Get set for race from hell
IT MAY strike some as strange that a competition dubbed a "military boot camp on steroids" managed to become the world's most popular obstacle race.
But the brutal Spartan Race has become so popular that it's now making its way to Ipswich.
Much like the Spartan gladiators of old, competitors will crawl through mud, jump fire and throw spears as they race 14km towards the finish line.
And just as the end comes into sight, those taking part are forced to fight their way past nine mixed-martial-arts ''gladiators'' in a makeshift battle arena.
It may sound like hell but, as Spartan Race director Max DeLacy points out, the extreme nature of the obstacle course is exactly why more people are signing up for the challenge.
The 41-year-old father-of-three said it was all about giving people an opportunity to test themselves physically and mentally.
"For many of us our comfort zone has shrunk to the point that we only feel comfortable when we're sitting behind a desk or working out in a very controlled, air-conditioned atmosphere," he said.
"This challenge has people get outdoors and dirty and using their bodies in a more primal way, like how they would have centuries ago.
"And that's the attraction. It's a way for us to reconnect with the joy of using our bodies to the full and realising what we're capable of."
After successful Spartan Races in Melbourne and Sydney, Mr DeLacy said a course was now being set up at Peak Crossing for the next race, on June 22.
He said the rural village's beautiful countryside provided the perfect site to create a demanding course.
"The thing about each race is they are never the same, as we use the unique environments to think up different obstacles," he said.
"So there will be challenges at this Ipswich course that have never been seen at any other Spartan Race."
Mr DeLacy said people from a range of ages and fitness levels were welcome to take part.
He said there was also a smaller - by no means less-challenging - Spartan Race designed for kids as young as three years old.
For more information, or to register for the event, visit spartanrace.com.au