2018 Spartan World Championship: The Men
It’s interesting to know that an American has won all but one of the Spartan Race World Championships on the men’s side (Jon Albon of the United Kingdom, 2014), whereas only one American has won the women’s side (Amelia Boone, 2013). Robert Killian, Jr. will look to not only reclaim the Spartan Race World Championship this year, but will also want to keep the title in the United States—the country he swore an oath to defend as a member of the Army Rangers.
As a relative unknown, Killian’s iconic kick of the bell on the final obstacle in 2015 propelled him from relative obscurity into the limelight of the sport. He is one of a handful of racers who now races with a target on his back. After battling a hamstring injury for the first half of the season, it seems as if Killian is peaking at the right time, winning the last leg of the US National Series and the North American Championship.
There to stop Killian will be defending world champion Cody Moat. Moat has had a subpar 2018, finishing fourth in the last two legs of the US National Series and skipping the North American Championship altogether. At 40 years old, Moat has had a historic racing career, being both the first Spartan Race World Champion and its most recent. It’s possible that Moat is picking his battles strategically, so don’t let his performance to date this year fool you; he is a viable threat to win it all on Saturday and possibly surpass all other athletes (Claude Godbout, Hobie Call, and Zuzana Kocumova) for the most career Spartan Race World Championship victories.
Ryan Atkins has never claimed a single Spartan Race World Championship victory, despite being one of the all-time biggest winners in the sport. He’s claimed second place in all but one of the world championships he’s competed in going back to 2014. With another second-place finish at the North American Championship, Atkins can shake off the “silver medal blues” and ascend to the top of Spartan Race with a strong performance Saturday and claim Canada’s first world championship victory on the men’s side.
Jonathan Albon will return on Saturday to attempt to reclaim the world championship. Having not qualified in a single Spartan event in 2018, Albon will attend the World Championship via a lifetime invitation to all former champions (Albon won in 2014). The skyrunner from the United Kingdom will look to capitalize on the reported 4,200 feet of elevation gain to gap the competition and become the third male repeat world champion.
Ryan Woods, however, will be there to spoil everyone’s fun. The former track and field athlete from North Carolina won the US National Series outright and finished in third place at the North American Championship in West Virginia. Woods surprised many by taking first place at the first race of the US National Series and continually turned in strong performances throughout the rest of the year. This year has been dubbed the “Year of Woods,” so will his hot start finish with his first world championship win?
Tune in to the Spartan Race World Championship September 29 at 7 a.m. PST on Spartan Race LIVE!