Spartan Races come to Citi Field in Queens

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Sunday, May 24, 2015

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The Spartan Obstacle Course, known around the world, returned to Citi Field recently.

Joe Desena, a New Yorker, created the tough, intimidating, military-style obstacle race.

"It's a military obstacle course, jumping over things, carrying sand bags, you'll be different at the finish," Desena said.

The race director does not disclose the specific challenges participants will face ahead of time.

Desena was inspired to create the race by a combination of his childhood, his hometown and his tough mother.

"My mother was really tough," said Desena, a Howard Beach native. "I grew up in Queens the neighborhood."

Now, he's taken his toughness to 20 countries, and the Spartan has had more than 1 million finishers.

This year, Spartan at Citi Field teamed up with a charity for the first time, the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation(MMRF), which has successfully used endurance events to inspire fundraising.

Desena expects the partnership to be a real motivator for participants.

"When we team up with charity, makes it bigger than the race," Desena said. "It's that push you need to do it for a cause."

Thousands emerged at Citi Field to become New York Spartans, including WABC Sports Director Rob Powers and meteorologist Amy Freeze.