By Katy Savage
PITTSFIELD—After a two-year hiatus, the Spartan Death Race returned to Pittsfield this year with one person finishing with a world record.
Eric Hutterer, 25, of Canada, won a title in the Guinness World Records after he crawled under barbed wire for 12 hours, completing the distance of 26.2 miles.
“It was an amazing experience,” said Hutterer.
He was one of the 12 people who finished the Death Race in Pittsfield, which started July 11 and continued 60 hours.
“I’ve always wanted to challenge myself and take on the hardest races,” said Hutterer. “I thought, ‘You know what, okay, if it comes back up, I want to do it 100 percent.’”
Hutterer has competed in more than 100 races.He’s competed in tough mudders, day races, overnight races, Spartan races. He has run 5-kilometer races, and 50K races.
This was his first Death Race.
“To do this race was just a different ballgame,” he said.
Unlike other races, Death Race competitors never know what’s coming next.
This year, competitors swam in cold water—“The coldest water you could possibly think of,” Hutterer said. They hiked up a mountain at night and pulled 50,000 feet of rope. They carried 55-pound sandbags for the length of a marathon. They cut down trees in the woods, and completed 3,000 burpees.
“It’s constantly testing your body to the breaking point,” Hutterer said.
Hutterer likes the challenge, though. Testing his body made him learn more about himself.
“It made me realize I’m stubborn,” he said.
It also made him realize how much he loves the sport.
“Through the whole adversity and downness, I was still cheery and happy,” he said. “I was smiling through the whole thing. People thought it absolutely insane.”
Hutterer works as a lineman for a power company in Canada—a physical job that requires him to climb up 70-foot poles at times. He wakes up at 4 a.m. to drive two hours to work. He works for 10 hours and then goes to a military base camp after work to train with a friend who happens to be a soldier.
Hutterer prepared for the Death Race by doing crossfit workouts, staying awake all night and anything he could think of.
“Every workout had to be completely different—it could never be the same thing,” he said.
Nothing could have prepared him for his experience in the Death Race, however.
About 80 people competed in the Death Race. The finishers included: Euan Campbell, Rachel Lotz, Ronald Tortola, E. Ryan Robeson, Chris Rice, Amy Palmiero-Winters, Richard Gyslain, Athena Ojeda, Yvette Ahern and Matthew Moortgat and Alex Devine.
“You basically build a brotherhood,” said Hutterer. “You’re all going through so much together,” said Hutterer.
Devine, one of Hutterer’s friends, is also from Canada.
“It was nice when it was finally over,” Devine said. “It was very painful.”
Devine was proud of Hutterer’s record.
“He gave it absolutely his all,” Devine said. “He didn’t give up and put everything on the line.”
Hutterer has already registered for next year’s Death Race.
“My mindset is always, ‘If i know I’m going to do it, I’m going to finish it,’” he said. “It really shows the character of who you are. If you like getting beat up and tortured, it’s not bad.”