By Bob Rorabaugh
Special to the Reporter
Bothell’s Stacy Stone has been seen training in Shelton View Forest, running in a 30-pound vest with a 50-pound sack of sand over his shoulder.
The 45-year-old competed in the Spartan Ultra competition at nationals held in Dallas, Texas, in October, finishing the Ultra obstacle courses in nine hours, 41 seconds and placing fourth in his division and 37th out of 670 contestants.
Originally from Vermont, he and his wife, Vivian, moved to the Northwest so that Stacy could instruct helicopter flight out of Harvey Field in Snohomish. After their son was born, he walked away from this first career to be in multi-family property management.
Spartan began in 2007 and is now in 30 countries. Its mission is to change 100 million lives by motivating people to get out of their comfort zone. The races are a series of obstacle courses of varying distance and difficulty. Runners who do all three of the races in a single calendar year receive the “trifecta!” That’s Stacy.
What drew you to Spartan competition?
Stacy: I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror. I knew I could do and be different. I entered a local Spartan 5K, and was hooked!
How did you learn about Shelton View Forest?
Stacy: I first saw something about it on Next-door or Facebook. Because our son Kaidan attends Shelton View Elementary (Northshore School District), it’s a convenient place for us to be outside. Having grown up near the woods of Vermont, and far from the squeeze and noise of cities, this forest was like coming home. In an urban area, it’s nice to pick up 80 pounds and go in for a workout. The forest allows me to hear only my breathing!
What brings you back to this particular urban forest?
Stacy: Convenience. Varied terrain. Solitude. With all of the industry, housing, technology and traffic, people are being pushed out of Seattle. It’s all well and good to have planned parks, ball facilities and competitive places. But wild spaces have another high value. It’s a wilderness factor. Wild spaces allow for unplanned discoveries! Our son is already training for Spartan races like dad. He can’t be an adult “Spartan” until age 14. However, he is running kids’ races. He’s learning that life is an adventure and hundreds of people are cheering him to new “personal bests.”