Coloradoan prepares for rigorous 'Death Race'

KUSA – It could be called a combination of "Survivor" and "Hunger Games," but whatever you call it, the Spartan Death Race is beyond grueling.

Geoff Wrenn, of Denver, is one of 300 participants signed up and training for the 8th Annual Spartan Death Race held in the mountains near Pittsfield, Vermont.

Wrenn entered the Death Race for the first time in 2013. He describes the race as a series of outdoor obstacles which must be completed. The last person standing wins.

"It's a lot like boot camp but none of the participants really know when the Death Race starts," Wrenn told 9NEWS.

Organizers require each participant to start alone on the mountainous trek but don't officially start the race until hours after each participant is well into the obstacle course. Wrenn said he was 18 hours into the race during his first year when the official start was announced.

The list of items each entrant must bring is a combination of outdoor and survival gear such as an axe, a rope, food, and a 5 gallon bucket.

Wrenn says his backpack last year weighed about 50 lbs. One of the first challenges was to trek through the Vermont hills with the backpack while also carrying a 30 pound boulder just to test arm strength. He said the idea was to fatigue their arms because the next challenge was chopping and stacking wood.

Each participant is monitored by medical staff, and Wrenn was pulled from the race 58 hours in 2013 due to dehydration.

Wrenn says overall the race is designed to break down the participants mentally and physically.

"I am bringing water purifying kits this year so I can make my own clean water from the nearby streams. Carrying water through the race would be impossible" Wrenn said.

Being a three-sport athlete in high school has helped Wrenn with the conditioning and focus of an event like this, but he admits, he was totally surprised by how hard and intense the Death Race was after his first try.

He said the natural hazards in the wild are as challenging as the obstacle course itself. In 2013, he ran into a bull moose but found a way around the dangerous creature without getting hurt or attacked.

What does a guy like Wrenn do for relaxation? He says he climbs 14ers, does burpees to warm up and works at a Denver-area lab for chemicals and supplies.

This year, the Death Race will be teams of two entering the Race of ultimate survival and endurance. For those brave enough to just look at the requirements, you can click on

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)


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