MTANG members compete in Spartan Sprint

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Eric Peterson
  • 120th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office
Approximately 50 members of the Montana Air National Guard participated in the 2013 Montana Spartan Sprint held near Big Fork, Mont. May 11. The Guardsmen competing in the event formed teams that included representatives from the 120th Fighter Wing and the 219th RED HORSE Squadron.

The Spartan Race website bills the event as the world's leading obstacle race series. The participants must prepare for the unknown as course maps are not published and the racers do not get advanced information on the types or locations of obstacles.

Race organizers selected the race site based on the difficult terrain that it offered. The Spartan Sprint featured over four miles of formidable obstacles which demanded that athletes climb ropes, crawl through sections of mud and under barbed wire, jump through flames, scale 7-foot walls and carry 60-pound bags of sand up hillsides.

The Air National Guard has been the Spartan Sprint's main military sponsor since 2011. MTANG recruiters were on hand during the event to provide encouragement to the participants and offer recruiting information to interested racers.

"I think it's important that the Air National Guard participates and supports these types of events for multiple reasons," said Tech Sgt. Jason White, MTANG Production Recruiter.  "This is a great way to tell the Air National Guard story to the public and show that we support the community and state."

120th Security Forces Squadron member Senior Airman Jason Spring, first found out about the Spartan Sprint when he read an event flyer that was posted in the base gym. He researched additional race materials on the internet and thought it would be a fun event to enter.

He considered the event to be more of a mental challenge than a physical one.

"I think it's more of a mind thing than anything," he said. "For me, you can run around a track and you know where your ending is at, so when you start getting close to the end you can actually push it a little bit harder. It seemed that every time I would think I was getting close to the ending I'd push myself a little bit more and it just seemed like it kept going and going."

Next year's Spartan Sprint will again be held near Big Fork. Spring encourages unit members to consider entering the challenging event.

"It's a huge confidence builder," Spring said. "It makes you feel good, it makes you stand tall and everybody's in good nature and happy."

More than 3390 individuals signed up to compete in this year's Spartan Sprint. The participants finished the race in times ranging from 55 minutes to more than 5 hours.