He Created the Death Race. Now, a New Extreme Offering

Meet Andy Weinberg, founder of the Endurance Society
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 17, 2018 11:00 AM CDT
His Frostbitten Toes 'Looked Like They Were Dunked in Lava'
A stock photo of the Adirondack Mountains.   (Getty Images)

More than 1 million people clamor their way through a Spartan obstacle race each year. Andy Weinberg has moved on to a more extreme kind of challenge. He's the co-founder of Spartan but no longer a part of it following a legal battle between him and co-founder Joe De Sena. What drives a man to create the "world's largest endurance brand"? And what does he do next? Kevin Koczwara answers those questions in a Men's Health profile. He recounts how a young Weinberg battled ADD by swimming, a practice that ultimately landed him a scholarship to Missouri State University. After college, he grew weary of the travel involved in trekking to Iron Man and other races, so he launched his own in central Illinois.

He met De Sena, and the two were of the same mind: Endurance races were light on surprises. So the two came up with the Death Race, which was the polar opposite. "You might have to find your clothes in a snowbank after a bikram yoga session ... or work with your fellow racers to build a set of stairs up a mountain," writes Koczwara. That evolved into the Spartan brand, and after Weinberg split from it, he created the now-4-year-old and even more challenging Endurance Society. The events are in some cases secretive and in most cases not for the faint of heart. Witness Koczwara's opening anecdote of seeing almost unbelievable photos of Weinberg's frostbitten toes (which "looked like they were dunked in lava"), the result of a 48-hour subzero 20-plus-mile hike over eight Adirondack peaks. Read the full story here. (More Longform stories.)

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