Junior overcomes obstacles while participating in Spartan Races

Alyssa Pavelka, Staffer

“Keep going, keep pushing,” he tells himself.

He chants this phrase over and over as his body begs for a break. Junior Tyler Schumaker races through the obstacles that seem to be hurdling towards him. He is determined to finish the marathon ahead that includes an abundance of barriers causing him to push his body harder than ever before.

Schumaker has been a Spartan racer for a year now and has already run six races, completing two trifectas. Schumaker’s family has been supporting him from the very beginning, running alongside him in his race to the finish.

“I first started running with my father and four cousins,” Schumaker said. “Now it’s just my father and I. One of my cousins who has run in World Championships told me about Spartan racing.”

Racing is important to Schumaker because it gives him a reason to spend time with the people he cares about and an opportunity to meet new friends who share a common interest.

“It helps me stay active and spend time with my father,” Schumaker said. “Racing has also helped me overcome my shyness by talking to new people.”

There are three main races which include physical obstacles that a Spartan racer must complete to obtain a trifecta. The Sprint is about three miles long, the Super is close to eight miles and the Beast is around 12 miles.

After competing in several races, Schumaker has gained even more respect for those who have been racing for a while. He said he does not work out a lot to prepare for each contest, but he is going to start running more.

“Since my first race, which was a Super, I was hooked,” Schumaker said. “And now that I have finished my sixth race, I have accomplished two trifectas.”

Spartan racers have to endure obstacles while running that include hills, walls, buckets of rocks or cement to carry, and sometimes they have to crawl under ropes or barbed wire. This makes each race even tougher, but none of that matters to Schumaker.

“The biggest obstacles I have to overcome are the mental ones,” Schumaker said. “I have to push through the pain and just tell myself ‘Keep going, keep pushing.’”