The Spartan Race
Joe de Sena is one of my favorite success stories and is a huge inspiration for many of those in the fitness community and while you probably have not heard of him you have more than likely heard of his company, Spartan Race. First starting in Vermont back in 2010 with a little over 1,000 racers, the company now holds events in over 30 countries and has grown to over a million racers per year. Multiply that by the minimum $100 price of admission and you can see how successful he has actually become.
Born in 1969, Joe grew up in Queens New York and being the son of a yoga aficionado, fitness and health was something that was ingrained to him at an early age. As his parents soon found out he also had the heart of an entrepreneur and the work ethic to match. Before he even started college had had already successfully ran a small fireworks business, a t-shirt business, and also a pool cleaning business with nearly 1,000 customers. Taking a break from the business Joe went on to college where he attended and graduated from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. After finishing college he restarting his pool cleaning business which he later sold for a half million dollars, his first major financial success.
The Million Dollar Idea
Following the sale of his pool cleaning business Joe took up a career on wall street and at the same time became to come more involved with endurance races. Due to putting in long hours working at a desk, Joe began to put on extra weight as many people do. In order to combat this he took up long distance running and cycling, and at one point completed 50 ultra marathons and 14 ironman competitions. It was during this phase of his life in 2000 when he first began the thought process for the Spartan Race. After becoming stuck in freezing tempuratures during an adventure race in the wilderness of Quebec, Joe was forced to create temporary shelter beneath the snow in order to survive, and realized there was a major difference between a difficult race and a desperate situation. He credits this race with his inspiration for the creation of his first endurance race, The Death Race, which was so extreme that less than 10 people competed in the race and only 3 were able to finish. Learning from his mistakes he scaled the difficulty back some and launched the Spartan Race in 2009 and hasn’t looked back since.