Pinoy Spartan Team Proves that together, No Obstacle is too tough.

What one can achieve, a team can do better.

Meet TeamBato: a band of fearless iron men and women from the Philippines who’ve come together to conquer some of history’s toughest races in true Filipino style.

The team first formed when a number of Filipinos in Singapore joined the Lion City’s inaugural Spartan Race in 2015. The first of the race’s Trifecta Series, the Spartan Sprint was difficult enough to push them past their limits as they ploughed through 20 to 23 obstacles on a three- to five-mile course.

From climbing steep ramps to crossing mud and even fire, TeamBato quickly realized that on top of having to prepare physically and mentally for the race, they also needed to rely on one another to emerge victorious. After completing the Spartan Sprint, the group started training in weekly workouts to better prepare for succeeding events. It was then that the Filipino spirit of friendship and community awakened in each member.

TeamBato soon progressed to the Trifecta’s more arduous races—the eight- to ten-mile Spartan Super composed of 24 to 29 obstacles, and the 12- to 14-mile Spartan Beast covering 30 to 35 obstacles set on unpredictable terrain. As they advanced from one race to the next, the same values they formed during their Spartan workouts continued to inspire them to support each other as well as fellow runners so everyone can complete the challenge at hand.
“We prepared to run without help, to conquer our personal goals and test our physical capabilities. However, the bayanihan spirit held on,” team leader Xenos Soto said. Bayanihan is a core Filipino value where fellow neighbors work together as a community to achieve a common goal. “Not only did we strategize throughout the race, we also offered ourselves to aid other athletes and pull them across the fiery finish line. In the end, our team managed to finish strong,” Xenos added.

As one big barkada or group of friends with over 30 members, TeamBato recognizes the importance of everyone’s support to individual success. Albert Barba, who’s fondly called tatay or ‘father’ by the team for being the eldest, believes he owes a huge part of his personal wins—including a Spartan Trifecta—to the encouragement given by fellow members.

“Every Spartan Race was challenging for me, but our team would always cheer me on, pushing me to the finish line,” Barba explained.

Now 48 years old, Barba says he joins the Spartan Race to challenge himself physically. He is currently looking forward to finishing another trifecta with TeamBato as well as participating in the Hurricane Heat—a unique Spartan event designed to break individuals down over and over again through a series of obstacles and missions until they form into a single solid team.
TeamBato’s dedication to the group is no different from what contenders must learn to do in the American competition series Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge. Described as the world’s most brutal obstacle race, the one-mile run not only tests the physical and mental limits of participating teams, it also pushes each five-member group to help and motivate one another so everyone can work together as a single unit—all the way to the final hurdle.

Catch the finale of Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge on June 3, Saturday, 9:35PM, first and exclusive on RTL CBS Extreme.

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