Spartan Race CEO and founder Joe De Sena spoke with Front Office Sports as he crossed from the Slovakia border into Ukraine on Thursday.
In the truck De Sena was riding in were some of the $500,000 worth of supplies delivered to Ukraine by Spartan Race officials since the Russian invasion.
The early runs were led by Spartan Race franchise partners in Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland. Central and Eastern Europe are among the endurance race series’ strongest markets outside the U.S., and it has an affiliate based in Kiev.
Teams, Leagues Aid Efforts
While international sporting bodies like Formula 1, FIFA, and UEFA have suspended Russian teams from competition, many leagues and teams have also led fundraising efforts to help Ukraine and its 3 million-plus residents who have fled to neighboring countries.
- The Premier League has donated $1.31 million.
- Real Madrid has pledged $1.1 million.
- The Utah Jazz Foundation partnered with Airbnb to provide 32,200 nights of temporary housing for Ukrainian refugees.
- NASCAR team owner Richard Childress said he’d donate 1 million rounds of ammunition.
“It’s easier to get into Ukraine than you think because they want the aid,” said De Sena. Among the supplies delivered by the Spartan team: 200 bulletproof vests, food, clothes, and hydration rations.