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An Interview with Joe De Sena

18 Apr 2014

joe-sandbag-milwaukeeThis morning, I sent Spartan Race media interview questions for an ebook I’m working on, expecting (with hope) a response sometime over the next few weeks.

Thanks to Daniel Krueger with Spartan media and the founder himself, Joe De Sena answered my questions within a few hours!

I wasn’t expecting to share the interview until I was done with my ebook. But I figured that if the head of a hugely successful and impactful obstacle race, who is weeks away from releasing
Spartan Up! can spare a few minutes to answer my questions, I can find some time to post his interview!

As someone who’s followed the obstacle racing industry for the past few years, it’s really been amazing to see just how much Spartan Race has contributed to the growth of the sport.

De Sena and Spartan Race care more about obstacle racing beyond building the Spartan brand. Anyone who has read the free 300+ page ebook  You’ll Know at the Finish Line: The Spartan Guide to the Sport of Obstacle Racing knows this.

They want to get you up and moving outdoors like our ancestors did! From the Sprint to the Death Race, Spartan Race offers a challenge for everyone of all fitness levels. They even offer a free daily workout to get you from sign-up to race day.

Spartan Race held their first Sprint in 2010. Now with 3.6 million Facebook fans and 87,900 followers, Spartan Race shows no signs of slowing down.

Obstacle Course Race
Spartan Race

Number of Miles
Sprint – 3+ miles
Super – 8+ miles
Beast – 12+ miles

Number of Obstacles
Sprint – 15+ obstacles
Super – 20+ obstacles
Beast – 25+ obstacles

Here’s Joe’s responses to my questions:

Me: Why do you think obstacle racing has drawn so many and grown so rapidly in the past four years?
Joe: It’s a HUMAN sport, very accessible and the movements are what we have done for 1 million years on earth. It’s authentic. We are a race, we are athletic in nature. At the end of the day that appeals in a big way to our consumers — so much so they share it..

Do you have any predictions for OCRs in 2014 you’d like to share?
Spartan Race will own the OR space (we call it obstacle racing). We will announce a big partnership with a major network. We will be one step closer to the Olympics.

Some believe that OCRs have attracted many first-time exercisers — people who may not have even gotten off the couch if it weren’t for OCRs. Do you find this true in your race’s case? About what percent of participants would you say are new to racing and/or running?
90% of participants are couch potatoes. We all face obstacles daily weekly and how we deal with them is what makes the difference between success and failure. It sets our attitude, affects our motivation.

 In building obstacle immunity, the problems you face in life will more easily roll off your shoulders.

Any company plans for growth you would like to share?
Spartan is a health and wellness company. The “race” is how we get to test if you are living the life. Our goal is to get our races into the Olympics.

Spartan Up!: A Take-No-Prisoners Guide to Overcoming Obstacles and Achieving Peak Performance in Life comes out on May 13.

You can pre-order your copy on Amazon.



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