Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster
Impressions pre-reset: 420826 Clicks pre-reset: 872

Our Town – Madisonville Native Endures in Spartan Death Race in Vermont

spartan racerHOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (7/29/13) – A former Madisonville-North Hopkins High School football player recently completed the national once-a-year Spartan Death Race in the Green Mountains of Vermont. Ryan Walker of Murray wanted to participate in the event to prove to himself that he could endure and complete the one-of-a-kind challenge.
 
Walker, 30, said he has been training for the event since December and knew the June competition would be both a physical and mental challenge. Out of the 225 people from across the U.S., who started the race, only 41 finished.
 
The Spartan Death Race is not a race of time and distance. It is instead a mental and physical challenge unlike any other, he said.
 
Walker completed the three-day event with no sleep, little rest and endured extreme conditions.
 
"I lost 15 pounds while training for the race," said Walker. "I lost another 12 during the race. It took about a month to put the weight back on and more than a week for my feet to heal. In fact, I just lost a toenail a couple days ago."
 
Although the event was physically grueling, the mental challenge changed Walker's perspective about life.
 
"It changed my way of thinking," he said. "I have a more positive way of thinking. Instead of saying, 'I can do something,' I say, 'I will do something.'"
 
Walker, son of Mike Walker of State Farm Insurance in Madisonville, is also a State Farm agent in Murray. The MNHHS graduate played football and did powerlifting in high school and went on to play football for Centre College.
 
Married to Ashley Walker, who is a physical therapist, Walker considers the race the hardest obstacle race in existence. Coming in 31 out of 41 was a personal achievement that he believes will affect his mental determination throughout the rest of his life.
 
The three-day competition began with all participants building a rock staircase up the side of a mountain only to be required to clear the path ahead with handheld shears. After that, he carried 30 to 40 pounds of rocks while hiking through the night. The next morning, they had to chop wood and then carry the split wood for about a half mile. That meant multiple trips to carry enough wood to be allowed to go on to the next level.
 
"Once we got to the woods, they told us some scary stories about bears to try to get us to turn around," said Walker. "Once you entered the woods, you couldn't turn around even if you decided to drop out of the race."
 
Walker said many participants dropped out along the trek due to frustrations. But it was all part of the ordeal and the challenge, he said. After the woods, about half of the entrants were still in the race.
 
Next came Walker's biggest challenge - swimming. Even though the event was held last month, the mountain lake water temperatures were very cold, he said.
 
"Swimming has been a weakness of mine," he said. "When we got there, one of the leaders in the race asked me if I could help him take his wet shirt off. He was shivering uncontrollably and couldn't lift his arms to take his own shirt off. The organizers definitely made attempts to make the rest of us discouraged. But that's all part of the race. It's a mind game to see how people react and it certainly works."
 
Ryan's brother, Russ Walker, attended the Vermont Death Race with him. He sat listening to the radio of announcements of progress along the way. Russ also shared Facebook comments made from various "friends of friends" along the way to his brother. Ryan said the comments helped encourage him to go on.
 
Walker said he would like to participate in another Spartan Death Race as a coordinator because of the race's ability to deepen the strengths of the participants.
 
"So many people dropped out because they lost their wills to do it," said Walker. "It is really a microcosm of life. Life is unexpected."
 
Rita Dukes Smith
SurfKY News

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

3/13 - 16
3/13 - 16
button coupons

Stock Report

1 DOW 17,814.94
-2.96 (-0.02%)    
2 S&P 2,067.03
-2.38 (-0.12%)    
3 NASDAQ 4,758.25
+3.36 (0.07%)    
3/13 - 16
3/13 - 16
button classifieds

In Other News...

Two Charged for Possession of Meth After Investigation

MUHLENBERG COUNTY, Ky. (11/24/14) — While assisting the Cabinet for Human Resources on an investigation in Greenville,… Read More

Salon G in Business of Making Women Beautiful for 14 Years

GREENVILLE, Ky. (11/24/14) — Salon G has been helping women be their most beautiful for 14 years. Its owner, Gail… Read More
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week

November 21, 2014 6769

Man Accused of Assaulting Coach During Basketball…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
November 22, 2014 4461

One Injured in Two Vehicle Collision in Greenville

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Miria Thomas
November 21, 2014 4197

Crashing Dump Trucks in Work Zone Cause Pennyrile…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Trooper Stu Recke
November 19, 2014 4141

Is Bankruptcy Your Best Option?

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
November 19, 2014 3787

Two Killed When Vehicle Becomes Airborne, Strikes…

in Local (Owensboro) Top News by Daviess County Sheriff's Office
November 21, 2014 3430

Muhlenberg District Court Fines Handed Down

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
November 19, 2014 3232

Three Injured in Two-Vehicle Collision on South…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Gwen Smith
November 21, 2014 3228

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Nov. 21, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
November 21, 2014 2807

Swimming and Diving Closes Fall Season at Ohio…

in General Sports For All Sites by UK Athletics
November 24, 2014 2595

Two Charged for Possession of Meth After…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by MCSO/PIO Alex Piper

Stories Trending Today

November 24, 2014 2595

Two Charged for Possession of Meth After…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by MCSO/PIO Alex Piper
November 24, 2014 2273

Madisonville Police Charge Woman with Terroristic…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
November 25, 2014 2000

Madisonville Man Charged for Selling Cocaine

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
November 24, 2014 1886

Hopkins County Sheriff's Reports Released

in Hopkins News by Sheila Hopper
November 24, 2014 1811

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Nov. 24, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
November 25, 2014 1747

Call for Help Results in Arrest for Possession of…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
November 24, 2014 1636

Mustang Bass Team Chosen for Next Season

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
November 24, 2014 1607

Salon G in Business of Making Women Beautiful for…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
November 24, 2014 1457

Dawson Springs Police Reports Released

in Hopkins News by Melissa Heflin
November 24, 2014 1371

Santa and Mrs. Claus Coming to Thistle Cottage

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News

SurfKY News Group, Inc.
Corporate Office & Studio
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431
270.452.2727 (phone)
  •  270.452.2249 (fax)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social fbsocial twsocial yt
social gpsocial flrsocial rss