Local trio trains for Spartan Race World Championship

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YORK COUNTY, Pa. - It may seem peaceful in the Lewisberry countryside, but looks can be deceiving.  Behind the garage doors at Run Higher Training, things can get intense.

Three training partners, three World Spartan qualifiers.

Spartan Races combine running with an obstacle course.  The races vary in length, ranging from 5K to a marathon.  Anything over 12 miles is called a Beast Race.  The 2017 World Championship is 17 miles long with about 30 obstacles along the way.

"I run marathons," said Andy Bell.  "But this keeps your attention a lot more because you don't go more than a mile before you come across your next obstacle."

The obstacles are part of the fun, according to Tim Kelly.  "They play to my strength, so anything where I have to do monkey bars or climb over stuff, that's my favorite thing."

Bell and Kelly both have ties to Cedar Cliff High School.  Bell teaches history there, while Kelly played multiple sports for the Colts from 2007-2011, including football and basketball.

According to Bell, seven years ago nobody would've expected the partnership to flourish.

"I'm sure when (Tim) graduated from Cedar Cliff, he never would've thought 'Someday I'm going to be running obstacle course races with Mr. Bell.'"

But so far, it's been a perfect fit.

"I was kind of eager actually to have a training partner that's younger then me," admitted Bell.  "And the fact that he's so strong really pushes me in my own training to keep up with him and his strength."

Last year Bell finished the World Race in a little over three and a half hours, which, as he likes to point out, is almost twice as fast as former NFL player Randy Moss.

Rounding out the trio is Susquenita phys ed teacher Christy Brunner.  The Spring Grove alum works out seven days a week, sometimes three times a day.  And all that training is paying off.

"You can have your runners and you can have your fitness-lifter people," explains Brunner.  "But it's hard to be combined and be that all-around athlete."

The 2017 Spartan Race World Championship takes place September 30-October 1 in Lake Tahoe.