SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - There were all smiles and cheers at the finish line built on the outfield of Oracle Park. People from all around the Bay Area were able to compete and complete a Spartan Race in the city for the first time in two years.
The race weaved in and out of the stadium and field. Athletes ran a total of three miles with 20 obstacles to overcome.
Facing the challenge was a group from San Ramon Cross-fit.
"I've brought my whole crew here," said Bon Neovakul. "Half of them have never done it before, so I wanted them to come out. It's a fun race.
More than 6,000 people were signed up to compete; that's not including the additional 1,000 kids participating in the mini version of the race.
This year's race ran differently than in the past; COVID-19 protocols are now in place, especially following the detection of the omicron variant in the Bay Area.
"Our protocol is so safe," said Tyler Spencer, the race director in San Francisco. "We started early this year and stuck with our protocol to make sure our events could happen."
Staff and volunteers are tested every three days; they were also required to wear masks at all times. The event matched protocols enforced by Oracle Park. That means athletes and spectators did not have to wear a mask nor show proof of vaccinations.
"That's all based on what you would do if you came to a baseball game," said Spencer. "So we just follow their protocol."
Health experts continue to closely monitor the omicron variant. Athletes competing say they trust the health officials when they say not to panic and get vaccinated.
"We're all vaccinated and boostered," said Neovakul. "I think we'll be okay."
"It's part of what's happening right now,: said Leah Davis, competing for the first time. "We have choices. I'm vaccinated."
Athletes were also required to sign a COVID acknowledgment form which says they pledge they are 100% healthy to compete. Bringing back the event meant a lot to organizers.
"I spent a year off of work because we didn't have events," said Spencer. "This is my livelihood and where I spent the last eight years of my life, so I'm super excited to be back, and I love this stadium specifically."