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Filipinas Rise Above the World’s Most Brutal Race

Through mud, sweat, and pain—anyone who has participated in a Spartan Race can attest to the strength, skill, and willpower needed to outmatch the obstacle race. But for Filipina Spartans Meladee Igamen and Wheng Dichoso, the challenges they were made to face proved worth all the beating as their inner warrior was unleashed.

Meladee Igamen moved to Singapore to pursue a career in an IT firm. Her first year of living away from family didn’t come without difficulties, and life in an unfamiliar city meant that she had to become strong to look after herself.

In early 2015, she saw on television that an actor had participated in a Spartan Race. Finding out online that the race would be coming to Singapore, she signed up for an outdoor boot camp—a high-intensity fitness program designed to hone strength, balance, flexibility, mobility, agility, stamina, and teamwork through group workouts.

It was this training experience with the Lion City Spartans that helped build not only her physical capabilities, but also her courage and determination to take on the coming challenge.

“Since then I became a part of the community and started training with them,” Igamen said. “I felt I was never alone and that I’m part of the family.”

Igamen competed in Singapore’s inaugural Spartan Race, the 2015 Singapore Spartan SPRINT, which consisted of tough obstacles including wall climbs, sandbag carries, and rope pulls. For her first Spartan event, Igamen finished fourth among female participants under the team category. She would run once again in succeeding Spartan Races the following year in Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, and Indonesia.

Wheng Dichoso, like Igamen, moved to Singapore to work in a multinational company. She is an active member of badminton and volleyball teams, as well as a photography group that shoots almost all running events in Singapore. For her, living an active lifestyle isn’t exactly new.

Dichoso learned about the inaugural Spartan Race in 2015 from ads in Singapore. She then signed up thinking that the event looked fun. The race would surely put her athletic skill to the test, but she still took Spartan Workouts at her gym to ready herself.

After her first Spartan experience, she decided to attend a mass workout program conducted by Spartan Race CEO Joe De Sena. There, she became acquainted with the Lion City Spartans, and realized that she would need more intense training to progress in the race.

“They were very loud and encouraged one another,” Dichoso said. “I decided to look for them on Facebook and immediately joined the group.”

She joined her first boot camp in February 2016 and made friends with fellow “fitness freaks” whom she enjoyed training and racing with. Together with her new group, Dichoso became better prepared to compete in Spartan events held in Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia, earning her a 2x Trifecta medal.

Meladee Igamen and Wheng Dichoso have proven themselves capable of surmounting even the most arduous tasks, but the two Filipinas also tell us a very important lesson: It’s only through great perseverance that people can discover their truest potential.

Similar to the experiences of these women, the American competition series Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge will showcase an obstacle course only hardened athletes can dare to overcome. Composed of two men, two women, and an elite Spartan athlete, different teams compete against each other in one of the world’s most gruelling sporting events—a brutal one-mile race designed to test the very limits of the human mettle.

Catch the premiere of Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge on April 22, Saturday, 9:35PM, first and exclusive on RTL CBS Extreme.

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