Editor's Note: This is a sponsored post from our friends at Spartan Race.
By Carrie Adams
The military and Spartan Race have always been closely aligned; the principles and culture surrounding the military are an integral part of the Spartan culture. As Spartan CEO Joe DeSena explains, “We believe as they do that successful people, successful Spartans are mentally tough and can withstand, overcome, and commit to a cause that’s bigger than themselves.” Recently, the Spartan team was invited to Fort Bragg’s Special Operations Command. While most details of the visit are restricted due to their sensitive nature and the seriousness with which the military keeps their facilities, strategies, and tactics, Spartan leadership was able to see how groups like the Navy SEALS who completed the recent Osama Bin Laden mission are trained, and what the United States is doing to keep our Americans safe here and in their missions overseas.
When pressed for details, DeSena laughs, “It’s not called Special Ops for no reason! This is highly sensitive information and we need to respect that.” But one of the most interesting things DeSena discovered (and can share) was the surprisingly high number of Special Forces out there and the number of countries that we’re inside today.
“The meat and bones behind special forces is embedding into countries and learning the culture and language so we are always on our front foot and not reacting," he says. "We are already there.”
It’s no surprise that our Spartan athletes are often military personnel, active and veteran status, because the spirit of the Spartan Racing series closely aligns with a military approach to training. Spartan Death Race 2010 Champion Joe Decker was with the 10th Mountain Division; 2011 Winter Death Race finisher and upcoming 2011 Death Race competitor Nate Brown was in the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003. Two other Death Race competitors were recently interviewed by CBS News about their mission to raise money for fellow soldiers through the Wounded Warrior Project:
The most critical lesson learned by Spartan while spending time with the Special Forces was that the military analysis of the most important human traits are flexibility and certain levels of maturity. In other words, how does a person respond to the unexpected and still accomplish the goals of a mission?
That’s something the founders of the Death Race and Spartan Race wanted to embed in the culture of our races. “It was eye-opening and encouraging that we are looking for the same things in our Spartan athletes that the military is looking for in their most highly trained Special Operations Forces," says DeSena.
That’s Spartan Special Ops Spirit. Do you have it?
For more information about upcoming Spartan and Death Races, go to www.spartanrace.com.
Spartan Race photo by Brent Doscher from Nuvision Action Image.