What Is Spartan Race Agoge?


With the possible end to the Death Race there was suddenly a new race for lovers of extreme endurance to pursue. Welcome The Agoge from Spartan Race. Only this wasn’t out of thin air as a replacement to the now missing Death Race, the Agoge (pronounced Uh – Go – Gee) was a long time vision of Spartan Race and Peak Races founder Joe De Sena.

Joe said in his interview with Matt Davis, “I started writing a curriculum about a year ago, maybe more, I started writing it for Spartan Ops.” Joe sees this as a building experience for races and not a crushing event put on just to test your limits, stating that:

I want rather than having 90% failure rate, like in previous races I have put on, I want to have 100% success rates. I want people to come out of Agoge and be transformed. Literally have all the tools they need to do amazing things.

And so I hear all the time that people that have done our events are transformed but they don’t necessarily know why. They can’t pinpoint the attributes, virtues, and things that they have gained. This will have a combination classroom setting and physical workload. We are going to crush people like I am known to do but they are going to learn why and they are going to come out the other side knowing. There is no silliness associated with this, it is going to lean a little more toward the military.


When asked further about what the event will be like in comparison to previous events De Sena explained the difference and new structure for the Agoge:

I’m actually going to give people an ability to tap out gracefully, everybody signs up for the 60. But at 24 they can tap out and say they completed the 24 as opposed to not finishing. at 48 they can tap out and say they completed the 48. To make it those 12 extra hours they’re going to have to be prepared to climb Everest, it’s going to be that level to get through the 60.


Having heard all of this directly from Joe we still had a few questions we wanted answers to. So we followed up with a few quick questions and answers with him by email and found out a little more insight into this new event –

Who will run the Agoge events?

CSM Frank Grippe
Colonel Tim Nye
Charles Piso
Tony Matesi
Joe De Sena
Johnny Waite
Brian Walker

We are also adding 3-4 other individuals known by the community AFTER they go through the Sept event.

Do you have a proposed first venue?
We are debating west coast central or east coast for first event.

Will there be a standard curriculum for all events? Or will it change from event to event?

There is a standard curriculum

Will you need a crew, or be able to have one?

Can bring crew

Is it team based or individual?

Both team and individual

What type of athlete will likely have the best chance at finishing 60 hours?

60 hours will be likely if an extraordinary individual, from 48-60 will be like swimming the Atlantic.

With regard to – Everyone signs up for 60 but can gracefully drop at 24 and 48 – What if they choose to go on from 24 or 48 but don’t make the next cut? Will it be less graceful? 

Less graceful if they cannot meet a scheduled exit time.

Are there medals or awards for the Agoge?

Stone hand carved tablet and a coin upon completion.


There you have it, straight from the creator of the Spartan Race Agoge. If you want to read more about what the real Agoge was in ancient times start with the Agoge Wiki Page. And if you really want to dig deep into what the ancient Agoge was like, try this book on Leonidas’ experience in the Agoge – Leonidas of Sparta: A Boy of the Agoge. If you have any more questions leave a comment and we will try to get answers.

January 30th, 2015 Update – We interviewed Agoge Class 000!

Oh and, sign up for The Agoge now!

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Dario is a long time distance runner and OCR athlete. When not on the roads and trails logging miles he can be found drinking coffee while reading bad science fiction books.
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  1. Bad spelling and grammar… Waste of my fuckin time. I will not learn from a fool. Joe, get off your high horse and do this shit yourself. Oh, and it’s *there. Your other sentence doesn’t even make sense! I’m done!

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