There are few elite women more notable than Faye Stenning. Since exploding on to the Spartan Race scene in 2016, she has quickly made a name for herself in the sport as a fierce competitor.
In that first year of racing, the only person to beat her in any U.S. National Series race was fellow Canadian Lindsay Webster. Her sole victory in the 2016 U.S. National Series came in Breckenridge, a race where Webster was absent. A month later at the 2016 World Championship in Lake Tahoe, Webster and Stenning would again battle each other, this time for second place, during the iconic finish line burpee-off. Webster would again beat Stenning (by a fraction of a second) and relegated her to third place in the World Championship that year.
Expectations after a strong first year of racing would be met with a sophomore slump in 2017. Stenning’s best finish in the 2017 U.S. National Series was a third place in Asheville, but she still found herself consistently on the five-deep podium that year with only a single exception (West Virginia). That year Stenning would finish 4th at the World Championship behind champion Lindsay Webster, former two-time champion Zuzana Kocumova, and Alyssa Hawley.
However, it’s called a sophomore slump for a reason. In 2018, the 2016-version of Faye Stenning came roaring back, taking three consecutive second placements at U.S. National Series races (San Jose, Seattle, and Big Bear). In those three races, the only women to beat her were Rea Kolbl (San Jose & Big Bear) and Lindsay Webster (Seattle). Stenning would beat Kolbl and Webster in that span of three races: against Kolbl in Seattle and against Webster in Big Bear. After a disappointing performance in Chicago (4th place), Stenning found herself in second place in the U.S. National Series entering the last race in Utah.
Stenning could only win the U.S. National Series if she beat series leader Lindsay Webster by two placements and finished ahead of Rea Kolbl by two placements. Kolbl would start the race in Utah, but pull herself out due to a foot injury she had been battling that month. Once Kolbl pulled out, second place in the series was a lock and Stenning pulled out of the race.
However, Stenning did not pull herself out of the race because second place was assured at that point; she publicly admitted via Instagram that she lacked intrinsic motivation to continue to push herself during the Utah Super.
As we enter the North American Championship, the question now becomes, has Stenning found that intrinsic motivation? Will she return to West Virginia to avenge her lowest placement in the 2017 US National Series? Will her decision to drop out of the Utah Super help her arrive at the start line in Glen Jean fresher than her competition?
Tune in to Spartan Race LIVE August 25th at 7:00 AM EST to find out!