by Carrie Adams
With more than a million service men and women beginning the transition back to civilian life, and with Veterans Day just past, Spartan Race wants to honor those who have served this country. One day a year is not nearly enough, the thankfulness and pride should be a part of the landscape and the fabric of this nation, and it is a part of the Spartan culture.
Spartan founder Joe Desena has been quoted as saying, “The military is in Spartan blood.”
Spartan’s longstanding commitment and partnership with the military is evident since our creation, and it will always be a part of our organization. “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.
Spartans are active soldiers, former soldiers, Veterans, wives, husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends, fathers, mothers, sisters, sons, daughters, and friends of troops. Veterans and military personnel are entitled to a discount when registering for a Spartan Race as well, a very small gesture of “thanks,” but one that we are honored to provide. Since mid-2011, Spartan Race’s main military partner has been the Air National Guard. We could not be more proud to align our brand with such a courageous group of Americans!
If you are a Spartan Race finisher, chances are you have been face-to-face with ANG’s logo, as you were attempting to successfully complete the traverse wall obstacle. Some of you, whether racing or spectating, have competed in the Air National Guard Pull-Up Challenge – the most popular festival challenge at our events. All of you, have undoubtedly said “thank you” in one way or another to our military for keeping us safe.
In 2012, a portion of all Spartan USA revenue is 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 2011 Spartan teamed with Pro vs. GI Joe to create a rehabbing with the Troops program that featured MMA superstar Tito Ortiz. We put up a special Spartan Race course in Southern California, see the video HERE. SR also partnered with Operation Gratitude, a non-profit organization that annually sends 100,000 care packages to military personnel, their families and wounded service men and women. Donating money to their cause for FB likes going into the 2012 Calendar year.
In Leesburg, VA we were first introduced to Team X-T.R.E.M.E. fighting their way through the difficult course while donning their now infamous blacked out gas masks and then returning to the Carolina’s to take on a Beast. They will be at several upcoming Spartan events including the NorCal Beast and the SoCal Super Spartan. They have become partners and friends of Sparta. Their faces hidden and their identities unknown, the team captured the attention of the Spartan community and it spread like wild fire. Aside from the wounded warrior athletes, the rest of the team are distinguishable only by the call signs stitched into the patches they wear on their arms, and they intend on keeping it that way. This deliberate anonymity is in recognition of their mission to honor, empower, and motivate wounded warriors and to remain selfless in the process.
From Spartan Race HQ, thank you to all our Veterans. And let us all honor you with not only our words of thanks but with how we live out the freedom you have so selflessly ensured for us.
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” -John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Tags: Air National Guard, and Recreation, Army Department of Family and Morale, Carolina's Beast, Fort Carson, Green Beret Foundation, homes for troops, joe desena, Leesburg Super Spartan, operation gratitude, Pro vs. GI Joe, spartan race, Team X-T.R.E.M.E., Tito Ortiz, Welfare