Francis Ogilvy jumps over fire - Spartan Race - Winton House
Risking the crown jewels!

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 13: Spartan Race training camps staged

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 21: Spartan Sprint, cross-country obstacle race

Spartan ‘warriors’ are set to invade one of Scotland’s most historic castles as a special training session gets underway later this month (August).

Winton House, in Pencaitland, East Lothian, well known for its hospitality and events, is the venue for a Spartan Race training camp to be held on the grounds on Wednesday, August 13.

Its purpose is to prepare racers for one of the toughest sporting events staged annually in Scotland, the Spartan Sprint, on Sunday, September 21, a challenging 5km cross-country obstacle course race.

Spartan races are designed to bring out the “inner warrior” in racers. Huge crowds will watch competitors of all age groups, from beginners to hardcore warriors and endurance athletes, grapple with fearsome, military-style obstacles that test their physical stamina and mental toughness. Obstacles are kept top secret on purpose to surprise racers, but they may tackle 15-foot rope climbs, slippery 7-foot ramp scaling, spear target-throwing, carrying sandbags up steep hills and barbed-wire mud crawls. Would-be Spartans may also have to scale 25-foot-high cargo nets, leap through fire and endure plunging into sub-zero ice-pits.

Time penalties are common, punishable by a compulsory set of 30 burpees, meted out irrespective of gender. And, contrary to some people’s expectations that Spartan Race events are all just about male testosterone, in fact over 45 per cent of Spartan racers are women.

Winton House is a dramatic, Scottish Renaissance castle in an inspiring setting just outside Edinburgh. It was built by the Setons following a grant of land by David I to Phillip de Sayton in 1150. (Philip de Sayton’s grandfather fought with William the Conqueror at Hastings in 1066.) Phillip’s grandson married the sister of King Robert ‘The Bruce’ of Scotland. In the sixteenth century, Henry VIII had Winton burnt in an effort to impress Mary Queen of Scots, and Mary Seton was later her Lady-in-Waiting.

The August 13 training camp offers racers the chance to learn skills they will need on race day, including how to overcome obstacles such as mud, water, steep hills and other hurdles safely while avoiding injury.

The September 21 Spartan Race will involve 15 obstacles, spread across the grounds of Winton House. But their exact location will be kept a secret on purpose until race day.

Francis Ogilvy at Edinburgh Spartan Sprint - Winton House
Francis clearly survived!

Dan Tuffnell, Spartan Race UK’s Director and Licensee, said today: “Winton House is a stunningly beautiful location and the perfect place for our training camp this month and race event in September.

“We especially like the home-grown Scottish mud and if we get lucky, it can be quite windy. So there’s a word or warning to anyone planning to take part in a kilt.

“The race is both challenging and also huge fun and we urge anyone taking part to also join our training camp. On race day, there will be some water challenges, crossing ditches, dikes, maybe a lake crossing, plus some thorny undergrowth, tight valleys, and a surprise or two among the natural obstacles, like trees. So training camp and learning the necessary safety skills are important.”

Spartan Race is supported by its title sponsor, the global fitness brand Reebok, and Run For Charity, which helps competitors maximise the money they raise for charity.

Francis Ogilvy with his medal.


Two sessions will be held, each lasting three hours. The morning session starts at 9am and runs until 12 noon. The afternoon session is from 1pm to 4pm. Beginners and more advanced racers are welcome at both sessions. The charge is £10 with free parking. To book, email See more on the Spartan Race training camp here.


The first heat gets underway at 10am. For full details, including how to book, please visit our website or email
Visit for more information on Winton House and for the team building activities available.

Notes to Editors

Picture credit: thanks are due to “Epic Action Imagery” for being able to use some of their photos.

For more information about these Winton House events, Spartan Race training camp or race day, or to request an interview, please contact Christopher Lamotte at Winton House on 07957 870071 or email; for Spartan Race media inquiries, contact Alec Lom on 07802 401302 or email

For details of all Spartan Races visit:
For Spartan Race obstacle race videos, visit:
Follow Spartan Race UK on Facebook at
Follow Spartan Race UK on Twitter: @spartanraceuk

About Spartan Race

Founded in 2005 in Pittsfield, Vermont, USA by Joe De Sena, Spartan Race Inc. CEO/Founder and seven other insane ultra athletes, Spartan Race has become more than just an obstacle race. Booming in popularity globally, Spartan is now a lifestyle brand that encourages men, women and children to lead a fitter, healthier and more successful life. Its target audience is anyone from Olympians to first-time racers to couch potatoes.

There are three race levels: the Spartan Sprint, the Spartan Super, and Spartan Beast. Dedicated Spartan racers who complete all three receive a special medal known as the coveted ‘Trifecta’. There is also a Junior Spartan race for children, staged in three different age categories, 4-7yrs, 8-10yrs and 11-13yrs.
Each year culminates in a World Championship, with more than $300,000 (£180,000) in cash and prizes awarded in 2013 alone.


  • A Spartan pushes their mind and body to their limits
  • A Spartan masters their emotions
  • A Spartan learns continuously
  • A Spartan gives generously
  • A Spartan leads
  • A Spartan stands up for what they believe in, no matter the cost
  • A Spartan knows their flaws as well as they know their strengths
  • A Spartan proves themselves through actions, not words
  • A Spartan lives every day as if it were their last

About Reebok

Reebok International Ltd, headquartered in Canton, MA, USA, is a leading worldwide designer, marketer and distributor of fitness and lifestyle footwear, apparel and equipment. An American-inspired global brand, Reebok is a pioneer in the sporting goods industry with a rich and storied heritage in running, training and fitness. Reebok is committed to helping consumers fulfill their potential and be “fit for life”. Reebok develops products, technologies and programming which enable consumers to live a healthy lifestyle and have fun doing it. Reebok is the title sponsor of the Reebok Spartan Race.

About Run For Charity

Founded in 2009, Run for Charity ( aims to increase the number of people running and raising money for charity in the UK. Run for Charity is the only website dedicated to charity running and provides information and support to more than 12,000 new fundraisers every month. Run for Charity offers memberships to charities of all sizes. The memberships provide effective strategies to minimise costs and increase fundraising levels.