Some things look really out of place along the back roads of eastern Cabarrus County.
We’re used to farmland, cattle grazing, getting stuck behind a slow-moving tractor and the occasional cow in the road. What we don’t usually see is a row of semi trailers and large, mysterious somethings hidden beneath tarps in the midst of those grazing cows.
In Georgeville, those unusual sights mean that the Spartans are coming. Specifically, the Spartan Sprint, a 3-plus mile, 15-plus obstacle race that will bring thousands of participants and spectators to eastern Cabarrus the weekend of April 11-12.
Porter Farms is hosting Spartan Sprint for the second time, and Jared Porter is the person coordinating with Spartan for the family-owned and -operated farm.
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Jared Porter says his family’s farm is special because of the word family.
He, along with his parents, wife, siblings and spouses and grandfather, all play a role in the running the farm. Alongside traditional farming enterprises like raising hogs and producing eggs, the Porters have expanded into agri-tourism with their wedding venue, The Farm at Brusharbor, and by hosting events like Spartan Sprint.
“We have a lot of mouths to feed,” Porter said, explaining why the family has looked at a variety of ways to use their farmland. But the Porters also want to expose people to their rural way of life.
“We want people to come and see how pretty it is here, and have a good impression,” he said.
Plenty of people will have the opportunity to see a lot of the farm at Spartan Sprint. Porter says that the course will cover about 100 acres along the perimeter of the 600-acre farm.
To prepare the farm, he’ll have to move the cows out of the way; as we talked, they were grazing the area where the race will start. He’s also made a path to ensure racers will stay clear of the hogs, to keep the animals safe.
As the race draws closer, he’ll do some digging and welding for the Spartan folks, and, in an effort to be neighborly, he’s got piles of gravel ready for repairing any of the neighbors’ driveways that may be damaged by the unusual volume of traffic on this typically quiet, country road.
“We try to keep neighborly,” Porter says.
Now that the trailers have arrived on the farm, people know what’s coming. As we talked, a couple pulled their vehicle to the side of the road near the trailers to scout out the site. He’ll be running and she’ll be watching the race.
Porter Farms will be a busy place this week as the race course takes shape. And that something hiding under the tarp? Porter says it is the Thermopylae obstacle, waiting to be constructed for Spartan racers to climb in the peaceful pasture where his cows now graze quietly.
Marcia Morris is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Marcia? Email her at EasternCabarrusWriter@gmail.com