I inquired about events to cover this summer in last week’s column and the responses are already starting to roll in. I heard from Dan Beck, a Spartan race and Idaho Falls resident, earlier this week about the Grit League, a kids version of Spartan races making its debut in Idaho Falls this summer. Beck hopes it will catch on and grow to neighboring cities by this time next year.
The Medal Stand: Grit League makes debut in Idaho Falls
In October, Idaho Falls resident and Spartan Racer Dan Beck completed a 60-hour Spartan event on the Great Wall of China.
Before traveling to Scotland to complete a similar event in August, Beck is bringing the kid version of Spartan races to Idaho Falls this summer through the Grit League.
The idea for the Grit League came to Beck over the winter. He had experience working with youth from serving as president of the Bonneville Youth Soccer League for two years and he decided to create Grit League, a summer-long kids obstacle course program, with hope that 100 kids would sign up for its inaugural season. Not only did he reach that goal, but he hopes to expand Grit League beyond Idaho Falls to neighboring cities next year.
“I think we’re about on schedule with what I predicted,” Beck said Wednesday by phone. “The goal is to have 500 in I.F. next year and 100 to 200 in a couple other cities.”
Grit League events will take place every Monday (except July 3) from June 12 to August 7. Courses will be at Tautphaus Park, Freeman Park or Sandy Downs. Specific locations will be shared via weekly newsletters posted to gritleague.com. Each Monday will have the same schedule: seventh through 12th graders competing at 8 a.m., third through sixth graders competing at 9 a.m. and kindergarteners through second graders competing at 10 a.m. Participants can earn “Grit Bands” (multicolored silicone bracelets) for completing particular tasks throughout the summer.
Beck said the courses will vary depending on the age division, and some participants may be allowed to compete in a higher age division.
“The courses are adjustable,” Beck said. “Because we’re making the courses, we can have exemptions to the rules.”
Beck has three people helping him with the Grit League and he said Crossfit Amrock in Idaho Falls has also been a big help. He is a certified Spartan SGX coach and is a captain of the Utah based Spartan team Warrior State of Mind, which he traveled with to China in October. Beck said the Great Wall event was “definitely the hardest event of any kind I’ve ever done.”
“It’s like Navy Seal hell week,” Beck said. “You either do it or quit. If you keep going for 60 hours, then you finish.”
Coming up locally
The annual Scout Mountain Ultra Trail Run takes place Saturday in the mountain ranges surrounding Pocatello. Three courses are available: 100k, 60k and 35k.
The annual Teton Dam Marathon is scheduled for Saturday in Rexburg. Start times are as follows: 6:30 a.m. for the marathon and marathon relay, 7:30 a.m. for the half marathon, 8 a.m. for the 10k, 8:30 a.m. for teh 5k and noon for the kids race. The marathon starts at the Teton Dam site while other races start at 1st North Street/Smith Park.
The annual Sun Valley half marathon takes place Sunday in Ketchum. Start time is 9 a.m. outside the Wood River YMCA.