New Ely headquarters for multi-million pound Spartan Race company

Spartan Race director Richard Lee.

Spartan Race director Richard Lee. - Credit: Richard Burley/ Epic Action Imag

EX-Royal Marine commando Richard Lee has new premises in Ely for his multi-million pound business Spartan Race, which organises endurance events world wide.

Fire Leap.

Fire Leap. - Credit: Richard Burley/ Epic Action Imag

The company has moved into offices and a warehouse in Lancaster Way, where the company houses everything from locally built obstacles to sound and lighting for the challenge events.

Spartan Race director Richard Lee.

Spartan Race director Richard Lee. - Credit: Archant

“We used to be like a travelling circus,” said 30-year-old Richard, a former pupil of Kings, Ely. “Ely provides the perfect location for our business, centrally located to serve our races in the south of the UK and Europe. There is also an abundance of skilled workers in the construction sector, perfect for constructing obstacles which we can ship out to events.”

Richard and his partner Selica Sevigny, who live in Ely, set up the Spartan Race business with USA ironman Joe DeSena, after Richard won one of DeSena’s brutal 48-hour endurance events. It is now said to be worth an estimated £30m.

In 2010 they ran just three events, one in Cambridge, one in the USA and one in Canada, with around 5,000 participants. The following year there were 27 events, and last year more than 60 races were held across the globe.

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Spartan plans to run 78 events worldwide this year, including races in India, Slovakia, Mexico and the Czech Republic, with 1.5m participants taking part in endurance races.

Richard said: “We have had some rapid expansion. We have just signed Reebok as an international sponsor for the next three years.”

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The races encourage entrants to discover their inner warrior, by taking on a string of challenges, from leaping through fire and barbed-wire mud crawls, to 15-foot rope climbs and spear throwing.

The 2013 seasons kicks off with a 5k course near East Grinstead on August 25, followed by a Cambridgeshire event at either Waterbeach or Bassingbourn barracks on September 1, expected to attract 10,000 entrants.

Richard said: “Spartan races are physical and tough. Our mission is to get people off their couches and back into the outdoors.”

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