By some standards, Andrew Peternel of Tega Cay could still be considered a novice when it comes to Spartan Races, but that didn’t stop him from recently winning one.
Peternel, 34, won the Spartan Super race in Asheville. He finished first in a field of 868 competitors in just his second Spartan race ever.
For those unfamiliar with a Spartan race, it is a three-to-14 mile obstacle course competition. Spartan races are divided into three sections – the Spartan Sprint, the Super Spartan and the Spartan Beast -- and all are run at separate times and places across America. There are competitions nearly every weekend of the year. The Spartan Sprint is a three-to-five mile obstacle course, the Spartan Super is an eight-to-10 mile obstacle course and the Spartan Beast is a 10-to-14 mile obstacle course.
Peternel and his family have been in the area for about two years, having moved from Chicago. Once down here Andrew found a local F3 group of men -- which stand for Fitness, Fellowship and Faith -- to train with three to four days a week. That group introduced him to Spartan races.
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“I had no idea,” he said.
Peternel said he didn’t do as well as he would have liked in the Spartan Sprint earlier this year in Concord, so he set his mind to doing better at the Super Spartan in Asheville. He said he was surprised how well he did, crossing the finish line with a winning time of 1:48:30.
“I am a naturally competitive person,” he said. “I trained hard and worked hard. My goal was to win. I was surprised because you never really know.”
Peternel gives a lot of credit to his local F3 group. The group, which has chapters in Fort Mill and Tega Cay, meet in the morning around 5:15-6 a.m. to work out together in unorthodox places.
“We can work out in a church parking lot or a school parking lot,” he said.
Peternel said he had never heard of the F3 group, but is glad he came across it.
“It was fascinating to me,” he said. “I had never done it before. It is neat to have the community of guys.”
Peternel said by meeting with the F3 group for over a year he has become accustom to unorthodox training methods, which helped him to win the Spartan race. He can sometimes be found running the hills of Tega Cay or working out in one of their parks.
“A lot of what F3 does is great training for Spartan races,” he said.
Peternel also said he researched some of the training tips online from other Spartan participants to try and gain an advantage.
“I have learned a lot from my first race to my second race,” he said.
Up next for Peternel is the Spartan Beast in November in Winnsboro.
“It is always my goal to win, so we will see,” he said.
Mac Banks: firstname.lastname@example.org, @MacBanksFM