develops a person’s mindset to be fit. We, the Boracay Spartans team are encouraging everyone to try out this exciting new sport. Everyone, young and old, ladies and gentlemen, newbies or elites, are all welcome to join their training sessions and eventually represent Boracay in the coming races.”
For more information about Boracay Spartans, kindly visit their Facebook Page/Group: Boracay Spartans.