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Taking on the world of off-road: Spartan acquires La Ruta MTB event


Following the 27th annual La Ruta De Los Conquistadores multi-day mountain bike race, which traverses Costa Rica coast to coast, obstacle race specialist Spartan has announced a partnership between the two endurance brands.

Under the terms of the agreement, Spartan, billed as ‘the world’s largest obstacle race and endurance brand’ will acquire the La Ruta event and brand. Current founders and organizers, Roman and Florencia Urbina will continue to operate the main event. A release added that this further marks Spartan’s expansion into new avenues of sport and fitness.

“From the day I set out to follow the steps of the Spanish Conquistadors – Juan de Cavallón, Perafán de Rivera and Juan Vásquez de Coronado more than 27 years ago, La Ruta has organically grown into the event it is today, and we’re excited to work Spartan to continue the tradition while taking the event to the next level,” said Roman Urbina.

“Similar to La Ruta, Spartan is an authentic brand that turned into a global movement and we could not ask for a better partnership.”

As part of the acquisition and partnership Spartan will work closely with the La Ruta founders to take the format of the three-day adventure mountain bike race, to regions across the world. This is something that Spartan is familiar with having grown from one event in Burlington, VT with 700 attendees, to a global series with 250 events on six contents and more than one million annual participants.

Future plans will also turn the flagship La Ruta event into a gated championship, with a pre-qualification feeder system through brand’s global events. The 2020 event will be the last with open registration.

The flagship La Ruta event in Costa Rica runs from the Pacific to Atlantic over a three day-period. The acquistion is seen as another move for Spartan to expand and grow its business outside of obstacle course events. It launched a traditional trail running series in 2019, Spartan Trail, which is expanding across internationally as well.

“As we expand Spartan to all avenues of fitness and endurance sports, mountain biking is a natural fit, and beyond that, La Ruta has built an incredible event that shares our values for grit and determination,” said Spartan founder and CEO Joe De Sena.

“Roman and Florencia have created one of the toughest endurance events on the planet, and we can’t wait to share their vision with the world. Much like we did with the introduction of Spartan Trail, we look forward to bring the Spartan community together with La Ruta’s and the global mountain biking community to introduce and grow each through shared passion and experiences.”

La Ruta began when Roman Urbina, an elite Costa Rican athlete and adventurer gathered a group of 17 friends to retrace the steps of the three conquistadores who, in the 1560s began a 20-year journey through the mountains of Costa Rica. Determined that such a trip had to be turned into an annual epic event, he created La Ruta and the rest, as they say, is history.




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