runABC Scotland News

10 May

King Richard Of The Spartans

Richard Lee Running

A stop-over in a New England town led to a late race entry for Richard Lee. It wasn't the local 10k though, Richard signed up for the Death Race, a 48 hour endurance event. Even more surprisingly he won it!

Richard was so taken with the Death Race format that post-race he combined forces with event organiser Joe Desena to take some of the elements of the Death Race - the obstacles that have to be faced, the extreme physical challenge, the unpredictability and the mental dimension - and translate that into an accessible event that would be both demanding and fun. And so the Spartan Race series was born!

Richard's military background was perfect. As an officer in the Royal Marines, he had completed assault courses on a daily basis - so his experience and expertise made him perfectly qualified to design Spartan Race courses that would put others through their paces. He jumped at the chance to make the transition from 'poacher' to 'gamekeeper' and went about the design of the Spartan courses with relish.

After a 2010 launch in the United States, the Spartan Race was introduced into the UK and this year has grown to a seven location format. SCOTTISH RUNNING GUIDE talks in depth to the unassuming Richard Lee in the summer edition (published 16 May) about life in the Royal Marines, how he's had to allow his 'evil streak' to flourish in developing the Spartan series and his hopes for the future.

Read more about Richard Lee and the Spartan Race series in the summer edition of SCOTTISH RUNNING GUIDE (published 16 May). And check-out our feature on Baxters Loch Ness Marathon, how to cope with the demands of 'long runs' and why runners should holiday in the Scottish Highlands.