Are you sick of the relentless pussification of Wall Street? Does it just burn you up inside that the majority of your co-workers consider eating 8 items from the vending machine over the course of 12 hours a challenge, which most of them would fail miserably and not be put in a burlap sack and beaten? Do you want harken back to a time when instead of being asked to participate in some dinky little JPMorgan 5k “challenge” or harangued into taking a Pilates class with one of your colleagues and getting your nails done after, you were going around the office signing people up for a feat of strength involving rolling around in the dirt, being lit on fire, and possibly dying? You’re not alone.

A small but growing number of financial services professionals are taking part in “extreme adventures” such as the “Spartan Race” and the “Death Race,” in which participants are forced to, among other things, crawl under barbed wire and defy their food allergies. The events are operated by Peak Races, which was founded by Collins Stewart managing director Joseph Desena, who describes the company’s MO as such: “Our best analogy to present our message is that we are all animals. Visualize this: You come home one day and your pet is watching Oprah, drinking a coffee, toenails painted, smoking a cigarette, and complaining that she needs a new mattress. Or you come home and that same dog just ran 22 miles chasing a bird, killed it, ate it raw, and drank some water. Which animal is the normal one?” I honestly have no idea how that is supposed to communicate what PR’s message is but what I think Desana is getting at, and what I suspect were probably his original words before his quote was cleaned up for print was, “You wanna be a man or you wanna be a f*g?”

Assuming you said you wanted to be the dog that eats birds “raw,” here’s what you’ll have to look forward to in exchange for a $50-70 entrance fee:

“Spartans, prepare for glory!” bellows a bearded man in a cape and helmet as he paces before more than 1,700 jittery aspiring warriors. “No retreat! No surrender! That is Spartan law. Remember to return with your shield—or on it!” Then he grunts—”Ah-roo!”—and a horde of adrenalized hoplites charges forth with abandon. Soil abounds in Brooklyn’s Spartan Race. For more than three miles, racers overcome irregularly spaced hurdles, a 12-foot-high pile of wood and dirt, a horizontal climbing wall, an inclined ramp greased with shortening, and—just before the finish line—two bare-chested men with jousting sticks. It’s messy, but is it really Spartan? “I’m a big fan of the movie 300, and we were looking for a symbol that represented ingenuity, bravery, strength, and the will to overcome adversity,” says co-founder Sevigny. “The Spartans were renowned for that.”

And it’s not just for Spartan dudes, Spartan ladies are welcome, too. Stefanie Bishop, pictured, has been doing these things for about a year and says the events are a great way to put the ax she owns to good use and to also pick up new clients for her day job as a vice-president of equity derivatives at brokerage firm Elevation. She was the first woman finisher and sixth overall in this past winter’s Death Race, in which she had to sit in an “ice-broken pond” for 45 minutes and chug a gallon of milk. “One of the girls was lactose-intolerant,” she said. “She put it down pretty quickly, but part of it came up.”

Another bafflingly cruel Death Race task required Bishop to bushwhack through mountainous woods carrying a pack filled with $50 worth of pennies (about 28 lbs.), 10 lbs. of raw onions, and an 8-lb. Greek language primer (for later use in translating the sentence “The race is only a quarter over”). In the middle of the woods they were met by a crowned man who called himself the Onion King. Contestants were forced to chop up the onions in 1-in.-by-1-in. pieces, sort them into 1-lb. bags, and eat one bag. On the other side of the mountain, they had to eat another pound. It could have been worse: During the winter running of the race, contestants were given a sequence of eight two-and three-digit numbers to memorize. After running four miles, they had to recite it correctly—or else run back up the mountain.

What’s New For Weekend Warriors: Extreme Adventures [BW]

94 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (94)

  1. Posted by Omahabillionaire | August 31, 2010 at 1:33 PM

    In the Nebraska version of the story, newly minted bankers have to run through the town of Beatrice, Nebraska, stop a local citizen and mispronounce the name of the town as “BEE-ah-triss” and then suffer the harangue that follows on how to properly pronounce the name of the town as “bee-AT-triss”.

  2. Posted by charles festerbottom | August 31, 2010 at 1:33 PM

    what ever happened to speed hummers?

  3. Posted by Guest | August 31, 2010 at 1:33 PM

    Handbridge required.

  4. Posted by Ultralong | August 31, 2010 at 1:35 PM

    This is so unbelieveably fucking lame
    get a job on a ranch and add value you pussies
    running around in the woods eating onions is about the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard

  5. Posted by Guest | August 31, 2010 at 1:39 PM

    “I’m a big fan of the movie 300″. Dude probably drives a Cayenne, too.

  6. Posted by Lehgenius | August 31, 2010 at 1:40 PM

    A really tough part of the Death Race I participated in was when we had to shave our chests and simultaneously try to explain whether our options book was net 2 billion short or net 4 billion long to a Barclay’s rep.

    Former Lehman Trader

  7. Posted by anon | August 31, 2010 at 1:40 PM

    I’d let her chop my wood….. metaphorically speaking.

  8. Posted by Meredith Whitney | August 31, 2010 at 1:43 PM

    Pussies. Let me know when you are ready for some real fun.

  9. Posted by PasteSpecialFormats | August 31, 2010 at 1:44 PM

    Lights on, and by ‘lights on’ I mean by moonlight on the side of a wooded mountaintop while the Onion King sodomizes me with three rolls of quarters and whispers sweet nothings to me in Greek.

  10. Posted by InfiniteGuest | August 31, 2010 at 1:45 PM

    cocktail napkins.

  11. Posted by FoamCowboyhat | August 31, 2010 at 1:47 PM

    No mention of a certain “Tavern”? Must not be much of a race then.

  12. Posted by InfiniteGuest | August 31, 2010 at 1:49 PM

    You have to shroom before all this, right?

  13. Posted by Charlie's intern | August 31, 2010 at 1:50 PM

    I once ran barefoot through Penn Station to catch the 5:04 to Ronkonkoma.

  14. Posted by guest | August 31, 2010 at 1:51 PM

    So my choices are the coffee, cigarettes, and couch-based TV watching package, or playing make-believe army man with people who ask to sit on a frozen lake and chug milk. Who did this asshole say was the normal one?

  15. Posted by Junk | August 31, 2010 at 1:53 PM

    I’ll teach her some “Greek”!

  16. Posted by Guestofguest | August 31, 2010 at 1:55 PM

    Lame. try a fucking Ironman or triatholon instead of this bullshit fantasy land.

    Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war… our Great Depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.

  17. Posted by Theonionking | August 31, 2010 at 1:56 PM

    Oh, the stories I could tell.

    The Onion King

  18. Posted by Dcantor64 | August 31, 2010 at 1:56 PM

    That axe never gets old

  19. Posted by charles festerbottom | August 31, 2010 at 1:59 PM

    Someone call the waaaaaabulance!

  20. Posted by Pinger | August 31, 2010 at 1:59 PM

    I train athletes for extreme endurance events.

    -Ping Capital Quant

  21. Posted by Stainedchrome | August 31, 2010 at 2:01 PM

    I’d like to buy the rights to the “Onion King” moniker for a potential new line of adult themed toys and devices for personal, sensual use.

    Gundlach

  22. Posted by Guest | August 31, 2010 at 2:02 PM

    Why not just shoot guns and kill animals. This is as awful as LARP. Plus I can eat the onions, run the hills, kill and dress a deer, AND bench 250#.

  23. Posted by Benchpress15000 | August 31, 2010 at 2:05 PM

    Pretty good for a bantamweight player.

  24. Posted by charles festerbottom | August 31, 2010 at 2:05 PM

    well played my good man(?)

  25. Posted by Taint it fun | August 31, 2010 at 2:07 PM

    What’s the first rule of Spartan Club? THere is no Spartan Club!

  26. Posted by ExtraOrdinaryPopularDelusions | August 31, 2010 at 2:11 PM

    Yeah, well, the Spartans were also renowned for sodomizing little boys (it was ok as long as there was no anal involved).

  27. Posted by Grt | August 31, 2010 at 2:20 PM

    “Visualize this: You come home one day and your pet is watching Oprah, drinking a coffee, toenails painted, smoking a cigarette, and complaining that she needs a new mattress.”

    Sure, but how is her ass?

    -D. Kneale

  28. Posted by Dfsdsdfsd | August 31, 2010 at 2:21 PM

    In Soviet Russia, your money wastes you!!!

  29. Posted by InfiniteGuest | August 31, 2010 at 2:22 PM

    go on get them out.

  30. Posted by Jimmy Cayne | August 31, 2010 at 2:23 PM

    Sounds gay.

  31. Posted by Anonymous | August 31, 2010 at 2:24 PM

    i have a sneaking suspicion the onion king will be with us for a long time after today

    http://76.my/UserImages/Items/0907/07/madkit@12.jpg

  32. Posted by ChicagoChick | August 31, 2010 at 2:25 PM

    BLEWME–GUNDLACH HEADLINE “BOTTOMING PROCESS” Help me

  33. Posted by TyroneSlothrop | August 31, 2010 at 2:25 PM

    Pussies. There’s an organization that will PAY you to walk around in the Hindu Kush, chasing actual tough guys. No onions in this “adventure,” just AK rounds and IEDs. This Cayenne-driving sissy embarrasses himself.

  34. Posted by TyroneSlothrop | August 31, 2010 at 2:25 PM

    Pussies. There’s an organization that will PAY you to walk around in the Hindu Kush, chasing actual tough guys. No onions in this “adventure,” just AK rounds and IEDs. This Cayenne-driving sissy embarrasses himself.

  35. Posted by PopeSchlomo | August 31, 2010 at 2:25 PM

    The Spartans were Catholic priests, too?? Who knew??

  36. Posted by ChicagoChick | August 31, 2010 at 2:31 PM
  37. Posted by Big Cat | August 31, 2010 at 2:31 PM

    I see the “Like” and “reply” button, but where’s the “Little Bitch”?

  38. Posted by Lewis Winthorpe III | August 31, 2010 at 2:32 PM

    My 17th interview at Goldman was an exact rendition of The Most Dangerous Game. LvP made me swear on GS’s Businesses Principles (“Commandments”) that I would never release the details, but obviously since I’m posting here, you can correctly deduce that I was asked to come back the following week for another chat.

  39. Posted by Big Cat | August 31, 2010 at 2:33 PM

    I would look so regal in that shirt

  40. Posted by noname | August 31, 2010 at 2:37 PM

    in soviet russia, the king onions you.

  41. Posted by Dennis Kneale | August 31, 2010 at 2:41 PM

    Hey Desana, you pussy. Meet me at Minetta’s to discuss how I will turn you into sour mash and drink you. I will be the poodle with pink nail polish drinking a cosmo.

  42. Posted by Apocalypse Futures | August 31, 2010 at 2:42 PM

    As they say in Australiar, I’d chop her!

  43. Posted by Spartan Capital | August 31, 2010 at 2:51 PM

    Anyone catch this nugget in the comments section of the BW article?

    “King Tito-Neidas
    Aug 27, 2010 11:35 PM GMT
    Great Article! Any chance you can tag the photo of me? Tyler “Tito” Keefe as King Tito-Neidas Thanks! ”

  44. Posted by Dead_Cat | August 31, 2010 at 2:52 PM

    I know which one the dog would prefer. And I’d agree. Especially with me not being a massive whoopsy and all.

  45. Posted by BF | August 31, 2010 at 3:02 PM

    Man these Spartans are fags.

    -Elton John

  46. Posted by Dude | August 31, 2010 at 3:03 PM

    Theoretically stupid; economically unproductive; in practice retarded.
    Other than that I have no concerns.

  47. Posted by A_Real_Spartan | August 31, 2010 at 3:24 PM

    That race is for the meek. Try drinking a gallon of breast milk while in a hot tub located at a Rocky mountian resort. That reduced O2 is a pain to deal with.

  48. Posted by Anonymous | August 31, 2010 at 3:31 PM

    Of course.

  49. Posted by OptionsTrader | August 31, 2010 at 3:32 PM

    What’s all the nay-saying about? Punch of pussy bankers can’t complete the challenge?

    Ya that’s what I thought, get back to correcting the font on your pitchbooks. Don’t worry, after you have realized you wasted all your 20’s analyzing worthless shit, I’ll make sure to bust a nut on your forehead as I complete a deal in Paris that leaves me the rest of the week to party. Leave the tough shit to the traders.

    -Your bosses bosses bosses boss

  50. Posted by Polychronopolis | August 31, 2010 at 3:32 PM

    Onions make me gassy.

    other than that, I have no concerns.

  51. Posted by Tax Chick | August 31, 2010 at 3:35 PM

    These pussies also probably still play D&D in their mother’s basement.

  52. Posted by Anonymous | August 31, 2010 at 3:40 PM

    Which is a lamer concept– this pseudo-USMC training thing (that sounds more like a frat hazing but whatever) or the dateharvardsq.com thing from yesterday?

  53. Posted by Hamilton | August 31, 2010 at 3:42 PM

    I tried a Death Race once, and beat Morgan Stanley.

    – Dick Fuld

  54. Posted by I saw Lenny steal Twizzlers. | August 31, 2010 at 3:53 PM

    “Playing D&D in your mother’s basement” is how I’ll now refer to having sex with someone’s mom.

  55. Posted by Cr@p Th!nk | August 31, 2010 at 3:53 PM

    Seems like the ’75 version of Deathrace would be more appropriate for this audience. Well, that, and hunting humans for sport.

  56. Posted by LordHumongous | August 31, 2010 at 3:59 PM

    Goldman?

  57. Posted by Anonymous | August 31, 2010 at 4:02 PM

    OK, you go run up a mountain backwards eating onions while shouting in Greek that you like to have sex with goats.

    I’ll show up with a lawnchair, a 12-pack and an air rifle and take shots at you while you lag.

    Who’s going to have the most fun?

  58. Posted by Lewis Winthorpe III | August 31, 2010 at 4:05 PM

    “Oh,” said the general, “it supplies me with the most exciting hunting in the world. No other hunting compares with it for an instant. Every day I hunt, and I never grow bored now, for I have a quarry with which I can match my wits.”

  59. Posted by Anonymous | August 31, 2010 at 4:12 PM

    SAC.

  60. Posted by Pump and Dump | August 31, 2010 at 4:14 PM

    Chuck Palahniuk would like his monologue back.

  61. Posted by Girl in the picture | August 31, 2010 at 4:16 PM

    Where are my hips? Am I sure I am not a tranny?

  62. Posted by Anonymous | August 31, 2010 at 4:18 PM

    Best. Tags. Ever

  63. Posted by Guest | August 31, 2010 at 4:21 PM

    Since when does doing things in Brooklyn make you more manly…

  64. Posted by Guest | August 31, 2010 at 4:36 PM

    In Soviet Russia it did.

  65. Posted by Anonymous | August 31, 2010 at 4:51 PM

    “the traders”

  66. Posted by OptionsTrader | August 31, 2010 at 4:59 PM

    Yes yes it’s always easy to hinder than create, right banker bro?

    -Guy who likes to start shit with Bankers

  67. Posted by Anonymous | August 31, 2010 at 5:00 PM

    it’s strange that you are under the bizarre assumption that everyone here is a banker and no one a trader.

  68. Posted by Buzz Killington | August 31, 2010 at 5:01 PM

    Actually those were the Athenians not the Spartans

  69. Posted by Guesst | August 31, 2010 at 5:02 PM

    So that’s why the company is called Elevation…

  70. Posted by Sheila Bair | August 31, 2010 at 5:06 PM

    Well done. Don’t you have a little league game to go to and knocked out at?

  71. Posted by Guest | August 31, 2010 at 5:11 PM

    I’d let her eat my 1 lb bag of onions, if you know what I mean.

  72. Posted by Just saying | August 31, 2010 at 5:13 PM

    Stefanie Bishop should be running in the Preakness with the Noel sisters

  73. Posted by OptionsTrader | August 31, 2010 at 5:16 PM

    I don’t knowwwwww Bessie I never met a trader that backed down from a challenge. I have met plenty of Bankers that think they are too good for getting their hands dirty.

  74. Posted by Moloch | August 31, 2010 at 5:23 PM

    I brought a bottle of Tanqueray and a shotgun and showed them the best damn time they’ve ever had.

  75. Posted by Pfluger the Barbarian | August 31, 2010 at 5:24 PM

    The Onion King is a friend-a-mine.

    -CG

  76. Posted by The Real Death Race | August 31, 2010 at 5:38 PM

    That’s not a death race. This is a death race…
    http://www.canadiandeathrace.com/

  77. Posted by Meistro | August 31, 2010 at 5:56 PM

    Beth – Take a Vaca

  78. Posted by Anonymous | August 31, 2010 at 5:57 PM

    Actually, I’m a PM. Now please go execute your orders like a good little robot.

  79. Posted by Anonymous | August 31, 2010 at 6:00 PM

    The Spartans sodomized their women– was the only form of premarital sex they allowed (go look it up).

  80. Posted by Dissatisfied Customer | August 31, 2010 at 6:14 PM

    What the fuck, Bess? I just got the pants I ordered from Bonobos, and they’re too short–by like 20 percent.

  81. Posted by Gozer | August 31, 2010 at 6:19 PM

    OptionsTrader is the coolest guy he knows

  82. Posted by Guest | August 31, 2010 at 6:22 PM

    I’ll be the one with the 12 gauge over&under & a liter of Turk 101.

  83. Posted by Bonobo Customer Service | August 31, 2010 at 6:25 PM

    You ordered the right size? They run small since they’re targeted at investment bankers and bowlegged african primates.

  84. Posted by Receptionist | August 31, 2010 at 6:41 PM

    That’s because they are shorts. So don’t go around pretending you’re too tall for your pants. You’re a midget banker, like everyone else.

  85. Posted by Mr. Market | August 31, 2010 at 7:07 PM

    Just so you know, you can toggle the PIK and send them worthless garbage as payment. But you knew that.

  86. Posted by Matt Roloff | August 31, 2010 at 7:09 PM

    Watch your mouth, asshole.

  87. Posted by Guest | August 31, 2010 at 10:11 PM

    best DB post of the year.

    and yes, definitely required.

  88. Posted by Grifter_40 | September 1, 2010 at 2:00 AM

    Sounds like that guy Desena never said or implied anything close to what this idiot wrote about.. he should sue her personally and should sue the magazine.. Desena is trying to build an awesome brand that appeals to people’s health and this idiot goes and put that slanderous thing in quotes implying that he said that? get a life lady.. the writer of this should be sued and punished for that.. its this kind of trash that works agianst our decent society. terrible.

  89. Posted by Grifter_40 | September 1, 2010 at 2:01 AM

    Sounds like that guy Desena never said or implied anything close to what this idiot wrote about.. he should sue her personally and should sue the magazine.. Desena is trying to build an awesome brand that appeals to people’s health and this idiot goes and put that slanderous thing in quotes implying that he said that? get a life lady.. the writer of this should be sued and punished for that.. its this kind of trash that works agianst our decent society. terrible.

  90. Posted by Grifter_40 | September 1, 2010 at 2:02 AM

    Sounds like that guy Desena never said or implied anything close to what this idiot wrote about.. he should sue her personally and should sue the magazine.. Desena is trying to build an awesome brand that appeals to people’s health and this idiot goes and put that slanderous thing in quotes implying that he said that? get a life lady.. the writer of this should be sued and punished for that.. its this kind of trash that works agianst our decent society. terrible.

  91. Posted by AmericanBandersnatch | September 1, 2010 at 10:42 AM

    Very cute, but if she starts singing “Only You” in six languages I would leave.

  92. Posted by Kmathis | September 1, 2010 at 12:25 PM
  93. Posted by SPP | September 2, 2010 at 1:31 AM

    bud does he lie it’s his wife’s car as his is in the garage?

  94. Posted by Taiji Tamura | January 10, 2012 at 5:14 PM

    OMG, you are never more alive than before you die!