How Does Spartan's CEO Make the Death Race the World's Toughest Race?

How Does Spartan's CEO Make the Death Race the World's Toughest Race?
Presented by Spartan Training®

The Spartan Death Race is considered by many to be the world's toughest race with iterations in both the summer and winter each year, and has seen just 10% of its racers complete its absolutely brutal itinerary in the past 10 years. Racers arrive at Riverside Farm in Pittsfield, Vermont hacking only a short (but oddly specific) packing list of items and blissfully unaware of the challenges they will face in the coming hours, or even when the race will begin. Could you conquer this beast of an event?

Though there is no set length of any one Death Race, a typical iteration lasts around 72 hours and features soul-shattering tasks like hauling immense weight up the infamous Shrek's Mountaintop, completing 26.2 miles of barbed wire crawls or burpees, and memorizing mind puzzles while incredibly, deliriously sleep deprived. 

Related: Are These the 7 Hardest Endurance Events in the World?

If the Summer Death Race is tortuous, the Winter Death Race is just one dig deeper. And Spartan CEO and Death Race founder Joe De Sena plans to keep it that way, making brutal changes to the race's programming every season.

“I’m always going to take things up a notch so that there’s never a discussion again,” he says. 

Don't believe us? Read up on a few recent years' itineraries and packing lists:

What Makes the Spartan Death Race the World's Toughest Race?

Over the years, Death Race competitors have faced various unthinkable tasks and tests, including:

- 14-Hour ruck
- Barbed wire crawl marathon
- Sandbag carry of 26.2 miles with 50 pounds
- Rope climb of 26. 2 miles (31,000 feet in seven hours)
- 26.2 miles of burpees (3000 in 12 hours)

    If you plan to take on any iteration of the Spartan Death Race, study up on our toughest obstacles ever, so you arrive fully prepared and ready to give it your all in Spartan fashion.

    The winner of the 2018 Death race Eric Hutterer told one reporter, “it's the toughest race in the world, and it makes you want to push yourself.”

    The Spartan Death Race's Two Critical Lessons

    Are you ready to push yourself to tackle the ultimate race challenge? If you are, sign up now and study these three insights from former Death Race champions and competitors on how they did it, and what it takes to be an extreme endurance athlete in the world’s toughest race:

    1. You absolutely need proper training.

    Death Race prep requires extreme training for what De Sena calls, the usual Death Race torture. Events for the 72-hour race are kept secret from competitors and have included pushing a 500-pound sled up a mountain, hauling buckets of gravel, and hours of chopping wood.

    Death Race 2018 finisher, Rachel Lotz, told that the ideal training includes tons of leg work. “You will have to rely on your legs to run, to hike, to carry, and to bear the weight of almost every task. I cannot emphasize how much you use your legs...”

    She also says to identify your weak areas and hit those extra hard. Hutterer trained for the Death Race by mixing up his workouts and going without sleep.

    Related: Every Extreme Endurance Event on the 2024 Schedule: Dates, Details, and Venues

    2. It's the world’s toughest race… for your mind.

    Mind over matter is crucial to Death Race success. One former winner says that competitors must understand that even when their head is telling them that they’ve reached their limit, their body can actually keep going. During the race, Hutterer told himself that there would be an end to the challenges. Studies show that positive self-talk can improve performance, so come up with a mantra you can use during the Death Race.

    Hutterer’s nearly eight-hour barbed wire crawl earned him a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records. While other competitors dropped out, he pushed through. “If I know I’m going to do it, I’m going to finish it,” he told the Mountain TimesThe world’s toughest race requires that degree of focus and determination. De Sena says athletes can reach that level and complete the race if they commit themselves fully.

    So commit, train harder than ever, get mentally sound, and experience the Spartan Death Race, the world’s toughest race.

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