On June 13th, a Team of 13 Sheep Dog Impact Assistance (SDIA) members and supporters participated in the Spartan Beast Race in Breckenridge, CO. SDIA was honored to sponsor, with the support of New Creature and Spartan, two combat wounded veterans, Sgt Matt Spang (US Army) and SSgt Jose Sanchez (USMC), as they both pushed their limits on this 13-mile course.
While in Afghanistan, Sgt Spang suffered severe injuries and lost both legs below the knee. SSgt Sanchez lost one leg and suffered major injuries to his other leg while serving in Iraq. To see these young warriors push themselves through the grueling Beast course was an inspiration to everyone on the race trail.
Prior to the Beast, the furthest Sgt Spang had gone on his prosthetic legs in one outing was 200 yards. But that Saturday, he surpassed all expectations. The steep snow-covered descents were especially difficult, but with the entire team working together, all made it safely down the mountain. “It was one hell of a hard walk,” said Spang. “I wanted to quit a lot, but I’m glad I finished.”
The Beast was SSgt Sanchez ‘s second major adventure race. During this race, he pushed himself to go further and faster than ever before. “I felt comfortable and proud being out in public, showing my wounds alongside the support from Sheep Dog [Impact Assistance],” said Sanchez. “I would love to run the Super to earn my Spartan Trifecta medal, and the Tunnel to Tower [Foundation Race] in September as well. This was a very humbling and amazing experience.”
Our heartfelt thanks go out to the team from New Creature that helped sponsor and support our Combat Wounded Veterans and efforts during this race. We also offer our gratitude to those at Spartan headquarters for providing us with special access to the Spartan Beast course. We could not have done it without them both!
We hope you enjoy the power of the photos here and in our Facebook Album (Super Spartan, Breckenridge, CO). They capture the effort put into this race, the determination of everyone involved, and the beauty of the Colorado Mountains.
Be sure to watch your email for updates on SDIA’s next Spartan Race – a Super – in Asheville, North Carolina, on August 29! If you know of a combat wounded veteran or first responder injured in the line of duty that would benefit from participating in the Race, please contact Josh Smartt at 828-329-5423 or JoshS@SheepDogIA.org.