Fellowship of the Spartans

Washougal event tests strength and tenacity of humans

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Thousands of Spartans from all over the globe gathered at Washougal Motocross Park Saturday to conquer Horsepower Hill on their hands and knees, plunge down a 50-foot water slide, slither under barbed wire, throw a spear, scale up walls, jump over fire and cross the finish line in one piece.

“This tests your upper body, lower body and cardiovascular endurance,” said Rose Wetzel-Sinnett. “It’s the most challenging race I’ve ever done, and I love that about it.”

Wetzel-Sinnett’s love for Spartan races began in Washougal a year ago. Since then, the 32-year-old from Seattle has competed in a dozen of them.

On Saturday, she came back to Washougal and won the women’s elite heat with a time of 48 minutes, 9 seconds.

“It’s fun to come back and win it. The first time here, I didn’t know what I was doing,” Wetzel-Sinnett said. “I’ll look back and remember the great friends I made in the last year. Just dozens and dozens of people who became my Spartan family.”

And she will never forget that big drop off the slide into a muddy pool below.

“I can’t believe I get paid to go down a giant water slide,” Wetzel-Sinnett said. “Win or lose, good or bad, it’s going to be a great day.”

John Yatsko, of Flagstaff, Ariz., won the men’s elite heat with a time of 44 minutes, 7 seconds.

After the elite races, waves of 250 athletes were unleashed on to the course every 15 minutes throughout the day.

Adults weren’t the only ones pushing themselves to the limit. Children also had a chance to get muddy in the Junior Spartan obstacle course challenge.

For results, photos and more information about Spartan races, visit