Spartan Course Comes to Abilities Expo
Adaptive athletes worldwide could not be more excited about the Para Spartan, a dedicated heat in the Spartan obstacle course racing series. These heats (Elite and Open) allow athletes to compete as individuals or as teams.
That’s the great news…now here’s the kicker. Thanks to their partnership with GRIT Freedom Chair, YOU can try your hand at several signature Spartan obstacles right on the show floor of Abilities Expo Los Angeles, February 21-23. You’ll test your skills on the bungee crawl and disc slide, and tackle some serious off-road terrain. You can also learn about upcoming events around the country and meet athletes who have competed in the Spartan Para World Championships.
Tackle the Abilities Expo Spartan course using your own mobility aids, or take it on with a GRIT Freedom chair, the official all-terrain wheelchair for Para Spartan!
Para Spartan Opens Doors to Adaptive Athletes
Spartan inspire millions to live healthy and active lifestyles and their new adaptive competitions are a natural extension of this mission.
According to Disabled Sports USA, Para Spartan was designed to “minimize the impact of impairments on sport performance to ensure the success of participating athletes is determined by skill, fitness, power, endurance, tactical ability and mental focus.”
Plans are already in place to expand this opportunity to other Spartan races so stay tuned!
GRIT Freedom Chair Takes Adventure to a New Level
The GRIT Freedom Chair is an all-terrain lever powered wheelchair built for hiking, grass, sand, snow, and any other outdoor adventuring and, now, the official all-terrain wheelchair for Para Spartan.
This wheelchair is designed to help you move beyond the pavement. Developed by MIT mechanical engineers, this easy-to-push, lever-driven wheelchair comes armed with rugged mountain bike wheels and a big, sturdy front wheel. Cruise across grass, cut through the mud, tackle an obstacle course race, or hit the beach in this all-terrain wheelchair.
In an effort to unite a community of trailblazers, GRIT just launched a Facebook group! It's a place for outdoor wheelchair adventurers to share content, plan events, highlight hardworking groups and organizations and talk about adaptive equipment.
Join their community of Riders today: facebook.com/groups/beyondthepavement
Meet Spartan Para Athlete Michelle Burnette at the Expo
If you want to get the 411 on Para Spartan from an athlete who has experienced it first-hand, talk to the unstoppable Michelle Burnette! Not only is she a veteran Spartan competitor, she is also the 2019 Fittest Adaptive Standing Woman on Earth!
Here is her story:
“My name is Michelle Burnette and I am a 41-year-old kitchen designer who lives in the Atlanta Metro area. And, I am a congenital arm amputee missing everything below my left elbow. Growing up I was fairly athletic playing soccer. I was a Shriner's kid & wore a prosthetic arm until I was a teenager. I was never very self-conscious of my arm until I became a teenager. When I look back at pictures, I can see the change happen to where I started to hide my arm in pictures & things. I was never really comfortable in my own skin.
Once I left high school, I stopped being fit. I got caught up in work and life. Fast forward 20 years, to three years ago. I am a busy mom of a 4-year-old, pre-diabetic, herniated disc in my lower back and weighed 50 lbs. more than I do today. I was afraid I wouldn't be there for my little girl to grow up, so I had to do something. I had a friend who went to the gym and was fit, so I asked for her help. Going to the gym for the first time was very scary & intimidating. Especially when you have one arm. But, I did it. I did HIIT classes for about a year. I also completed my first Spartan race, a Beast 6 months after I started working out. I was immediately hooked on obstacle course racing and completed a Sprint and Super 5 weeks later to finish my first trifecta.
The next year I went on to complete three more trifectas and now regularly run Spartan races. I have also competed in the Spartan Para World Championships the last 2 years. I am happy and comfortable in my own skin. I found so many others like me. We have been able to share struggles & victories. I have also been able to mentor younger people like me. I want so much for all of the younger generation to understand there are no limits in life. You can do whatever you put your mind to. Stop worrying about what anyone else thinks. Be proud of who you are, regardless of what that looks like.
Could you be the next Spartan Para World Champion? First step, stop by the Abilities Expo Spartan Course and try it for yourself!
Pre-Register for Abilities Expo Today...It's Free!