Jonathan Albon - 2018 Spartan World Champion
The Spartan World Championships is considered one of the most challenging and competitive events in Obstacle Course Racing (OCR.) This year's edition was no different - with the dryrobe team on site in Lake Tahoe, California to catch all the action and to witness the crowning of the 2018 World Champion - dryrobe ambassador Jonathan Albon.
This was Jon's second win at the Spartan World Championships - his last victory coming back in the 2014 - and that win catapulted him onto the global stage for Obstacle Course Racing and set him on the way to a full time running career.
Since then the Championships have been held at Lake Tahoe in California, at approximately 2000 metres of elevation. That move has meant that the only athletes to win the race since then have been US runners who live and train at elevation - with Jon taking a couple of fourth place finishes, plus a second place in 2017.
This year saw Jon take a different approach to the race - heading out to Tahoe to train for a week beforehand to acclimatise to the elevation in an attempt to get himself back on top of that podium. We caught up with him a few days before the race to find out more about how he had been preparing, check out our interview below:
Race day saw Jon looking fresh and relaxed - the 7am start for the Elite heat meant that the athletes were greeted with bitterly cold conditions at the start line - no such problems for our ambassador, he looked noticeably warmer and happier than the other racers!
The championship race was set on a Spartan 'Beast' course - 22km of racing up and down mountains with 4000ft of ascent and 35 obstacles to contend with. Some brutal heavy carries as well as conventional obstacles such as monkey bars, walls and rings would challenge racers speed, skill and strength.
An incredibly fast pace for the first half of the race saw Jon move from 10th position up into 2nd, hot on the heels of Robert Killian as they began the climb up the final mountain. A hard push on the ascent saw Jon overtake and open up a slim lead before hurtling down the descent back towards the finish line. Halfway down the hill a new racer appeared hot on Jon's heels - Ryan Atkins had overtaken Killian and was flying - this was going to be a close finish!
Calmly moving his way through the final obstacles, the crowd were going crazy as the race reached it's climax. As Jon's hand hit the bell on the final rig, Ryan jumped onto it, leaving Jon with time to walk across the line and claim the title of Spartan World Champion, before celebrating with his Dad Graham and sister Beth!
We couldn't be prouder and happier for Jon on his incredible win - he pushed himself to the absolute limit out on that course and earned himself a well-deserved victory.
Check out our post race interview with Jon to hear his thoughts on the race and finally getting that win at elevation.