Spartan Auckland: Conquer’s Guide

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Conquer Spartan Auckland

Here’s your guide to conquer the Spartan Auckland City Sprint, 2nd-3rd August 2019!

The course map and obstacle list for Auckland has been revealed! So lets take a look at what it shows. Below, we’ve inserted course thoughts and obstacle instruction.


When you signed up, you will have selected a category. All three categories will be completing the same course, but runner motivations and the enforcement of obstacle rules will differ.


“These athletes are competing to win prize money, test themselves against the best of the best, attract potential sponsors, and rise to the top of the Spartan Race Point Series.

Elite Racers, like all Spartan athletes, commit to flawless sportsmanship and adhere strictly to the race rules and guidelines. Racers who fail to follow these guidelines risk disqualification.

If you have to ask yourself if you are elite, you probably aren’t.”

Age Group

“The Age Group Category, formerly known as “Competitive” is a series of heats placed immediately after the Elite category. Age Group racers will follow the same rules and standards as the Elite racers.

Age Group heats will be officiated by on-course referees, video review, and feature an Age Group points series with exciting prizes, podium awards, and athlete rankings. Age Group Racers believe they could win or place in a given race when stacked against only the best of the best within their designated age group.”


“The Open category is for everyone, period. Weekend warriors, novice athletes, first-time racers, and teams are all welcome here. The Open category offers the same opportunity as the Competitive and Elite categories to get far outside your comfort zone, test your body’s limits, and experience the awesome rush of the finish line. However, there’s no pressure to push your pace.”

The Course

Course Map
Official course map

The race will be held at Ellerslie Racecourse. The City Sprint is Spartan’s shortest distance. It is perfect for athletes of all levels, “from Spartan first timers to seasoned racers. The 5 km Sprint may be our shortest distance but it packs more than 20 Signature Spartan Obstacles. If you think you can’t do it, you’re wrong. Get to the starting line and show yourself what you are capable of.”

Course Commentary

Based on the released course map, you can find our thoughts below!

Notably, the course is flat. At a 5km City Sprint distance and on mostly flat ground, finish times are going to be fast, compared to other Spartan races where hills are a prominent feature.

About half way through the course you’ll hit a grouping of upper body intensive obstacles. These include the jerry can carry, the sandbag carry, the multi rig and the monkey bars. This gathering should break up the running, and give you a signal you’ve reached around half way.

The spear throw looks to be about three quarters through the course. As this is an obstacle which commonly results in burpee penalties from failing the obstacle, competitive runners may want to plan their race strategy around the positioning of this obstacle.

While the course is relatively short at 5kms, the inclusion of tyre hops and heavy jump ropes as obstacles should skyrocket heart rates and guarantee people are in for a challenge.

As the course doubles back and loops around on itself, there will be plenty of good spaces for spectators to catch the action!

The Obstacles

Obstacle List

The obstacles, listed in order of course appearance:

  • 4ft Wall
  • 5ft Wall
  • Paracord Crawl
  • 6ft Wall
  • Heavy Jump Ropes
  • Vertical Cargo Net
  • Inverted Walls
  • Tyre Hop
  • Jerry Can Carry
  • Barbed Wire Crawl
  • Sand Bag Carry
  • Z Walls
  • Multi Rig
  • Monkey Bars
  • 7ft Wall
  • Spear Throw
  • Hercules Hoist
  • Rope Climb
  • A Frame Cargo Net
  • Container Bridge
  • Gladiators

Obstacle Rules

Here’s what you need to know about Spartan obstacles. Obstacles are separated into 2 categories: Mandatory obstacles and Pass/Fail obstacles.

Mandatory Obstacles

“Generally these will be any carries or crawls. If a competitor fails any of these obstacles they may restart the obstacle. If a competitor is not able to complete the obstacle, they must turn in their timing chip to a course marshal or official. “

Multiple Attempt Pass/Fail Obstacles

“These obstacles may be attempted as many times as necessary until successful completion. If taking multiple attempts, one must yield to competitors making their first attempt. If a competitor fails any of these obstacles, they must complete the required penalty.”

Single Attempt Pass/Fail Obstacles

“Single Attempt Obstacles are generally skill based obstacles. Once a competitor has committed to a lane, as defined within the specific obstacle rules, an attempt will be considered started and the obstacle must be completed or a penalty will be enforced.”

Full Rulebook

For those racing elite or competitively, we recommended checking out the complete rulebooks for a complete description of how to complete each obstacle, what is not allowed, what constitutes “failing” an obstacle, as well as official penalties for each obstacle.

Follow Verbal and Event Specific Rules

According to the Spartan website,

“Instructions given verbally during pre-race briefing by the Race Director, given verbally at a specific obstacle, or in written-event specific instructions, take precedence. Some obstacles may, at certain events, be modified to be more challenging or have variations in their proper execution. Instructions given at the obstacle must be followed. It is quite common for a obstacle to have modified instructions for various environmental, logistical or creative reasons.”

The Burpee Penalty

The most common penalty for obstacle failure is the notorious burpee (better watch the tutorial on these).

Obstacle Tips and Tutorials

Below we take a closer look at the individual obstacles. Where available we’ve included official videos from Spartan.

4ft Wall

We couldn’t find many videos on how to complete this low wall, so we’re hoping you don’t need much help on this “warm up” obstacle…

5ft Wall

See 4ft wall.

Paracord Crawl

We couldn’t find video instruction on the paracord crawl, likely to be similar to the barbed wire crawl.

6ft Wall

See 7ft Wall.

Heavy Jump Ropes

Vertical Cargo Net

Inverted Walls

Tyre Hops

We couldn’t find video instruction on tyre hops, likely to be similar to box jumps.

Jerry Can Carry

We couldn’t find video instruction on the jerry can carry, likely to be similar to the farmer’s carry.

Barbed Wire Crawl

Sand Bag Carry

Z Wall

Multi Rig

Monkey Bars

7ft Wall

Spear Throw

Hercules Hoist

Rope Climb

A Frame Cargo Net

Container Bridge


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