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Caledon’s Webster, Atkins nab silver at Spartan World Championship

October 3, 2019   ·   0 Comments

Written By JAKE COURTEPATTE

Caledon’s fittest family has returned to the Obstacle Course Racing podium.

The husband and wife team of Lindsay Webster and Ryan Atkins each finished in second place in their respective race at last weekend’s Spartan World Championship held in Lake Tahoe, California.

The top obstacle racers from over fifty countries converged on the 20-plus kilometer “Spartan Beast” course, forced to deal with 34 obstacles. Webster, who only picked up the sport of Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) four years ago, entered this year’s competition as the reigning Spartan World Champion for two years running, winning by over four minutes over her closest opponent in 2018.

This year, the competitors were forced to battle with a heavy cold front coming in for race week, as they climbed to elevations of around 4,000 feet.

“We’re pretty good about dealing with these adverse weather conditions just from doing this for ten years all over the globe,” said Mike Morris, the VP of the Spartan circuit, in a press release before the race. “It’s a balancing act. We’re balancing the safety of everybody, that’s the most important thing.”

This rendition of the race had Webster finish just over fourteen minutes behind fellow OCR powerhouse Nicole Mericle of the United States to claim the silver medal.

Webster said after the race that she was running “in survival mode.”

“Words can’t explain how cold the below-freezing temps were on top of that mountain, combined with water obstacles and bone-chilling wind.”

Heading up the mountain face right behind the leading Mericle, Webster said she found herself in her “happy place”, before a missed obstacle at the spear throwing portion changed the course of her mentality.

“This put Nicole nearly two minutes ahead of me, and after that I went in to a dark place,” said Webster. “Frozen from doing burpees in the puddle that was the spear throw burpee pit, I was just focused on staying warm as opposed to actually racing and having any awareness or care of where my competition was.”

“Regardless, I still felt lucky just to be out racing and I knew one thing for sure – I didn’t want to quit unless I absolutely had to. That kept me going through the swim, through the descent, and through a twisted ankle coming off the Monkey in the middle obstacle…Even though it wasn’t the win, which was my goal for the season, I may have still been the happiest person crossing that finish line today just because I made it there.”

Webster’s partner on and off the course in husband Atkins also entered the men’s competition with the highest odds, coming off of a world record-setting performance at last December’s Spartan World Championship event held in Iceland.

Despite a race length of over two hours, Atkins and the gold medal winner Robert Killian of the United States were separated by a time of just over thirty seconds.

With the most monumental race of the year behind the pair, there is simply no time for rest in the life of a super athlete: they will look to take back the top of the podium in both of the other legs of the Sparta World Championship, happening in Sparta, Greece in November and the 24-hour Ultra World Championship in Sweden in December.



         

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