Arneson places fifth, Turney ninth at Spartan Championships

October 5, 2021

Lars Arneson

Anchorage achieved two top-10 finishes recently at the Spartan North American Championships in Olympic Valley, California — a fact made more remarkable in that Lars Arneson was making his obstacle course racing debut.

Arneson placed fifth in the 21-kilometer “Beast” event that included 30 obstacles after he impulsively entered the Sept. 24 event on short notice. Fellow Anchorage racer and OCR veteran Taylor Turney took ninth.

“I wasn’t sure what I would think of the obstacles at first but after a few I felt like I was starting to get the hang of it!,” Arneson wrote on Facebook. “I think I might have to give it another try at some point!”

Arneson, a strong mountain and trail runner who won the Equinox Marathon on Sept. 18 on his first try, finished the course at North Lake Tahoe resort in 2 hours, 7 minutes and 28 seconds while Turney crossed in 2:11:42. Canadian Ryan Atkins won in 1:56:23.

Arneson won $1,000 while Turney took home $400.

Taylor Turney

“I’m still pumped for my first top 10 in a major race, and even better to share it with (Arneson),” said Turney, noting that several top competitors opted instead to race at the OCR World Championships in Vermont.

Matt “The Bear” Novakovich was the first to put Alaska on the OCR map, followed by Anchorage dentist Chad Trammell. Now Turney and perhaps Arneson are following in their footsteps.