Prep Tips from Spartan World’s #1


In 2019, Tara Pipia earned the distinction of being the Number One Spartan Female Point Leader in the World in her age group. This year, she is on track to do the same with four first-place finishes to start the year off. A Spartan Race is an intense obstacle course competition covering distances ranging from three miles to a full marathon. Competitors race to the finish line, overcoming a variety of obstacles including mud crawling, rope climbing and leaping over fire. Does that sound challenging? For Tara, this is a challenge she cannot wait to face.


A former Army Master Fitness Trainer, Tara has competed in 12 marathons, over 30 half-marathons and competes in Spartan races all over the country. “I believe the key to health is committing to a goal and taking the path you most enjoy to get there,” says Tara. Taking a leap of faith, Tara moved across the country from New York to California to make her passion for personal training and Spartan Obstacle coaching into a full-time job. Settling down at the Taube Koret Campus for Jewish Life at the OFJCC, Tara teaches one-on-one sessions, small group classes, and specialized training classes, taking advantage of the Outdoor Training Area and Freidenrich Community Park.

Though physical fitness is a part of Tara’s everyday life, it is important to properly train and prepare for the race in advance. Here are Tara’s top five strategies for getting through the race:

  1. Have proper race clothing and gear based on distance, terrain and weather (dri-FIT material, obstacle racing shoes, gloves) and fuel during the event (food and hydration).
  2. Arrive mentally prepared (know the approximate length of the course, terrain, weather, types of obstacles and where obstacles are located) know your strengths and weaknesses and have strategies on how to overcome them.
  3. Arrive physically prepared (cardiovascular and muscular strength and endurance, proper rest and hydration and food leading up to event).
  4. Have moral support—race with friends or tell friends about it, post on social media.
  5. Remember why you are doing it: fun, inspiration, challenge, bucket list item, in honor of someone, to compete. When you feel like giving up—remember that reason!

Do you think you have what it takes? Learn how to conquer the rope climb, tire flip, monkey bars, rings, sled drag, Hercules Hoist and much more in our Spartan SGX class on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30–10:25 AM with free demo class the last Wednesday of February and March at 10:00 AM, taught by the Number One Spartan Female Athlete in the World in her age group herself, Tara.

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Tara Pipia

Written by Tara Pipia

Tara Pipia took a leap of faith by moving cross country from New York to California to make personal training and Spartan Obstacle coaching a full-time job. She fell in love with the JCC Community and became a Specialized Trainer and Small Group Instructor. When not teaching kids and adults to conquer their fears and brave obstacles, Tara can be found traveling the country to compete in Spartan Races. She is currently ranked #1 female Spartan in the world for age group 45-49.

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