HUSSER, La. (WAFB) - Barbed wire separates the cows from the training course in Husser, La. It’s a reminder for Spartan athlete, Shannon Dutruch, to have fun.
“Every time I go under the barbed wire crawl, I remember as a kid playing in the fields," Dutruch said.
So the family farm seemed like the perfect place for her to prepare for her next big goal: the Spartan North American Championships in August.
Boasting obstacles that test fitness junkies’ ability to run, lift, carry, climb, and endure, the Spartan Race may be the granddaddy of all obstacle course races. Dutruch ran her first OCU in 2015.
“I tried a Spartan,” she said. “I thought, ‘This is the worst idea I’ve ever had.’”
She quickly caught the bug, and in 2018, she made it to the top of the heap: a spot as an elite competitor in the world championships. Now in 2019, with less time to race, Dutruch is competing for the top spot in her age group (females 30 to 35).
Dutruch trains by running the trails and fence line around the farm. She and her husband also built a training rig in her backyard. There, Dutruch climbs ropes, drags and flips tires, throws sandbags, pulls herself up, and swings from monkey bars.
“I was already a runner,” she said. That’s the easy part for her. “[These obstacles] were just a whole new level.”
But monkey bars are not the only obstacles Dutruch tackles. She also runs for athletes who cannot, through the charity, Ainsley’s Angels of America.
“I’ve been doing that for over two years,” she said. “It’s really become a big part of who I am right now.”
She has helped push handicapped athletes across the finish line all over the state. Later in 2019, she will be someone’s angel in the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C.
“Your legs don’t even count anymore," she said. “At some point, you just have to run with your heart.”
Her heart and her spirit have captured the attention of Ms Health and Fitness magazine, and now, Dutruch is in a different kind of race: to be the next Ms Health and Fitness.
This is a race she cannot win without you. Dutruch needs your vote to remain number one in her group. The prize? A spread in the magazine and $20,000. That could pay for a lot of race entries.