The eight members of Team Ricey slogged through mud,
navigated more than 15 different obstacles and battled gladiators in a
three-mile plus "sprint" with hundreds of other competitors, ranging
from beginner trail runners to hardcore tough guys and marathoners earlier this
month at the Amesbury Sports Park.
Team Ricey is made up of Peabody firefighters and friends who have now run their second Spartan Sprint in memory of the late James Rice. Rice was killed on the job at a three-alarm fire on Dec. 23, 2011.
This year's team included Fire Inspector Chris Dowling, Firefighter Steve Pellegrini, retired firefighter Steve Smyrnios and friends Sondra Smyrnios, Matt Dowling, Michael Bedard, Michael Dichicco and Kevin Sweeney.
Chris Dowling tells Peabody Patch the team again wore tee shirts bearing Rice's name and badge number (14) and ranked 115th overall out of 821 teams on Aug. 10. Last year they finished 49th out of 520 teams at the New England event.
The top finishers for Team Ricey were Steve Smyrnios, 50, who placed 9th overall in his age group of 122 competitors at 1:07:26, and Pellegrini, 42, who placed 24th in his age group among 528 men at 58:38.
Dowling said the team also spotted Peabody police officer Mark Saia out on the course. Saia, 50, finished 5th for his age group in 1:03:52.
The race looks like it comes right out of the world of the gladiators.
climb over walls -- wooden, mud and wet ones, crawl under barbed wire fences,
climb ropes while sliding on greasy footing, slog through mud and water --
maybe even an ice bath, all the while fending off attacks from
Sometimes, runners have to leap over flames as well and go up against collegiate football linemen in gladiator gear or avoid fire from Spartans manning water cannons.Fifty Spartan Races are held across the globe each year and the company says there are only a few staple features -- nearly every race is specifically designed for its location. There is also no course map to inspect beforehand.