2 367 athletes from 17 countries set out on a 7.7 km long extremely difficult track with the battle cry „Arooo!“ on 24 January, 2015. Spartan Race, the first and unique winter version of the toughest obstacle course over a rough terrain in the world took place at Mt Chopok. Even a severely disabled Czech athlete Martin Zikmund has fulfilled his dream and using his crutches and in knee-deep snow and freezing temperatures, he conquered 20 obstacles. It took him almost 4 hours to conquer the track with superelevation of 596 m and a maximum gradient of 43%.
Although Martin Zikmund had ended his winter Spartan Race in the mid-track, he didn´t hide his enthusiasm: „It was a complicated and challenging race for a man with crutches. I chose the tactics of crawling. I particularly liked the amazing location, area and well organized race. A stay in the mountains gives you strength to do new things. I went through the track with my coach, and I avoid neither obstacles nor bad points and push ups.“
The first elite wave of Spartans consisting of 250 members started on Saturday at 10 o'clock. The athletes demonstrated their speed, endurance, skills, toughness and passion for this kind of course in an extremely exposed terrain. They went through disciplines like jumping over straw bales, floundering through the stream under a tunnel in freezing temperatures, poor visibility and snow, as well as slipping on bags, throwing snowballs, climbing over the hurdles, and skipping a fire mound and others. The finish line itself was also an impressive obstacle – an ancient ice temple built of 47 tonnes of pure ice. The fastest athlete in the winter version of the sprint became 27 years old Peter Ziska, coming from the village of Hybe, Liptov region, who crossed the finish line in 52 minutes. Ziska is one of the best Slovak Spartan racers with international success. Tereza Klimešová from the Czech Republic dominated among women with finish time of 1 hour 15 minutes. The Spartan Race founder Joe de Sena from the United States also participated in the race at Chopok, who came to Jasna to try the exceptionality of the terrain. „I've never seen as many people who came to overcome the mountains with such carelessness and smile when running uphill as in Jasna, and moreover without skis. Anyone, who knows me, knows that I´ve always been amazed by diligence of East Europeans. My participation in the first winter Spartan confirmed that I had been right,“ said J. de Sena.
Jan Candik, a Chief and Coordinator of the Spartan Race for Central Europe, evaluates the race in Jasna very positively. „According to the responses of the participants the race was great; we all enjoyed a nice environment of the Low Tatras, helpful people and lots of snow. Even after an evaluation of Quality Supervisors we achieved an above-average rating within the Spartan Race. The competitors particularly enjoyed sliding on bags and the „ancient temple of ice“ target obstacle. Thanks to perfect work of rescuers and the well built and oriented track, we had minimum injuries - 5 fractures and a few small abrasions and lacerations. And now we are interested in organizing the second winter edition in Jasna. I am also looking forward to the summer version of the Spartan Race. We want to organize it in Tatra Lomnica as two-day European Championships, with sprint on Saturday and beast on Sunday, “ added J.Candik.
The final obstacle of the Spartan Race – the ancient temple of ice – will be available for visitors of the ski resort Jasna Nizke Tatry in front of the Happy End music club until the end of the winter season.