by Felix Falcon
Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge is a new seven episode competition-based reality series coming to NBC this summer. The show has been put together by the same producers of “American Ninja Warrior” and is inspired by the popular obstacle course races under the Spartan Race brand.
In each episode, six teams of five compete on an arduous mile-long obstacle course which includes muddy crawls under barbed wire, rope climbs, and culminates with a giant contraption of an obstacle, called the slip wall - in which all team members must all work together to get across. Each team consists of two men, two women and a designated Spartan Race pro team captain. The teams will have a chance to win $250,000.
Three members of the VA combat sports scene - Bethany Marshall, Andres Encinales, and Zac Allen - will be part of one such team. Along with their friend and race enthusiast, Jessica Burton-Carter, and their provided Spartan Race captain, they are dubbed as Team KO.
According to Encinales, a purple belt under Gustavo Machado and a regular staple at Spartyka Fight League events, they were selected via three minute video pitches to the casting directors of the show - “we heard about the show and we all had to submit a three minute video about ourselves. They liked it so they called us up and said we were in.” The 28 year old NJ native moved to Virginia seven and a half years ago to serve in the Navy. He has been involved in martial arts for six years and started doing races in the summer of 2014. “I started racing because I like the outdoors, I love the mix between racing and obstacles involved, it’s something different from my normal daily environment,” Encinales said.
Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge will air Monday nights on NBC starting on June 13th.