Written by Pro Team member Elliott Meguire

Saturday May 10th the Reebok Spartan Race Series comes back to Bigfork, Montana for it’s second year at the Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge and Ranch. Last year was an excellent event and there was so much interest that Spartan Race couldn’t say no to round two. The course is a challenging one with single track climbs through the woods, over rocks, up cliffs, through the brush and up and down small four wheel trails. Expect to see 15+ obstacles, which may include the new challenging Monkey Cargo Net which debuted in Miami and appeared last weekend in Fort Carson, Colorado.

Rose Wetzell-Sinnett aims to jump to victory

This year, Montana is a Founder’s Race, so Joe Desena has scouted the course and put his special touch on the layout and design of the race so expect something brutally awesome. Last years women’s Montana champion Bev Watson will be back to defend her title. Challenging her will be Rose Wetzel-Sinnett who becomes the favorite due to her blazing speed and equal ability to conquer any obstacle thrown her way. Another favorite for the podium will be former series champion Jenny Tobin who has been doing Spartan Races since 2011 and is always a factor. Other women expected to race include the Barbwire Queen Andi Hardy and Laura Messner.

On the men’s side last year’s Montana champion and former series champion Cody Moat will be the favorite if he shows up. However, Chad Trammell – last weekend’s Fort Carson winner and runner up last year in Montana – looks to improve on last year and take the top spot. Elliott Megquier hopes not to get lost like he did last year in Montana and be able to claim a podium spot. Other men that will contend include the “Tough Training Guy” Christopher Rutz, Joey Patrolia, Matt Novakovick, Shane Mckay and fresh from his being voted as the male “Iron Man” at the recent 35 hour endurance event The SISU Iron in Los Angeles, Miguel Medina.

Pro Team member and elite racer Elliott Meqguire. A veteran of over 80 Spartan Races.

Make sure to stop by the Sportsman & Ski Haus in Kalispell on Friday from 5:30-7:30 PM to pick up you race packets and experience live music and free food. The weather might be a little mild with a high of 53 degrees with a 40% chance of rain, so dress accordingly and bring a water source if needed. However, there will be two water stations on course and one at the finish line. Montana is such a beautiful state and the local people are amazing so even if the race isn’t sunny and warm I can ensure you everyone still will have a wonderful time. See you all Saturday Aroo, Aroo, Aroo!!!

Sign up here for your next Spartan Race! 

Elliott Megquier is a member of the Spartan Pro Team and has been doing Spartan Races since 2011. He hails from Fort Drum, NY and has completed 82 Spartan Races all while on active duty in the United States Army.

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Joe Desena isn’t keen on lethargic attitudes and procrastination. Putting something off because you, “just want to see the end of this episode of Storage Wars” doesn’t cut it. Get out. Move. Do what a human is supposed to do. Work, sweat and get dirty.

The Spartan Race founder shakes his head when he sees the state of not just America but of the world today. He observes how mankind as a race has allowed itself to become accustomed and content with comfort, quick fixes and the easy option.

Fast food may be quick, but it’s no good. Sitting around and not moving may be easier than going outside and getting things done, but it hides one fast track you don’t want; the fast track to a heart attack. Avoiding a struggle or something that is difficult is largely the root of what we today see as the biggest problem. Not wanting to work for something is how we got into the mess we’re in. As Flogging Molly once sang, “…and we find ourselves in the same old mess, singing drunken lullabies”.

Having had his fill of what he has seen, Joe has written a book that reminds us what it means to be human. It’s time to revert back to what mankind did before. What we were built for. What we were actually meant to do. As he puts it, it’s time to “Spartan Up”.

Sign up right here for a race and start living, not just existing. 

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What’s in Spartan Race DNA?

SR_HURRICANE_BadgeWe are a different kind of competitive event. Why do I say that? The Spartan Race series was born from the Death Race and as such, it is meant to emulate life and help us, “the founders“, find extraordinary people that inspire us as well others. Therefore, our job has evolved into one where we constantly push people beyond their limits. This is not only done through physical challenges, but also mental challenges, many of which are not so obvious.

The Hurricane Heat is a perfect example. When Hurricane Irene hit the East Coast inphoto (8)2011, it was a natural disaster that shut many of us down and in doing so, frustrated the shix out of people. It’s quite obvious that Spartan Race aims to do just that at every event… frustrate and attempt to “break” people. Why? Because the survivors and people that push on, no matter what is being asked of them… inspire themselves, people around them, and the rest of the world. That is what we are about.

bamfThe gear list, whether it is extensive or “old school”, is not intended to prepare you for every scenario. It’s intended to get you thinking. As in real life, we can never truly be ready for every situation, but we can train ourselves on how to react when faced with adversity. It’s how you respond in these situations that determines whether or not you are a true Spartan. Annoying co-workers, relationship troubles, financial problems, and disease can only be conquered if you have the right attitude.

Assess the situation.

Remain calm.

Make a decision.

Keep charging forward.

That’s what Spartans do.

The Hurricane Heat takes Spartan Race to the next level, and we are thrilled that we have the opportunity to spend time with a bunch of like minded individuals willing to get outside, get dirty, and sweat doing things that are so unorthodox.

Can’t wait to see you out there again!

To register for an upcoming Hurricane Heat, visit our event pages and get signed up for your event!  

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by Carrie Adams

Our Top Ten Blog Posts of 2012 span a variety of topics.  Yesterday, we introduced you to #10, a blog by our own Chris Davis who left Atlanta and came to Spartan HQ in Pittsfield, VT to live, work, and train with our staff and founder Joe Desena.  He lost over 400 pounds and completed the Spartan Beast, and earned his Trifecta Tribe status.  No small feat!  In today’s recap of post #9 we revisit something that has made Spartan obstacles famous (errr, maybe infamous is a better word.)

In a word: Burpee.

Missing a Spartan Obstacle doesn’t mean that you just mosey on your merry way, it means that you owe 30 burpees before you are to continue.  Here, our very own Dr. Jeff goes over the Muscular Analysis of the burpee.   If you don’t know Dr. Jeff, you should.  He’s greatly responsible for the success of the Chris Davis Project and is also leading the charge on the Spartan Coaching program.  He also routinely participates in the Spartan Death Race, because, well, that’s what happens when you work for Spartan Race.

From the drop to the ground through each phase of the movement, the body positions are described in detail to ensure that from the elite athlete to the newcomer, everyone can see the proper form associated with the burpee.

Read more HERE.

Interested in coaching the Spartan Way?  Click HERE to learn more.  Finally ready to get signed up?  Click HERE. 

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by Carrie Adams

With an epic year of racing in the books, we are recounting some of the biggest stories of the year.  Let’s start with post #10!  How about a story about a guy who lost over 400 pounds and reclaimed his life, conquered a beast, and earned his membership into the Trifecta Tribe?   We are talking about the one and only Chris Davis.  His story inspired thousands.  To see his journey, watch this video. 

From the original post:

Every day Spartan Race HQ gets emails and phone calls with success stories of our athletes getting off their couches and getting healthy preparing for a Spartan Race.  Untold pounds have been lost, new levels of health and well-being found by those who embrace a healthy Spartan lifestyle.  Every so often one of those stories strikes a chord so deep, we are compelled to tell it completely.  One of those stories is in motion now, and we are going to keep sharing updates of a man who has turned to Spartan to change his life forever.

We met Chris Davis in Georgia where he finished the race in 3:04, and at 390 pounds.  Struggling across the finish line and exhausted, Spartan staffers helped him to his car and he headed home.  But that is not where this journey begins and it’s nowhere near over.

Chris started his Journey at 696 pounds. in 2010, he heard of the Spartan Race and started losing weight.   We got in touch with him and moved him to Spartan HQ. He is currently down 300 pounds from his starting weight with the help of the Spartan Race motivation.

Spartan Race staff, including founder Joe Desena are attempting to get him to 180 pounds by September a loss of an additional 200 pounds over the next 5 months.  In his own words, he’ll share his journey on the Spartan blog.  Here is his first entry.

To read the blog in it’s entirety, click HERE.  And stay tuned for another top blog post from 2012!

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by Carrie Adams

When he emerged at the Spartan finish line, he was exhausted.  The last official Spartan racer to finish the Georgia Spartan Sprint, he was hours behind the top of the field.  Spartan staff members had to help him get back to his car because they feared he wouldn’t be able to do so under his own power.   An incredible accomplishment for a man who was nearly 700 lbs just a couple years earlier. His weight loss journey was far from over, in fact, as he crossed the finish line; he was also crossing a line that intersected with his destiny and a decision that would change his life forever.  It was the first time Spartan Race would meet Chris Davis and from that moment, none of us would ever be the same.

The dramatic finish was the first step in a journey that would lead Davis to Pittsfield, Vermont, home of Spartan Race HQ and the place Davis would call home for 20 weeks as he continued his path towards a healthier future and many more Spartan finish lines – his last, the World Championship Beast where he would begin at 4 AM and finish just before night fell, earning his medal and celebrating a staggering weight loss of over 530 pounds.  His weight loss in Pittsfield alone was half that amount.  How he got to Pittsfield is an incredible story in it’s own right… When Spartan founder Joe Desena heard about Davis and how far he needed to go to finish what he’d set out to start, he offered up an incredible opportunity:  move to Vermont and Spartan Race HQ, lose the weight by following Joe and Spartan Coaching’s plan, and race the Beast in September.  Davis, with the support of his employer (Comcast), family and friends, accepted the offer and just like that, the Chris Davis Project was born.

Crossing the finish line it was hard to find a dry eye.  Davis’s family was in attendance to witness his nearly 15 mile race.  The pinnacle of several races he’d finish in preparation, the hours on the mountain with Spartan founder Joe Desena and other Spartan athletes and staffers getting ready.  Spartan staff joined him on the mountain, Joe Desena carrying a 100lb sandbag as well.  His weight loss and training program conducted under the watchful eye of Dr. Jeff Godin, Spartan Death Racer, physician, and Spartan Coaching founder.  As Chris received his medal and hugged friends, staffers, and family, it was clear that his achievement was one that was felt by everyone who was lucky enough to bear witness.

His journey to the finish line has been well-documented, in his athlete page and on YouTube with videos updating his weekly progress.  If there was ever a doubt that you could do something, let this story be your lesson.   See his final video summary HERE.

Spartan HQ hasn’t been the same since Davis’s return to his home down South.  Since his heroic finish, he has returned to his job at Comcast in Atlanta, Georgia, an employer who would give Davis the life-changing chance to relocate to Vermont for his transformation and allow his return months later.  We’d like to thank them for their vision and support.  Mad Motion provided the video footage of Chris’s journey and we’d like to thank them as well for giving his story a platform.

Congratulations to Chris, he will always be a part of our Spartan family and what he taught us about never giving up is something that has made us all better for knowing him.  That’s the reality of what these races are about – celebrating health, pushing limits, and finding out what you can accomplish when you dare to believe in all the things you CAN do and forget about what is deemed impossible.

 

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by Carrie Adams

“For those of us who lived through these events, the only marker we’ll ever need is the tick of the clock at the 46th minute of the eighth hour of the 11th day.” – President George W. Bush

Roughly fifteen minutes before 9 AM on September 11, 2001 Spartan Race founder Joe Desena glanced up from his desk on the 59th floor of an office building across the street from the World Trade Towers and then immediately dropped his phone to the floor.   “I didn’t even feel myself let go of it.” He remembers.  “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.”

What he was seeing was the final seconds of Flight 11 as it careened towards WTC 1 and then violently slammed into the North side of the building.   “I couldn’t speak,” says Desena.  “I could hear my buddy Bobby yelling for me from the phone on the floor, but it was like my brain couldn’t process what I had just seen.”

The horror would repeat itself shortly after 9 AM when, alongside the rest of the world, Desena watched Flight 175 enter the landscape and strike the south tower (WTC 2) as the North Tower continued to burn.  “I pressed my hands up against the glass, everyone screamed… and then it was just…silent.”

Desena and his coworkers watched, stunned, as the buildings lay ablaze and ultimately collapsed; each one sending a billowing cloud of dust and debris all that could be seen through the glass, “Everything went gray… and the rumbling of the collapse was like a train roaring through the building.”  And even though the collapse(s) took only 12 seconds Desena says, “It felt like eternity.”

New York City wasn’t the only target, Flight 77 struck the Pentagon that day, and United Flight 93 crashed into an empty field in Somerset County, PA, when the passengers defied their hijackers.  It was a dark day with victims from 115 countries.

And Desena left the office that afternoon with some co-workers and was met by debris and an eerie sight.  “We were walking in ankle deep soot,” he recalls.  “The coffee vendors cart was sitting there, coffee still percolating on the pot, money on the counter, but there were no people.  It was like a gray ghost town.”  Desena slowly made his way to his Midtown apartment where his motorcycle was waiting.  He was lucky to get out of the city and head to his dad’s house in Queens.  “That day changed everything, “says Desena.  “But there were other changes that came from it.  People were looking one another in the eye again.  People were remembering how it felt to be human.  And we can never forget what happened that day.”

Lower Manhattan would burn for 99 days after that, 20% of the US population would know someone who was killed of the nearly 3,000, and it would cost nearly $600 million just to clean up the wreckage from the Twin Towers devastation.   And the United States mobilized swiftly to the threat.  Less than one month later, the United States was on the ground in Afghanistan and we haven’t left.  “Our military has been putting their lives on the line because of that day, and it hasn’t stopped,” says Desena.  “That isn’t lost on us at HQ.”

And in building Spartan Race, Desena kept that day in mind.  “We were in a new place as a country.  We needed hope and we needed to believe we could have a new life and embrace healthy, hopeful things,” says Desena.  “And even though life was moving forward and we needed to move forward, there are still men and women in harm’s way.”

Spartan Military Series
Fort Carson, CO

Since our inception, Spartan Race has been committed to the Armed forces.   In 2012, a portion of all Spartan USA revenue has been donated to Homes for Our Troops, a national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that assists severely injured servicemen and servicewomen and their immediate families by raising donations of money, building materials and professional labor and to coordinate the process of building a home that provides maximum freedom of movement and the ability to live more independently.

Spartan also launched a Military series in Fort Carson, Colorado in May of 2012.  The Military series was a huge success and it was coordinated through the Army Department of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (DFMWR), a comprehensive network of support and leisure services designed to enhance the lives of soldiers (active, reserve and guard), their families, civilian employees, military retirees and other eligible participants.

In keeping with the longstanding Spartan Race tradition of giving back, a portion of the proceeds from the Spartan Fort Carson event was donated to direct military nonprofits including the Green Beret Foundation.  Future military series events will do the same and will donate to other organizations to help address the unique needs of each respective host installation.

In Leesburg, VA Spartan Race was joined by Team X-T.R.E.M.E.   Team X parachuted in Wounded Warrior athlete  Sgt. Noah Galloway

Team X-T.R.E.M.E.
Photo courtesy of Kevin High Photography

and then their eight person team that included two other Wounded Warrior athletes Todd Love and Jonathan Mozingo, took part in the first every Heroes Heat in one of the most memorable appearances in our history.  They are set to be a part of the upcoming Spartan Beast in the Carolinas October 13th and 14th.  The team is a non-profit organization with an ongoing mission to Honor, Empower and Motivate our nation’s wounded heroes and it was started by Jeremy Soles, a United States Marine Corps and Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran.  Known for donning blacked out gas masks for endurance events that restrict 25 – 30% of oxygen intake, Team X-T.R.E.M.E. completed the brutalizing 10.5 mile course and all the obstacles on Saturday.  With over 75 obstacles to speak of, it was no small task.  The gas masks are worn as a symbol of encouragement and inspiration for their fellow wounded brethren and to honor the sacrifice of our nation’s wounded veterans.

There is always more we can do, because the fight continues every day.  The fight to preserve liberty, to honor the fallen, to move forward with grace and deliberation; all the while never forgetting where we’ve been and what’s been given to get here.  And at Spartan Race HQ we’re remember September 11th and recommitting to changing lives for the better with our race series and giving back where we can.  So, today, on a day that we all remember so well, we want to say, “thank you” to all who have paid a price for our precious freedom, and we assure our community that we’ll never forget.  And to Desena it’s a simple idea, moving forward from such a tragedy, “We can’t let it break us.  Never quit.  Never surrender.”

Team X-T.R.E.M.E.
Photo courtesy of Nuvision Action Image

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by Carrie Adams

What does a Pineapple, Medusa’s Challenge, and Cheesy Fries have in common?   They’ll all get you in shape if you do them the Spartan Group Exercise way.  They are aptly named workouts, just three of many that are included in the Spartan Coaching program and Spartan Group Exercise (SGX) being offered to fitness professionals who wish to teach Spartan style  in their clubs and facilities.  In the emerging sport of obstacle racing, Spartan Race HQ is often inundated with questions on how to prepare and also from those who want to become a part of our movement and our way of coaching athletes for Spartan glory at one of our races.  According to Spartan Coaches, “Trainers work at the circus.  Coaches build better humans.”

Want to hear more?

Dr. G, the creator of Spartan Coaching and SGX who has competed in the Death Race four times, by the way, developed the program and has been using it with our own Chris Davis on his weight loss journey and his movement towards completing the Spartan Ultra Beast.  He explains this new concept of SGX and how you can get involved in the movement.

What is SGX?

Spartan Group Exercise (SGX) is the most unique group exercise program in the world. For the first time in group exercise history, an individual’s true purpose and motivation is at the forefront of design for a large scale fitness program. SGX is designed to create an exhilarating and community driven group atmosphere of fitness, nutrition, and performance that optimizes individual performance in Spartan Races, as well as daily life.

SGX utilizes a unique, independently developed strategy of periodization that allows specific aspects of training, fitness, and nutrition to be targeted at various times throughout the year, while never sacrificing a shred of the well-rounded physical preparedness you demand each day.

SGX is about changing your mind, body, and life from the inside out. SGX prepares you for life! It is not about curling, running or biking, it is about pushing, pulling, jumping, stretching, breathing and sweating. Superficial motivations need not investigate further, intrigued minds are cautiously welcomed.

For the Fitness Pro:

SGX begins with a two-day instructional workshop where you will gain the foundational knowledge necessary to successfully run SGX at your health club or business. Included in this two day seminar are:

  • An in depth interpretation of The Seven Pillars of Spartan Training.
  • Complete needs analysis for the Spartan Race competitor.
  • Introduction to SGX program design for optimal performance in Spartan Races.
  • Nutritional guidelines including how to periodize nutritional strategies based on the current training.
  • Hands-on application and lecture
  • Written and practical examination to prove that you possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities to carry out the SGX mission.
  • 16 hrs. of continuing education credit.
  • The rest and likely the most valuable take home lessons cannot be itemized by a bullet point.

Prerequisites:

  • Current CPR Certification
  • Current  Accredited Fitness Certification

To find out more about teaching SGX, go to www.spartancoaches.com.  In the meantime, check out our daily WODs to get ripped for Spartan Race day.

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by Sarah Dubois

A Tribe Called Messed1A little over a year ago I stumbled across the Spartan website and I couldn’t comprehend it.  As in…what the hell were these people doing?  And why were they smiling?  I moved on and didn’t give it another thought.  Fast forward 9 months.  I’ve quit my miserable Fortune 500 sales job (to remain unnamed) taken a couple months off to recoup while getting certified as a personal trainer, got hired as a women’s Bootcamp Instructor and as a Personal Trainer at a fancy gym here in San Diego.  Just a slight unplanned turn in the road from my original plan to follow my International Business degree.  When does life ever go the way you actually planned it anyway right?

At the very beginning of my fitness career I had an interview with another local San Diego bootcamp.  In the interview they asked tough questions that I was pretty used to from the sales world but I didn’t expect in a Bootcamp Instructor interview.  “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”  I had gotten this a million times in past sales job interviews and simply BS’d my way through with some comment even I didn’t believe about management or owning my own businesses blah blah blah.  Cripes can you tell I was in the wrong field?!  At this point in my fitness career, surprisingly I hadn’t given it alot of thought yet.  I answered with the first thing that came to mind that I thought would be fun.  My bold response was “I want to be the Race Manager for a major event”.  After saying it I realized it was totally true.  I love racing and the vibe that surrounds races, expos and fitness events.  I also have a business background so why not mesh the two!

I came across a Facebook ad this past fall that showed people crawling through mud. A Tribe Called Messed Intrigued, I clicked on it, not realizing at the time this was the same website I had pretty much dissed just a few months back.  It’s amazing the things you will try and succeed at with the right mindset.  That same day I sent Spartan Races my email and explained I wanted to work for them and why I would be a great fit (even though I’d never done a race!).  I like to think my business background and new fitness training experience hold some meaning in this odd world of mud and obstacles.  I did my research and learned about the company and their races and within a few weeks I was granted the opportunity to become a Street Team Member.  Sweet!  My first step into the mud. 

I got so excited about the upcoming Spartan Malibu Sprint that like all Spartans, I talked to everyone I knew, friends, family, clients, gym members I knew, gym members I didn’t know, total strangers, you name it.  People were intrigued but no one committed.  I managed to get ONE person to join me in the race, my Bootcamp coworker.  I didn’t let it bug me though.  Upon finishing (and loving every step, climb, crawl, jump, wade, swim, lift and hit), I noticed that people seemed more interested when discussing the race with them.  Maybe they could see the crazy spark in my eye had ignited. 

A Tribe Called Messed2Post-race, I put up my action photos at my upscale gym.  One showed me crawling under the barbed wire while spitting out gravel – something our clients aren’t used to seeing there.  Everyone commented on my drooling as if hinting I should be embarrassed by it.  Seriously?  I’m proud of that drool!  I have Joe Desena, founder of the Spartan Races to thank for that photo – he was behind the hose that was blasting my mug.  I was running Spartan classes at the gym in the evenings, which mind you had ZERO interest leading up to the Malibu race.  Those pictures caused a buzz and instantly my class was full!  Before I knew it I had a team of 23 join me for the SoCal Super this past January as A Tribe Called Messed (represent, represent-sent).  It was a mix of clients, members, and trainers from my gym, clients from my women’s bootcamp, friends, and friends of friends.  Of those 23, eight have became Street Team Members and about 95% of the team has gone on to sign up for next year’s race (whether Malibu, SoCal or both) as well as jump into other obstacle races to train for the Spartans.  The remaining 5% just can’t commit this far out, but I expect will register again.  All of these teammates were great but alas, I couldn’t seem to get my favorite guy, my boyfriend Kurtis to join me in a race….yet (heehee).  I didn’t want to push him too hard to sign up like I did with the others.  I wanted him to join me in my new passion by coming to his senses on his own, which I figured had to happen sooner or later right?  He was really great about spending entire weekends getting up early, coming to the races, and as a photographer in the making, spending hours taking awesome photos of our team before, during, and after the race.  About a week after the race he texted me from work out of the blue “Get your own personal photographer, I’m doing it with you next year”  Upon asking what changed his mind?  “It just looked like too much fun”. 

Aside from racing and running Spartan classes, I continued to do my part as a Street Team member by flyering parking lots of events, and running those races in Spartan gear.  I created spreadsheets of everything to keep organized and shared my info with Kati and Coleen.  My baffled boyfriend wondered why I was doing all of this extra work for free.  My equally baffled response was “um, hello because I love it!”  Next thing I know Coleen and I are discussing bringing me on board as Spartan Race’s first Race Manager.  I couldn’t have been more flattered and excited at the opportunity to pave the way and hopefully set a great example.  My 5 year goal has just happened in one year!!!  Amazing, scary, and exciting all in one.

I emailed home to Massachusetts to tell my family how excited I was and that I would be back in August to do the New England Spartan Sprint.  “So who is joining me!?” One lone Sparkle, my cousin Colleen responded.  We are the same age and she has managed to become an amazing runner of late, after having 2 children.  She has been as excited about the Spartan Race as the day I first started talking about it except she lives so far away that we could only chat over email about it and never train.  She has already succeeded in getting a handful of people to join the East Coast version of A Tribe Called Messed.  I emailed my entire Boston contact list and included my younger sister Caitlin to keep her in the loop.  Caitlin wrote this race off awhile back saying there was no way she could/would do it.  After reading my email, she was suddenly and surprisingly in.  “How would it look if you flew all the way over here to do this race with all your friends but I wasn’t a part of it??” GOOD ANSWER Sparkle!  Peer pressure gets another!  Since that email, friends are coming out of the woodwork, college buddies who I haven’t seen in 10 years are registering, high school friends, elementary friends, old coworkers. 

I’m bringing my love of racing, my dedication to Spartan, and my background have all collided in the perfect job for me.  How’s that for a fairy tale ending… or beginning? 

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by Carrie Adams

All too often we spend our waking hours trying to find and stay comfortable in our own lives. We look for short cuts, gadgets, and processes to make things easier, seeking what we consider personal fulfillment. We believe that there are things we can do and things that we can’t, and we become conditioned to that distinction. It creates our everyday reality and it makes us feel secure, because we think we know what to expect of the world and what to expect of ourselves. Enter Joe DeSena, the man who will turn that world upside down.

Growing up in Queens, Joe’s mother valued healthy eating and living and passed on that value system to Joe.   It’s been well-documented that he worked hard growing up and ultimately got to Wall Street, where he made his mark and made himself a small fortune.  He moved his family to Pittsfield, Vermont and quickly entrenched himself and his family in the local landscape.  Joe moved to Vermont in an attempt to get back to the way things used to be.

It’s also well-documented that Joe turned an interest in endurance racing into a passion.  His racing resume is the stuff of legends – over 50 ultra-events overall and 12 Ironman Events in one year alone.  Most of his races are 100 miles or more with a few traditional marathons in the mix.  (He once told me that my running a 26.2 marathon distance was “adorable.”)

To put it in perspective, he did the Vermont 100, the Lake Placid Ironman and the Badwater Ultra… in one week.  For those that don’t know or just don’t want to hear the gory details, the elevation climb for Badwater is over 8,500 feet up to Mt. Whitney and temperatures soar into the 120’s.   Joe also rode cross-country to the Furnace Creek 508 which has been coined “The Toughest 48 hours in sport.”  It’s no wonder his favorite quote is, “Death is the price we pay for life, so make it worth it.”

Montage of Joe racing

In 2005, Joe decided that the world needed a new race, something that had never been done. And so, together with Peak Races, he created The Death Race, a 24-hour mental and physical test filled with unknown obstacles.  Racers couldn’t and wouldn’t

know what to expect.  The fear of the unknown would either break or motivate, and all they could do was try to survive.  The race waiver consists of three words: “I may die.” It doesn’t get any more real than that.  No way to train, no way to prepare, just show up and make it to the end.  And don’t expect any love from

Joe or the volunteers.  They want to break these people, make them quit.  Joe’s been quoted as saying, “There’s no light at the end of the tunnel. We’re basically holding your hand to help you quit. The same way life does, right?”

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