The horryites test their limits in NBC’s “Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge” | Entertainment
From climbing 24ft ropes and traversing muddy terrain to the army ramp under barbed wire, it’s just another day at the office for locals Daniel Little and Gabriel Arce.
Both were part of Sweet Carolina, a five-person team from North and South Carolina who competed in the qualifiers for season two of the hit NBC television show “Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge.”
Three of that team are from Horry County: Little from Conway and Arce from North Myrtle Beach, along with teammate Charlotte Curtis from Myrtle Beach. Team captains Terra Jackson and Rana Brooks, both from North Carolina, rounded out the group.
The program pits six teams of five per week against a Spartan race, a series of obstacle courses that combine athleticism and teamwork. Unlike most other Spartan races, however, the show features a dazzling array of obstructions while increasing the difficulty.
“We knew it wouldn’t be a traditional Spartan race,” said Arce.
Little described the show’s yards as “larger than life.”
“[There were] huge hurdles which were great for team stuff, ”Little said. The bigger the better. “
Arce said he got interested in Spartan racing about two years ago.
“I’ve always been an athletic kid… I just got into Spartan racing and fell in love with it,” Arce said, adding that the “rough” and “muddy” aspects of racing were part of it. its plot.
Although the Spartan races can be tough, Arce said the competition was a lot of fun.
“It allows me to be a kid again,” Arce said.
At just 22 years old, Arce was called a “young weapon” to the team by Little.
Little said he had competed in Spartan races for three and a half years and was ultimately ranked among the top 100 male competitors in Spartan racing in the United States.
An accomplished athlete growing up, Little said a friend interested him in the races that started his passion.
“I’ve been competing ever since,” Little said.
Filming for the show took place over about a week in Atlanta, which included photo ops and interviews as well as the competition itself. Arce and Little both said it was great to be able to socialize with other athletes and meet other Spartan runners.
Arce described the conclusion of the week-long filming experience as bittersweet.
The training process for the competition lasted several weeks, Arce and Little said, and combined a variety of different exercises, from strength training to cardio.
“Training in general [lasted] anywhere from 15 to 20 hours a week, “Little said.”[There was] lots of running and lots of grip training. “
“[The competition] combines many different aspects of fitness, ”said Arce.
After studying the show, Sweet Carolina’s team often practiced on self-built obstacle courses, many of which had been seen in previous episodes, including a giant sliding wall of 20 feet.
During their training, Sweet Carolina also focused on strengthening her bond as a unit.
“A lot of what we worked on was improving our bond as a team and our teamwork,” said Arce.
Although the team did not reach the second round of the competition, Arce and Little said they plan to continue competing in Spartan races in the future.
Both said being able to compete at the highest level and having the “Spartan: UTC” experience was something the members of Sweet Carolina will not forget.
“It was an amazing experience overall,” said Little.
“It was like a dream come true,” said Arce. “It is something that we will cherish for the rest of our lives.”
The team was featured in episode four of season two which aired on Monday. The episode can be watched on the NBC website anytime at this link.