Yokohama Tire Corp., the Official Tire of the U.S. Spartan Race, has signed three athletes for the 2017 season. Spartan Pro Team competitors Faye Stenning and Robert B. Killian Jr. will join amateur athlete Laurel Shearer in representing Yokohama at Spartan Races across the country, including the five Spartan Race U.S. Championship Series events (airing on NBC Sports Network) and the 2017 Reebok Spartan Race World Championship on NBC.
The three athletes will compete in Spartan’s ultra-demanding obstacle course races – including one segment called the Yokohama Tire Flip. “Faye, Robert and Laurel epitomize the true Spartan athlete,” said Fardad Niknam, Yokohama Tire director of LTR segment development. “They are incredibly tough, competitive and never give up – attributes Yokohama Tire identifies with. They always ‘Go Strong’ and we’re honored to have them represent Yokohama and have them wear our logo while competing.”
Stenning hails from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and is described as “a fierce cross-country running dynamo with unrivaled focus and energy.” In the 2016 Spartan Race competition, she finished second in the U.S. Championship and third at the World Championships. Stenning said she’s ready for the upcoming Spartan season, “I’ve been training really hard and I’m looking forward to bringing home a championship for Yokohama Tire.”
Killian Jr. is from Charleston, South Carolina, and won the 2015 Spartan Race World Championships. He’s a seasoned steeplechaser, Ironman triathlete and a member of the Colorado Army National Guard. Last season, he placed second in the U.S. Championship and third at the World Championships. “Last year, my focus was [on] becoming the top-ranked American Obstacle Course Racer and working with other committed Spartans to achieve the Perfect Delta. I met those goals and was never off the podium in 2016. This season I have my sights fixed on winning the U.S. Championship Series, proving to be the most consistent elite athlete and take back my Spartan World Championship title in Tahoe.”
Shearer, nicknamed “Lightning,” said she is “excited about my partnership with Yokohama and looking forward to the opportunities ahead.” The 37-year-old Redlands, California, native is an accomplished equestrian. Her deep-rooted sense of personal integrity and desire to help others led her to a career in law enforcement. She began obstacle course racing in 2015 and was Spartan-ranked sixth in 2016.
“Spartan Race is the world’s largest obstacle race and endurance brand, and sponsoring these amazing athletes is another way to align ourselves with this world-class organization and the Spartan community,” said Niknam. “Obstacle racing is one of the fastest-growing sports and lifestyles in the world and we’re glad to be part of it and highlight our GEOLANDAR line of light truck tires to a new audience.”
Yokohama tires are used by Spartan Race participants competing on the obstacle course in the “Yokohama Tire Flip,” one of the many strength-based challenges. Spectators also can get in on the action by stopping at Yokohama’s booth at each race to try their tire-flipping ability as part of the Yokohama Tire Flip Festival Challenge.