Jonathan Albon, 29, stands on the brink of obstacle course racing history as he looks to complete his bid to become the first in his sport to win $1m.
The $1m trifecta challenge is the brainchild of Spartan founder and CEO Joe De Sena, who vowed to give away the prize if any OCR athlete wins all three Spartan World Championship races.
Albon is the last man standing having already beaten off competition from thousands of other competitors to win the first two races of the series; the Spartan World Championship in North Lake Tahoe and the inaugural Spartan Trifecta World Championship, in Sparta, Greece.
Now with the $1m on the line, the only thing standing between Albon and OCR history is the final gruelling 24-hour Ultra World Championship race, which takes place in Iceland on 8-9 December.
If he is to take home the prize, Albon will need to win the race and complete 100 miles within the 24-hour time limit.
He will battle natural elements in the Land of Fire and Ice; a field of world-class athletes; and more than 60 unforgiving Spartan obstacles in what promises to be one of the most watched and anticipated OCR competition of the year.
Albon can expect to be confronted with the full force of Mother Nature, with last year’s event seeing 60mph winds, snow, sleet and rain in sub-zero temperatures. He is also preparing to go up against reigning champion Joshua Fiore (USA) and close rivals Robert Killian (USA) and Ryan Atkins (Canada).
Before he can take his place at the Spartan Ultra World Championship, Albon must first qualify by completing the Iskandar Puteri, Johor Ultra in Malaysia on December 1.
Albon, who has been obstacle course racing for just six years, has won multiple world and European titles in his career including two Spartan World Championships.
Talking about the challenge ahead, Albon commented: “I’ve run 24 hours of obstacle racing before so I know what a tough thing this is to do. In these races it isn’t so much about how physically strong you are but how psychologically strong you are.
“I’ve never been to Iceland before. Apparently, the nature and the scenery is really nice so it will be a pretty cool environment to run in. I know from last year the weather was one of the biggest challenges, along with the frozen terrain, which makes this a pretty big ask. Hopefully, the conditions will be pretty similar to Norway, where I live, which I think will suit me. Zero degrees, clear skies and Northern Lights… those would be the perfect conditions.
“If I were to win the $1m I’m not sure if I would go out and buy something immediately. In the long-term, I’d look into buying a cabin in the mountains, so I could live up in the snow and make my winter training a lot easier.
He added: “Running is my job and I’m constantly having to weight up which races I really want to run and which ones are going to make me enough money to continue living this lifestyle. Wining this amount of money would free me up so I didn’t have to worry so much and could choose races based on enjoyment and not the ones with the biggest prize money. I’m a simple guy so this amount of money would set me up for life.”
Joe De Sena, the founder of Spartan, commented: “Albon is an incredible athlete and if anyone is capable of winning the million, it’s him. The thrill of the chase for the largest purse in OCR history paired with the stiff competition and unforgiving conditions of the cold Icelandic winter will create awesome drama on the course.”
Founded by world-class adventure racer Joe De Sena, Spartan is the world’s largest obstacle race and endurance brand, with more than 200 events in more than 40 countries across the globe. Spartan events focus on sport and athleticism, pushing the bodies and minds of competitors to the limit across miles of unforgiving terrain while they conquer signature obstacles such as the Spear Throw, Inverted Wall, Monkey Bars and Barbed Wire Crawl. Spartan offers three core races escalating in distance, obstacle count and challenge level for racers of all skill levels: The Spartan Sprint, the Spartan Super and the Spartan Beast. Those who challenge themselves to all three, like Jonathan Albon, become part of the Spartan Trifecta Tribe.
Keep up to date with his progress by following @spartanrace on Twitter and Instagram.
For more information about Spartan and to register for 2019 events visit www.spartanrace.uk/en