by Carrie Adams

OpGratHighRes.logoPITTSFIELD, Vt., Dec. 15, 2011 – In a year-end push to attain one million Facebook fans, Spartan Race has announced the “Race to a Million” contest. For every Spartan Race contest entry on Facebook received by 11:59 p.m. (PST) Dec. 31, 2011, twenty cents will be donated to Operation Gratitude, a non-profit organization that annually sends 100,000 care packages to military personnel, their families and wounded service men and women.

Upon achieving its goal of one million Facebook fans before New Year’s, Spartan Race, the world leader in obstacle racing, will donate an additional $50,000 to Operation Gratitude.  Spread the word…it’s time to do work: 

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“Two of Spartan Race’s biggest commitments are getting people from all walks of life active, healthy and open to new challenges and supporting the brave service members of the Armed Forces,” said Spartan Race Founder Joe Desena. “This contest is a fun way to head into the New Year with increased awareness of Spartan Race and our mission as well as helping a very worthy cause.

“To show our thanks to those who enter,” Desena, added, “we’ll be giving away Spartan Race Season Passes for 2012 to ten lucky contestants. Once we reach that magic one million number, we’ll give away 50 more Season Passes to celebrate!”

“We are extremely grateful to Spartan Races for this generous gesture,” said Operation Gratitude Founder Carolyn Blashek. “There’s still a critical need to send these care packages overseas,” she elaborated. “Tens of thousands of American service members remain deployed in hostile and remote regions of the world, including the Middle East, Afghanistan and on ships throughout international waters. They are away from home and loved ones at all times of the year, but it’s felt even more so now during the holidays. They deserve to be remembered.”

722“Care Package number 750,000 will leave our warehouse this week,” Blashek added. “Operation Gratitude will keep sending packages as we have for almost nine years. Not just until my son comes home, but until they all come home.” Blashek’s son is currently deployed to the Middle East.

The “Race to a Million” contest is just one of several examples of Spartan Race’s longstanding commitment to the Armed Forces. Spartan Race will host 12 Marines currently stationed at Camp Pendleton at its sold-out, Jan. 28, 2012, Super Spartan race in Temecula, Calif.  The race will take place the day before those 12 Marines depart for a one-year, overseas deployment. Spartan Race also recently unveiled a new Military Series to benefit direct military nonprofits and other organizations to help address the unique needs of each respective host installation. The first race in that series will be held May 5 – 6, 2012 at the Fort Carson military base in Colorado Springs, Colo.

11About Operation Gratitude
Operation Gratitude annually sends 100,000+ care packages filled with snacks, toiletries, entertainment items and personal letters of appreciation addressed to individually named U.S. Service Members deployed in harm’s way, to their Children left behind and to Wounded Warriors recovering in transition units. Our mission is to lift morale, bring a smile to a service member’s face and express to our Armed Forces the appreciation and support of the American people. Each package contains donated product valued at ~$100 and costs the organization $15 to assemble and ship. Since its inception in 2003, Operation Gratitude has shipped more than 730,000 packages to American Military deployed overseas.

For more information, visit or contact Dana Chotiner at 310-489-4302 or

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