by Carrie Adams
Spartan staffers are often asked what life is like working at Spartan Race HQ and for the one and only Joe Desena. Spartan staff is comprised of a dedicated crew that helps create, design, build, and execute Spartan Races all over the world. They are men and women who athletes and professionals, Guinness Book World Record Holders, Double and Triple Ironman finishers, Olympians, Adventure Racers, Badwater finishers, Death Race winners, not to mention moms and dads, husbands, wives, and, of course, Spartan finishers.
Spartan Race HQ is located in the big little town of Pittsfield, VT. With a population of 427, the town was nearly washed away in last year’s devastating Hurricane Irene landfall on the Eastern seaboard. Never a town to shrink back, they’ve rebuilt much of what was lost, not surprising when you consider it’s also the home of the infamous Death Race, it’s become a Spartan haven and the perfect place for a Spartan Race staffer to live, train, and work. Situated next door to a Bikram yoga studio, staffers can regularly be seen in the studio early in the morning or over lunch getting their sweat on or in the organic General Store having breakfast or lunch.
Spartans keep irregular hours, but don’t tell them that. Spartan staffer Jason Jaksetic is often seen climbing the mountain with Joe before the sun rises, toting 100 pound sand bags, Joe calls them “business outings.” A lot of work has been done in the dark green mountains of Pittsfield.
What is a typical day at Spartan HQ? How about burpees on the hour, green juices for lunch, mandatory bikram yoga sessions, and occasionally being woken up at 4AM by your co-worker to go on a 5 mile run. Oh, and do you wanna leave town for the weekend? Joe and Andy might take the tires off your car. (True story- Stevie has details)
Led by Spartan’s fearless leader, and one of the SR founders, Joe Desena, who is well-known for his humor and his hard-working style and it’s not out of the ordinary for employees to work 16 hour days, especially on race weeks and then run a 16 hour day from the course running bag check or registration. Yes, Spartan Race HQ is a small but mighty contingent of people who love their jobs and who look forward to meeting our racers in person. Joe keeps the troops motivated with his random and often slightly odd style of encouragement. Here are a few examples of how Joe D gets Spartan Staff motivated on the job:
When an employee needed to go to a funeral of a family acquaintance Joe was overheard saying… “Stevie, that’s why you want to work, you don’t want to die when you still have work to do.”
“Whaddya workin’ a half-day?!” - Joe D (after seeing you pack up your desk at 8 o’clock at night)
That’s why some Spartan staffers have taken to hiding to get away! So, be sure to thank the Spartan Staff and volunteers you see on site! They work hard to make sure you can play hard on race day!