It’s coming to the end of 2015 and so I think it’s time for an update on Spartan Race coming to New Zealand. Because I haven’t heard many others talk about it yet, here’s a bullet point recap:
- Around March 2014, a Spartan Race New Zealand page on Facebook was created.
- After inquires it was discovered the page was indeed officially managed by Spartan Race.
- In December 2014, Spartan Race announced a Sprint in Auckland to be held on an undefined date in 2015. Pre-registrations for the race also opened on the Spartan website.
- In August 2015 Kiwi Trail Runner Magazine published a small blurb on Spartan Race stating it was coming to Auckland in November 2015.
- Fast forward to November 2015, at the time of this post, and no further news has emerged about Spartan Race’s plans to operate in NZ.
- Furthermore, it appears the 2015 Sprint in Auckland has been cancelled, as the url where the race was listed no longer exists and instead it redirects to the main ‘find a race’ page on the Spartan website. Check it out here: http://www.spartan.com/events/pre-registration/?event_id=444/auckland-sprint-new-zealand
- Update at 1/1/2016: 2015 has ended and no NZ Spartan Race materilised.
This is disappointing! as Spartan Race is one of the pinnacle races, if not the pinnacle, of obstacle racing. If racers from NZ are looking to conquer the sufferfest that is a Spartan Race, travelling overseas is the option taken by an increasing amount of runners.
As Murray Fleming pointed out in my interview with him the other 2 of the commonly described “big 3” OCR race brands, Tough Mudder and Warrior Dash, have previously held races in NZ, but didn’t return after their first attempt in the NZ market. Add to this that Spartan Race has likely cancelled plans to do a race in NZ, and the situation isn’t promising for obstacle race fans here wanting to tackle a big race experience. Although with the growing popularity of obstacle racing worldwide and the gap left in NZ by these big international series not operating here, local obstacle races are popping up all around NZ along with some other (not big 3) international series running races here. How the NZ scene develops will be interesting to watch.
However in writing this post, Spartan is always releasing new content and so it’s often difficult to keep current with happenings. Let me know if there’s something I’ve missed… or if in-fact Spartan is indeed coming to New Zealand.