As the year rolls around to a day of the year that is often overlooked, we wanted to give a shout out to those guys that you see on the course that, while striving to reach the finish line, have a greater goal in their lives. This, of course, is continuing to be the best Spartan dad they can possibly be.
Daren De Heras of Monrovia, California might be more familiar to many as the man who continues to set multiple lap records or as the face of Team SISU. Many will see him as the guy that has now visited the Death Race 5 times, but to his little girl Maddy, he’s just daddy.
“When she was born, I was a very passionate wrestling coach, business owner and marathoner. I wanted her to see my passion for fitness and hoped she caught on for a love of sport, but it was important that she find her way, not what my way was. All I ever want is for her to always finish what she started, to always challenge herself, and to know that it’s all about the journey, not the finish. As she grew up she fell in love with Soccer and Gymnastics. I spent the next 6 years learning soccer and coaching her teams. During that time, Spartan Race popped up and I fell in love with it right from the start. In 2011 I participated in my first Spartan Death Race, and suffered my first DNF. After I quit the race, I was fortunate to spend some time with Joe De Sena the founder of Spartan Race. I listened to his story, passion, and drive he had for the sport of obstacle racing and the positive impact it could have on so many. I went home that weekend, inspired, motivated, but most of all it made me think if I can teach my daughter how to live this Spartan lifestyle and apply it to her everyday life, there will be no limits to what she can achieve.
“Spartan has given us a place that we feel is our special place. We both have our own goals, and share some, but most important it’s not a race to us, it’s a journey, a way of life. I have been to five Spartan Death Races competing in all of them with bracelets she made me, her name written on me with a sharpie and her picture in my pocket. She has completed 5 Spartan Races, finishing 4th overall and 1st for the girls in her previous Spartan Race. We inspire one another, push one another, and never let the other one think we have anything less than more to give. She is my heart and soul and the best thing I will ever be is her daddy.”