Pioneer High’s James Nair scholar and elite Spartan athlete
Pioneer High English Teacher
Robert Collier wrote, “Success is the sum of small efforts — repeated day in and day out.” For James Nair, consistency, effort, and determination have led him to a number of successes. James, a senior at Pioneer High School through the Carson Online program, competed in the Spartan Race’s Sacramento Super and Sprint Weekend on Nov. 3 and 4 held at the Van Vleck Ranch. To say James competed would be an understatement. James, at the age of 17, is making a name for himself in the world of obstacle racing. At the Sacramento race, he competed at the elite level placing second in last Saturday’s 8 1/2-mile race and third in Sunday’s 4.2-mile race. Athletes competing at the elite level are held to the highest standards.
However, the recent race in Sacramento isn’t the first for James. He has been training and participating in obstacle races for more than a year. In December 2017, James competed at the elite level in Spartan’s Los Angeles Sprint Weekend. He was 16 years old at that time and placed third, becoming the youngest podium finisher in a Spartan Race. James’s efforts over the past year helped him to qualify for the Spartan World Championship held at Squaw Valley in September. Racers must earn a Spartan coin in order to be a part of the world championship. James holds one of only 200 coins awarded in the men’s division worldwide.
The Spartan Races, and other obstacle races, are gaining in popularity worldwide. Athletes must push themselves through a number of challenging obstacles over often-grueling courses. A racer might be required to go through monkey bars, rope climbs, sandbag carries, tire flips (of 400-pound tires), and spear throwing, among other challenges. It takes a lot of skill, strength, and stamina to finish a race.
As James’s desire to improve increased, he was faced with the challenge of trying to balance his training time and his schoolwork. This is what drew him to Carson Online. The flexibility the school program provides allows James to devote the time he needs to proper training and nutrition. This flexibility, in turn, has allowed James to progress even further in the sport of obstacle racing. He’s racing at an elite level while also maintaining a 3.6 GPA.
As if what James has accomplished isn’t enough already, he has high goals for the future. At next year’s world championships, James wants to be ranked among the top 10 to 15 men in the competition. He’s also hopeful people will become more aware of obstacle racing and the skill set combinations required to succeed. Perhaps, with James blazing the trail, someday we’ll see obstacle racing as a competitive sport amongst a number of student athletes.