Age Is Just A Number – Spartan Race

Age Is Just A Number – Spartan Race

“If I can do this, anyone can” says super-fit Spartan challenger June, aged 66

Spartan Race challenger June Butlin 15

With Spartan Race Aston Down on the horizon, this Wiltshire Mum joins competitors from 27 countries flying in to brave mud and fire at the Gloucestershire venue infamous for steep hills and beautiful countryside views.

June, from Bradford on Avon near Bath, is a dedicated keep-fit enthusiast who trains seven days a week, works out in a 7kg weight vest, loves press-ups, enjoys swimming, plays squash (“only once a week”), regularly runs 8 miles (“doesn’t do long runs”), and can hold a hand-stand for 15 seconds.
Spartan Race challenger June Butlin 18 trx
Thought to be one of the oldest and maybe even fittest British racers ever to tackle the event, on Saturday 23 June, she will run the South-West Spartan Super, a 13km+ challenge featuring 25 obstacles. Being staged at Aston Down Airfield, the race is part of a Spartan weekend that is expected to attract 8,000 racers and spectators. Novice runners and elite athletes from across the UK, plus other competitors who’ve flown in from 27 countries, will take on a range of heats being staged by Spartan Race, the world’s leading obstacle racing company.

Drawing on the surrounding steep hills known as ‘Death Valley’, the popular event will challenge participants – including June –  to wade through muddy bogs, scale slippery, 8-foot ramps, clamber up 25-foot-high cargo nets, lug 10kg sandbags up steep hills, climb 15-foot ropes, throw a spear, crawl under barbed wire on their tummies, then leap a ‘fire jump’ finale over blazing logs. 

Due to celebrate her birthday just one week before her Spartan debut, June Butlin said
“I haven’t done a Spartan race before. I am 66 years-old and train every day, so I am hoping it will be fine and an amazing experience.
People come up to me and say they are amazed at how fit I am. I’m the fittest and strongest I’ve ever been in my life. If I can do this, anyone can. I have been training hard pushing the barrier forwards, proving that you can get stronger, fitter and more agile as you get older.”
Running as part of a 10-strong team from Bowood Hotel & Health Spa at Calne, Wilts., June, a natural health practitioner who used to be a school PE teacher in West Yorkshire, added
“I know how to train without getting exhausted. When I showed my sons I can hold a hand-stand for 15 seconds, I think they were quite impressed.
I train 90 minutes daily on weekdays, double that on weekends. I do CrossFit, I swim twice a week, play squash only once a week, run three times a week, eight miles as I don’t do long runs, and I train with a 7kg weight vest on the hour-long Insanity Asylum workouts. I’ve always been active.” 
Spartan Race challenger June Butlin TRX stretch
The Super runs on Saturday (23rd) and the Sprint race, which is ideal for newcomers is on Sunday (24th). Spartan’s shortest event, the Sprint is 5+ kms (around 3 miles) with 20+ obstacles, and is a firm favourite with both new and experienced racers.
Spartan Race, now staging races in nearly 40 countries, hosts 250 races worldwide attracting more than 5 million runners in under 10 years.
Sam Lansdale, General Manager of Spartan Race UK & Ireland, praised June Butlin for her ‘Spartan spirit’;
“We believe June is one of the oldest and fittest British racers to ever tackle this event, and we admire her true Spartan spirit. That said, we of course welcome competitors of all ages and generations. 
The sport of obstacle course racing is exploding worldwide and we’re incredibly excited to be returning to Aston Down for our third outing. It’s a course which is hugely popular with our racers who come in all different shapes and sizes and are running for all different reasons, whether it’s to fundraise for Macmillan Cancer Support (our official charity oartner), lose a few pounds, or take on a new challenge. 
Find out more about Spartan Races 
We’ve had record attendances at our first two races, including a sell-out at our opening race of the season at St Clere Estate in Kent, and our debut race in Ireland. We’ve got races suitable for everyone at Aston Down, including kids. It’s set to be epic – we’ll see our racers there!” 
Spartan Race challenger June Butlin toes to bar
Obstacle course racing is now a worldwide craze, attracting millions of runners and keep-fit enthusiasts, including 5km and 10km racers, half marathoners and marathoners seeking a fresh challenge. Contrary to the misconception that the sport is dominated by testosterone-fuelled men, 40 per cent of Spartan Race runners are women.
Obstacles are always kept top secret on race day on purpose to surprise racers. Failure to complete an obstacle incurs a compulsory set of 30 burpees, dished out irrespective of gender.
The Aston Down weekend at the end of June features two Spartan Races, a Sprint (5km+), and a Super (13km+). An average racer takes around 2 hours 40 minutes to complete a Sprint. Some elite racers can manage it in 40 minutes. Spartan Race will also be hosting a Spartan Kids races at Aston Down. One of a record 11 Spartan events scheduled for junior competitors this year, they are open to children aged 4-13. They run a 1.5km course and youngsters must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian onsite. The excitement is growing for what is expected to be a great fun, challenging, and exciting weekend in Gloucestershire!


There’s still time to enter either the Sprint or Super at Aston Down, or if you fancy a Spartan Race a bit later in the year, use code SPARTANKEITH for 25% off open wave entry.

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