SEE IT: An Emotional Racer Tells CEO Joe De Sena That Spartan Saved His Life

Presented by Spartan Training®

We live for stories of transformation at Spartan, and one in particular has really moved us. Kenneth Newcomb, a resident of Monroe, NY, was in poor health. He smoked for 35 years, had a stroke, and was later diagnosed with diabetes. Ken faced the harsh reality that, if he wanted to stick around for awhile, he had no choice but to make a change.

He found Spartan in 2018, and everything did change.

Spartan founder and CEO Joe De Sena was moved by Ken's story, and invited him to do a 1-on-1 Zoom call so they could meet and he could learn more about his incredible transformation.

Related: Spartans on the COVID-19 Front Lines: Their Stories, Their Experiences, and Saying Thank You

Ken explained that Spartan saved his life. He was unhealthy and needed a push, and Spartan was the motivation that he was looking for. He started to run, train, and race consistently, and in doing so he strengthened his lungs and improved his lifestyle drastically. Ken's first race was the 2018 Tri-State New Jersey Beast — an awfully ambitious first attempt on a grueling course — and by the end of the year he had captured a Trifecta and completed six races overall. The following year he registered four Trifectas and finished 18 total races.

Ken faced another potentially devastating obstacle when he and his wife contracted COVID-19 early in 2020. They both suffered from shortness of breath, had colds and fevers, and experienced body aches. Both have recovered and are now healthy — in large part, Ken believes, because he had gotten in shape and strengthened his lungs. Had he contracted the virus in his earlier state, it could have proven to be fatal.

More: The Spartan Immunity Formula: Do This to Stay Healthy and Strong

Ken maintains that Spartan is keeping him healthy and keeping him going, and he can't wait to get back out on the course. His initial goal was six Trifectas in 2020, which he now hopes to nail down in 2021. It's a lofty goal, but we're not ready to count him out. Ken has made a habit of defying the odds. Why should this be any different?