Marine Corps Recruiting Command executed an activation during the West Virginia Spartan Trifecta Weekend Event at Glen Jean, West Virginia, Aug. 27-28, 2022. MCRC has partnered with Spartan Race and its community of athletes due to the shared values of both organizations.
This is the first year the Marine Corps and Spartan Race have partnered. The first event was in the spring of this year, presenting Marines and Spartan athletes with the opportunity to share their many common characteristics and attributes.
“A partnership with Spartan Races provides the Marine Corps with the opportunity to grow interested among our influencer and prospect audiences while increasing engagement with Marine recruiters,” said U.S. Marine Capt. Aaron Webster, MCRC national partnerships engagement officer from Seattle, Washington.
The Spartan Race is a race with a series of obstacles to test a person’s endurance, grit, will, strength and attitude – characteristics and values Marines embody. The Marine Corps is executing a number of national and local events with Spartan this year with the specific purpose of providing assistance to the recruiting effort.
“The Spartan Race is really a lifestyle and more than an obstacle course.” Ian Lawson, VP, Global Partnerships for Spartan Race
“Getting people out of their comfort zone means they might be uncomfortable a little bit but through the process, you grow,” said Ian Lawson, VP of Global Partnerships for Spartan Race, and native of Nyack, New York.
Throughout the event, Marines engaged with Spartan participants by executing festival challenges, conducting awards presentations and outreach efforts. The culminating point of the weekend for some participants was the opportunity to race the course with the Marines.
The Marines and contestants joined together for the 5k Sprint Race. Racers were allowed to sign up for a Marine-dedicated heat so they could conquer the course alongside Marines. The challenging course consisted of 20 different obstacles designed to challenge athletes while running, carrying sandbags, climbing obstacles, crawling under barbed wire, and more.
“Each of you are a part of an elite group of people because it has taken a lot of discipline to get here. Discipline is the bedrock of the United States Marine Corps and through that, we pride ourselves on being the most ready when the nation is least ready,” said U.S. Marine Gunnery Sgt. Bowen, Carlsbad, New Mexico native and martial arts instructor with the Martial Arts & Fitness Readiness Center of Excellence, in his prerace comments to the crowd. “Just like all of you today, as you had the discipline to prepare and race this course.”
All the Marines ran the course with nearly 150 participants, connecting with many of them along the way. The conditions were tough, but the Marines, covered in mud and sweat, crossed the line with the same spirit and determination that aligned these two organizations.
“The contestants and Marines have what I like to call “warrior culture,” said U.S. Marine Staff Sgt. Tyon Lamont Downing, Jr, a native of Snellville, Georgia and force fitness instructor at MAFCE. “That is something that has been ingrained into them through trial and tribulation whether it is by themselves or with their teammates building comradery and being able the keep those deep connections.”
The Marines will be running with Spartan Race again in Nashville, Tennessee in October during the Nashville Spartan Trifecta.
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Author: Lance Cpl. Gustavo Romero