Former Miss Waco Jamie Blanek completes Spartan race challenge at elevation of more than 9K feet
WACO, Texas (KWTX) - A former Miss Waco who lost her leg trying to help stranded motorists on the side of the road continues to defy the odds, this time, completing an extremely difficult Spartan race at an elevation of 9,000 plus feet at Snow Basin Resort in Utah.
Jamie Blanek, 32, was critically injured Feb. 6, 2021, when she was struck after she stopped to help victims of a crash at Chapel Road and Old Lorena Road, west of Hewitt, where a Jeep had collided with a Chevrolet Sonic whose driver failed to yield the right of way, according to Department of Public Safety reports.
Blanek was in front of the Jeep when a Buick sedan collided with the rear of the vehicle.
The Jeep, propelled by the impact of the collision, slammed into her. She was flown to Scott & White Medical Center in Temple in critical condition and lost part of her right leg. She also suffered multiple injuries, including a skull fracture.
Doctors weren’t sure if Jamie would survive, but nearly a year-and-a-half later, she’s thriving.
Jamie is living in Utah where she moved with a goal of qualifying for snowboarding in the Paralympics in Milan, Italy, in 2026.
She was selected for a scholarship from the National Ability Center for its adaptive snowboarding program.
Jamie, always looking for a new challenge, needed a new goal in the warmer temperatures, so she began training for a Spartan race, which is a competition consisting of a series of obstacles.
“It was the biggest physical challenge I have ever done in my life,” Jamie said.
Jamie trained for two months for the Spartan challenge, which included going over walls, bear crawling under barbed wire, throwing a spear, pulling sandbags and running over three miles while doing it all.
“It started at 8,000 feet of elevation and it’s all uphill and you gain over a thousand feet of elevation,” Jamie said. “It is a very difficult, difficult course.”
Jamie said one of the reasons she entered the race was to prove that a disabled person could do it.
“There is nothing adaptive about this course. It was made for able-bodied people. So for me, as a disabled person, I think it’s important to bring awareness to the disabled community.”
“As a disabled athlete I feel like showing up and taking up space in the able-bodied arenas such as something like this is important because I’m showing everyone abled body or disabled that you can do anything that you set your mind to.”
Jamie said she felt prepared for the race but got an extra boost on the course with the encouragement of fellow competitors.
“Every time I passed someone, or someone passed me they would take their time and say ‘oh my gosh. You’re amazing. You’re incredible. That’s so inspiring.’ They helped get me through it. There were times I was like ‘this is not going to work’ but I did it.”
“I showed myself that I am capable of doing hard things and that’s how I feel like my journey is. I’m going to do these hard things and show others that they can do them, too. I’m grateful for the abilities I do have.” '
Jamie said she’s already looking forward to her next Spartan competition.
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