'This Is Spartan Race,' With CEO Joe DeSena
Joe DeSena, Spartan Race CEO and founder, appeared on CNBC's Squawk Box on Wednesday morning to discuss Spartan Race's upcoming televised World Championship, done in partnership with both Reebok and NBC Sports (NASDAQ: CMCSA). Reebok is even producing shoes with grips and pants with kneepads, amongst other Spartan Race gear, as a result.
DeSena was inspired by the Ironman Triathlon, of which is done a total of 22. He modeled the Spartan Race after Ironman, similarly using three different distances that include the short three mile, medium eight mile and the long 13.2 mile races. Unlike Ironman's traditional running, biking and swimming, Spartan Race offers intensive, and sometimes crushing, obstacles.
"You're climbing, you're crawling, in some cases you're crying," said DeSena, talking about the race almost spiritually.
He went on to discuss the race from an evolutionary standpoint.
"It's primal to get out there and sweat and work the way we used to work for thousands of years. It's only the last few hundred years that we gotten soft," said DeSena.
Then DeSena joked about having makeup applied to his face before the interview, calling it abnormal with reference to the biological aspect of the act. He noted that there were two 75-year-olds, male and female, competing in Spartan Race, which means that softness is not attached to age.
"This year there'll be 65 events around the globe. There'll be 650,000 people that compete. It's extremely exciting. It's getting people up and off the couches," said DeSena.
"A gym alone, a gym membership, which we've all done, that doesn't motivate people. If it did, we wouldn't have close to a hundred million people that are obese. This motivates people. They change habits. They change friends. They go to bed early. They stop drinking."
Amongst the competitors, 10 percent are very serious athletes, including some Olympians.
According to Spartan Blog, the event is "the culmination of the 2013 Reebok Spartan Race Series, will take place on September 21-22, 2013, in scenic central Vermont, near Spartan Race HQ in Pittsfield."
At the time of this writing, Jason Cunningham had no position in the mentioned equities.
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