Spartan, the world’s leading obstacle race series, made it to Fiji in November with over 2,000 local and international participants. Spartan’s mission is “to help people live without limits” with races ranging from 5 km to marathon length races. With a presence in over 30 countries, Spartan is a global event that brings participants from all over the world. This time around, the Spartan community met in Sabeto, Nadi to embark on their fist Fiji hosted event.
The Talanoa Treks team was made up of 10 brave spartans, 4 of which are community guides from the local villages of Naga and Nabutautau that we work closely with. Together they conquered the Spartan Sprint; a 5 km dash with 20 obstacles that required climbing, crawling and trudging through mud at the very least! Some of our team’s favourite parts of the event was having so many familiar faces on the course. In true Fiji fashion, the local teams helped each other through the event, pulling each other over obstacles and providing words of encouragement. It was also great exposure for the community guides that joined the Talanoa team, giving them an insight into the organisation, demographic and general hype of an international sporting event such as Spartan. Naturally, they absolutely smashed the race, disappearing over the first obstacle and into the distance in no time.
There was strong local involvement in terms of volunteers and participants of the various categories, representing Fiji’s potential to host such a prominent event. Partnering with local businesses such as GingerLei and Tasty Island Treats provided the event with a Fijian flavour for all to enjoy on the typical hot Nadi day. The location was breathtaking with the Sleeping Giant and Mount Batilamu in the background and some of the longer race trails venturing into the hills. It was a great space with ample area for all the obstacles while being quite accessible to many accommodation options in Nadi. The local racers had an advantage over the international participants who may be used to cooler climates as it was a very hot and humid day which can turn a simple task into quite the challenge.
Although it would have been great to see more local talent, the 4-day event presented by Fiji Airways was a great introduction to the potential of this event being hosted in Fiji. Now that everyone has had a taste of the different obstacles and races, teams will have a better idea of what to expect, what to train for and how to better prepare.
Our team at Talanoa Treks is looking forward to taking on the challenge at next year’s Fiji Spartan with hopefully more community guides participating. Some words of advice if you’re thinking of joining us on the course next year: if it’s your first time, try out one of the easier categories and don’t feel pressured to complete all the obstacles. If you really do want to take it seriously, be sure to train and prepare ahead of time. We look forward to seeing you at Fiji Spartan next year!