The Spartan Race holds 4 major events and if you can complete 3 of them: Spring, Super and Beast within a single year, you will get what is know as the Spartan Trifecta.
Here are the most important rules for being able to get the Trifecta:
1) You only have 1 year to do this.
2) You need to complete these 3 specific races within the year: The Sprint (5K), the Super (8 miles) and the Beast (12+ miles). Now the good news is that there’s no order in this list (here are rules) and you can do whichever, whenever within the year.
3) Prices for these mud runs certainly aren’t cheap, but there are discounts available for people who wish to do them, in this case, it’s called the trifecta package (here’s info) and initial prices are somewhere between $300-$400, which while expensive is a bit cheaper than purchasing tickets for even event separately and being that you only have 1 year to do this, the ticket/s will expire after 1 year.
Now I did say there are 4 major events held by this race, and the 4th I didn’t mention is the Ultra Beast, which is explained here. But it’s not part of the Trifecta requirement as far as I know.
Is it worth it?
Given that I’ve done the Sprint, Super and Beast, and I do somewhat enjoy these mud runs, I will say it’s always nice to get that medal at the end of the race, although I’ve never gotten the trifecta medal because I never did the events within a year, but my opinion of these events and if you should do them is this:
If you’re not in the shape to do this stuff, do not attempt any of these events, not even the Sprint, get into shape first using tips like these.
If you’ve never done mud runs and are a bit shy of getting dirty, climbing mountains and things that these events are known for, you may want to reconsider and possibly start with an easier mud run so you can get an idea of how they work. Here’s a list of mud runs to consider based on your skill/physical level.
People who are in decent shape, but are uncertain about how they’ll fair in these runs should really start with the Sprint, and not worry about any trifecta for now.
I honestly believe you should only consider these events only if you’ve at least done a Sprint and Super. The sprint for me was easy. The Super was extremely difficult and the Beast was a little bit harder than that. Then there’s also the Ultra Beast, which is 2 laps of the regular beast, which totals to over a marathon in length (26+ miles) and all the time you’re going up and down a mountain, a task which is extremely difficult to do…
In short, if you lack experience in mud running, do not do this stuff, try the easiest one, which is the Sprint for starters to get an idea of how difficult it can get. You may end up spending more money if you later decide to go try the trifecta, but at least you’ll have an idea of what you need to do and will make an informed decision on whether it’s worth it.
I find that in these runs, there are a lot of people who are either out of shape, think they are in shape or those who try to prove something and go beyond their physical conditions to complete these events. Such an outlook on this is what causes injuries, health issues and other situations you just don’t want to find yourself in on the day you do this.
I’ve seen more than enough people cry, get exhausted, injured and in some cases, the need for a medical team to arrive (this was on a Tough Mudder) and resuscitate them. Do not be one of these people, know how much you can take with the tips and suggestions I put above and then gauge if you can do it.
You really have to understand that this event is really (mainly) a hike up and down a mountain, this is what makes it so difficult and one of the reasons I’m not really a big fan of the Spartan Race anymore. Anyone can really hike up and down a mountain at their own pace and not have to pay a specific event like this to do it on, but certainly there is the pride, the medals and the fun aspect of going through the obstacles that sometimes makes it worth it.
Summary: In any case, only do a trifecta if…
- You’ve done a previous intermediate or higher level mud run (examples), or Spartan Race.
- You are absolutely certain you can complete the 3 required events to get it: Sprint, Super and Beast.
- You are physically ready to do it. The toughest one will be 12+ miles (Beast) and it is one of the requirements for this.
- Consider that besides the pride aspect, you’re only really getting a few medals and t shirts out of this.
- You have a fun group that’s in shape and positive.
To some people this is enough and if that’s the case, go ahead and enjoy the event! While mine have been difficult, it was always nice to travel with fun, funny people. It was a bonding experience!
Will I ever do a trifecta?
So far, I’ve done 7 different mud runs, 3 of which were the Spartan (my history). I’ve never really wanted to redo the same race twice, so it’s unlikely that I’ll ever do this event. I do enjoy a mud run every now and then, but I never like the idea of being pressured into completing an X amount of them within a given time.
I’m the type of person who enjoys outdoor activities, and hiking, traveling to me is more exciting than mud running, but if the right group comes along who I enjoy hanging out with, you can bet I’ll be doing a mud run again. And to add to that, I really found that one of the tips above on having a positive, funny group is really key to this.