As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to make life as we know it different and life threatening for some, many businesses have closed their doors for the time being. For the running community, many race directors have cancelled, postponed or made their events virtual.
For Spartan, having multiple runs worldwide, some on the same weekend, taking extra measures to keep their participants has always been top on their priority list. “Right now we are in line of what the CDC issued, at least in the US,” said Spartan Head of Global Brand Communications, Jonathan Fine. “We are postponed right now through May 18 and we have races that following weekend that we are keeping a close eye on. We’ll always follow what the government guidelines are especially as we are looking nationally and internationally. We need to make sure that whatever we are doing we are keeping everyone safe and following those guidelines.”
As the Spartan brand is known for their events that host large crowds and teamwork being a big component of what they preach, Spartan prides themselves in pushing that everyone lends a helping hand during the event. But as social distancing and staying to yourself is what needs to happen now for everyone’s safety, the team has come up with something pretty awesome to keep everyone connected and engaged while at home free of charge. “We created this whole program, Spartan Unbreakable,” said Fine. “There are a lot of aspects with it. From 6am to 8pm ET we have different things going on that are live. We have cooking nutritional tips, workouts and kids programs because people are at home with kids and we also started a Zoom channel that runs 24 hours a day and we have someone that run a group every hour. We have a lot of our coaches on there that you can connect with and have conversations on there.”
And if that’s not enough and you still crave some competition, Spartan has something for you too. “We are launching with Craft Sportswear the Unbreakable Challenge,” explained Fine. “That’s really the only component that has a dollar attached to it, but it’s only if you want to compete at the elite level. There are prizes, but its basically daily challenges that are based on speed. You put in your time and at the end of the day you can see your ranking.”
As things are changing daily with COVID-19, Spartan is already in talks of what changes will be made when they are able to safely host their events again. “It’s one of those things that we aren’t going to know until it happens but we are starting to talk about,” said Fine. “We aren’t making any solid changes yet but we are keeping our eye on that.” And, as cases in China have seemed to go down lately, the interest is still there for the Spartan brand. “It’s pretty encouraging that our partners in Asia, I want to say our Beijing race, we rescheduled it for August and people are already buying tickets for it,” said Fine. “We’ve had close to one thousand registrations for it, as of just a few days ago. As things become safe again, people are ready for these again.”
When Spartan began, their motto was straight and to the point; to transform one million lives with their events. And as millions of lives are being affected and transformed right now due to COVID-19, Spartan will continue to be there to help those get back to leading happy and healthy lives once this all passes. “Everyone craves human connection,” explained Fine. “That’s the reason that we have so many races is because people need to put a date on the calendar. When they have that date on the calendar it gives them something to look forward to and helps them train and eat right. It’s important to stay motivated even though there is some uncertainty, because as soon as things get better, you’ll be ready to get back out there.”
For more information on Spartan and Spartan Unbreakable visit, www.spartan.com