FORT CARSON, Colo. - Thousands of Soldiers, military members, Family members and civilians made Fort Carson Training Area 4 a personal playground May 5, 2018, and May 6, 2018, as they took part in the annual Spartan race events, to include the kids who participated in races ranging from a half mile to two miles and included 10-18 obstacles for ages 4-14.

While the training area is used for high-level military training, many members of the military and civilian communities in Colorado Springs and the surrounding area attended the race to test their athletic, physical and mental toughness. From the time the athletes left the starting line, after a pep talk and safety brief, until they reached the finish line, the athletes were challenged with hills, uneven terrain, obstacles, water and rattle snakes as they completed the event. At the end of the race the competitors could barely hold back their enthusiasm or unbridled joy in their accomplishments as they made the final jump over a log fire, signaling the end of their journeys.

Throughout the 9.6-mile Super Spartan course May 5, 2018, and the 5.1-mile Spartan Sprint route Sunday, the competitors were given a series of challenging events that were just as much a test of physical strength as mental strength, which was something Tiffany Moore said she was more than ready for. Moore, a Family member, competed in six Spartan race events after being introduced to them six years ago as a spectator, when she would cheer for her husband and his fellow Soldiers.

"I love races and obstacles course races like the Spartan, (they) are so much more fun to compete in," Moore said. "What I've always enjoyed about Spartan races is that it pushes you to see if you can do more than you think you're capable of doing. You have to push yourself at times to see what you are truly capable of."

Shelby Miller, a family friend of Moore, began running the event with her while the Moore Family was stationed in Missouri. Miller has now run two races with her in Colorado. Like many people who think about doing the Spartan for the first time, she had reservations about doing the event but decided she would give it a try anyway.

"I normally do kickboxing on a regular basis," Miller said, until she decided to participate in the Spartan race. "I incorporated more running into my weekly workouts. I also love being in the race atmosphere and being around people who will push you to your very best. People are just so automatically encouraging and helpful, you can't help but want to be a part of this."

In 2015, Arthur Franklin started running Spartan races when he was 57 years old, and what piqued his interest was the Ninja Warrior Competition and seeing a Spartan race on ESPN. At that point, Franklin decided he wanted to give the race a shot.

"I said I want to challenge myself and see if can do that," Franklin said.
After his first race, Franklin realized that he was one of two people to complete all of the obstacles, yet he was the oldest of 19 competitors.

"So, after beating all those young Soldiers I said to myself, 'you can do this.' The toughest part ... was the mental toughness I needed," he said. "I trained ... but there was that doubt of having never done things like climb a rope. What made me conquer my doubt was the first obstacle I feared the most, the ropes. For some reason I went straight up that rope, touched the bell and my fears were gone."

Having done a race before, Franklin said he was going to approach it from a different perspective. The first time he competed, it was a race against himself, to show people he could do it. This time he said he wanted to have fun and enjoy the experience.

"The biggest thing is, I'm the new 60 and this is what it looks like," Franklin said. "When I'm 70 my plan is to still be doing this, because nothing stops us but our minds. I'm going to age, but I don't have to get old."