Spartan Race Acquires La Ruta Mountain Bike Race

Spartan La Ruta 2

Spartan La Ruta Mountain Bike Race

This morning, Spartan Race announced they have acquired La Ruta De Los Conquistadores Mountain Bike Race, which calls itself the Toughest Mountain Bike Race On The Planet. It is a 3 day race that covers 161 miles, crosses 5 mountain ranges and has a cumulative 29,000 feet of climb. Under the terms of the agreement, Spartan, will acquire the La Ruta event and brand, while current founders and organizers Roman and Florencia Urbina will continue to operate the main event.

Spartan Race entered the trail running space earlier this year, launching a dozen or so events across the country. Next weekend, they are holding a Spartan Trail Championship with a $50,00 pay out.  Rumors are they have been looking to acquire some large established trail brands to continue to expand their portfolio in 2020.

A couple of questions immediately arise:

Will Spartan Race send experienced mountain biker Ryan Atkins?

We reached out to Ryan this morning who told us: “Coming from a background in XC mountain bike racing, I’m super stoked that my two worlds are colliding! I’ve always wanted to race La Ruta and maybe now I’ll be able to do it.”

Also, will all of these acquisitions be successful for Spartan, or will they end up in an AOL/Time Warner type situation?

Stay tuned true believers. Stay tuned.

Here is the complete press release:

Storied La Ruta De Los Conquistadores Mountain Bike Race Enters Strategic Partnership with Spartan to Expand the Event and Global Footprint
Acquisition by the World’s Largest Endurance Brand will Grow the Original Multi-Day
MTB Race In Its Home of Costa Rica and Beyond

BOSTON, MASS. (December 5, 2019) – Following the 27th annual La Ruta De Los Conquistadores multi-day mountain bike race, which traverses Costa Rica coast to coast, from Pacific to Atlantic over a three day-period, Spartan and organizers of the historic race have announced a partnership between the two endurance brands. Under the terms of the agreement, Spartan, the world’s largest obstacle race and endurance brand will acquire the La Ruta event and brand, while current founders and organizers Roman and Florencia Urbina will continue to operate the main event. 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 bring the format of the three-day adventure Mountain Bike Race, to regions across the world – something the brand is familiar with having grown from one event in Burlington, VT with 700 attendees to a global phenomenon 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 partnership is another move for Spartan to expand and grow its business outside of obstacle course events, as it launched a traditional trail running series in 2019, Spartan Trail, which is expanding across the globe 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 1560’s began a 20-year journey through the beautiful and treacherous mountains of Costa Rica. When it was done, Roman emerged more convinced than ever that hard challenges can engender truth, understanding, and self-knowledge that can push anyone to greatness. Determined that such a trip had to be turned into an annual epic event, he created La Ruta and the rest is history.

For more information and to register visit:

With more than 250 events across more than 40 countries on six continents, Spartan is the world’s largest obstacle race (OCR) and endurance brand. Providing transformation through sport, Spartan attracts more than one million annual participants across all fitness levels, from beginners to elite. More than five million participants have finished Spartan events, creating a lifestyle that extends beyond races including health and wellness products, training and nutrition programs, and popular media content, which has made OCR one of the fastest growing sports in the world. Spartan events feature races at various distances, Stadion and Sprint: 3-mile/5-km and 20 Obstacles; Super: 8-mi/13-km and 25 Obstacles; Beast: 13-mi/21-km and 30 Obstacles; and Ultra: 30-mi/50-km and 60 obstacles. Visit for more information and registration.

MEDIA CONTACT: Jonathan Fine, +1 781.248.3963,




Matt B. Davis

is the host of the Obstacle Racing Media Podcast and the author of "Down and Dirty-The Essential Training Guide for Obstacle Races and Mud Runs". He is also the only (known) #wafflehouseelite obstacle racer.
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