Starting in the USA five years ago, Spartan Race has almost one million participants at 130 events in 20 countries and is coming to Manchester’s Heaton Park on the first weekend of July.
With the start of next year’s domestic season delayed because of England hosting the Rugby World Cup, Sale Sharks will face off against fellow Aviva Premiership teams Leicester Tigers and Newcastle Falcons in a Kings of the North tournament prior to the World Cup.
Sale Sharks were in command against London Irish before half-time when Danny Cipriani’s pass was fumbled allowing Andrew Fenby to score and give the home side the advantage at the interval.
Sale sit in seventh place with a European spot firmly in their sights, but with just eight points separating them from fourth a challenge for the play-offs still remains a possibility.
Johnny Leota and Josh Beaumont scored the tries for Sale while Danny Cipriani showed his quality scoring 13 points with the boot in tricky conditions as Sale prevailed 23-6 over Gloucester.
The Sharks will hope that a three-week break from fixtures due to the Six Nations and LV=Cup will provide the perfect tonic to their indifferent form in time for the crucial run in.
Van Gaal, who is 63 years old, says his age and spending more time with his family are the two pressing reasons for his retirement once he leaves Manchester United.
Sale remain in seventh and nine points of the semi-final places after failing to claim even a losing bonus point in Round 17 in their 12-3 loss to Bath.
Before last week’s 28-8 thumping at Leicester Tigers Steve Diamond’s men had won three games on the spin, including victories over last year’s finalists Northampton Saints and Saracens.