Paul Jones of NE Spahtens – which is a great New England based Spartan group – has a really good interview with Norm Koch in Episode 36 of their podcast. Norm is the former Race Director at Spartan Race and recently left after several years of legendary course designs.
Norm attributed the parting of ways to creative differences. Apparently, the Spartan Race wanted to develop some consistency among race venues. In other words, they want race design that could be adapted to any venue.
I definitely see both sides of it. I think the bottom line is that… it’s about the dollar. They want a cookie cutter course, they want it to be standardized, and you can’t have my race standardized amongst all of them. You know, some people love my course, some people hate it and say they’ll never come back.
Norm went on to say that Spartan dropped him as an employee a month ago but asked him to stay on in a contract capacity. Ultimately, he decided that the time away from his family and they type of work wasn’t for him so he decided it was time to part ways.
They’ve grown to a point where they want a certain type of product and consistency and that’s just not going to fly with me.
He reiterated that he’s not leaving OCR and he hopes to work with some other organizations to keep designing courses. Hopefully he lands somewhere soon and he will be missed. Listen to the entire podcast at newenglandspahtens.com
Source: New England Spahtens