Who is Behind Agoge?

Joe De Sena

Joseph De Sena, 46, has been an entrepreneur since his pre-teen years. From selling fireworks at age eight, to starting a t-shirt business in high school, to building a multimillion-dollar pool business in college, to creating a trading firm on Wall Street, De Sena is a living definition of the word “entrepreneur.”


Joe’s message of inspiration and personal transformation, combined with his status as an author on the New York Times Best Seller list makes him a popular speaker for a variety of business groups, including Pepperidge Farms, the Association of Corporate Growth (twice), Florida Venture Forum, and the independent TedXBeaconStreet.

A full-time resident of Pittsfield, Vermont, Joe De Sena knows what it feels like to succeed outside the office – and that’s the feeling he seeks to bring to the world’s athletes with the Reebok Spartan Race series. Throughout his life, he competed in any extreme sports adventure he could find, testing his mental and physical endurance against nature.

Joe turned an interest in endurance racing into a passion. His racing resume is the stuff of legend – over 50 ultra-events overall and 14 Ironman events in one year alone. Most of his races are 100 miles or more with a few traditional marathons in the mix.

To put it in perspective, he raced the Vermont 100, the Lake Placid Ironman and the Badwater Ultramarathon…in one week. The elevation climb for the 135-mile Badwater race, which starts hundreds of feet below sea level in Death Valley, is over 8,500 feet up to Mt. Whitney and temperatures soar into the 120’s. Joe also biked cross-country in the Furnace Creek 508 which has been coined “The Toughest 48 Hours in Sport.”

Joe’s other athletic achievements include:

  • Raid International Ukatak: Canada, January 2001
  • IditaSport: Alaska February, 2001 (1st place)
  • Odyssey Adventure Race: Big Island, Va., March 2001
  • OAR Beast of the East: Clayton Lakes, Va., April 2001 (1st place)
  • Raid The North Extreme: Newfoundland, June 2001 (13th place out of 42)
  • Adrenaline Rush: Dublin, Ireland, July 2001
  • Discovery World Championships: St. Moritz, Switzerland August, 2001

De Sena’s no. 2 New York Times Best Seller, launched in May 2014, called Spartan Up!: A Take-No-Prisoners Guide to Overcoming Obstacles and Achieving Peak Performance (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014). It’s an insider’s look at the world of obstacle racing.

De Sena’s prescription for life’s insurmountable obstacles is to get off the couch and crush them through hard work and force of will.