Hundreds of people participating in Calgary’s Spartan Race this weekend have their fair share of challenges to deal with on the course, but one of their fellow competitors is taking it all on with a unique one all of his own.

Johnny Waite, race director for Spartan Race Canada says the event started out as a mud run and no one cared about times, they just had fun.

“Soon people started to care about their times so they could compare them from race to race.”

Now, the sport has attracted elite racers who make a good bit of money from each race from both sponsors and in prize money.

Waite also says that the Spartan race is a lot more now than just a regular running race.

“An obstacle race is a running race with obstacles. They’re jumping over walls, they’re crawling under barbed wire, they’re throwing spears, they’re swimming through ponds. What we’re doing is we’re creating obstacles that slow them down.”

One participant, Jeffrey Bausoleil, has his own challenge coming into the race. The 19-year-old Montrealer was born without an arm and a leg but he doesn’t let that little detail slow him down.

“For me, they are super hard. By doing these races, I feel like I can do anything. I am also doing these races to raise money for the Shriner’s Hospital for Children Canada where I have been getting treatment since I was five months old.”

He says that he owes the Shriner’s, the charity partner for Spartan Race Canada, a lot.

“They helped me become who I am today. They helped me become autonomous. They are the ones who taught me everything. They taught me to do up my zipper, how to button my buttons.”

Bausoleil has completed 12 Spartan races to date and has two more already planned.

The two days of the event in Calgary is expected to draw about 4,500 people.

(With files from Bill Macfarlane)