Foundr Magazine Podcast with Nathan Chan

Joe De Sena, like many of us, is a fitness fanatic. But his approach to fitness is a bit more...intense than most.

De Sena used to participate in countless obstacle course races, Ironman events, and marathons around the world. But even those weren’t challenging enough for this hardcore athlete. That’s why, after wrapping up a decade-long career on Wall Street, De Sena decided to start his own adventure racing company.

The first race De Sena hosted was on the British Virgin Islands, and it didn’t go very smoothly. That race cost De Sena half a million dollars and resulted in a participant getting lost at sea for several days.

Thankfully, the races have evolved a bit since then—although are no less challenging—and are known today as the Death Race and Spartan Race, which are collectively a $60 million business that has revolutionized the world of obstacle racing.

Check out this interview to learn more about De Sena’s financial, mental, and physical journey to popularizing this global franchise.


Key Takeaways

  • De Sena’s decade-long stint on Wall Street, and how it helped fund his next venture
  • Why De Sena decided to start his own adventure racing company
  • How the very first race De Sena hosted on the British Virgin Islands went terribly wrong for one participant
  • The birth of Death Race and Spartan Race
  • Why De Sena never gave up on his company, despite losing $8 million in the process over a span of 15 years
  • How the network effect eventually helped the obstacle course races gain traction
  • The expansion of Death Race and Spartan Race to 45 countries
  • De Sena’s honest thoughts on work-life balance and what it takes to be an entrepreneur
  • A sneak peek into his latest book, The Spartan Way
Direct download: FP281_Joe_De_Sena.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:09am AEST