In September 2018, Rakuten partnered with Spartan Race to get people off the couch and on to the front lines of physical fitness. With more than 200 events across 40  countries, this is a partnership of global scale. Rakutenians the world over have howled the “Aroo!” battle cry, joining over a million Spartans around the world and forming Spartan teams inside Rakuten’s 17,000-strong workforce.

Under the banner of “One Team,” over 30 employees took part in two simultaneous races in France and the UK in May 2019. The spring weather conditions were perfect – just cool enough to get the blood going, and warm enough for the ground to be firm underfoot. 

The racers included Rakuten Aquafadas CEO Olivier Alluis and Rakuten EVP of Brand Development and Sustainability EMEA Mark Haviland, who reflected on their first Spartan experience after the race: 

“The feeling of achievement, that moment after the race when you know you have pushed yourself and completed a new challenge, is one that stays with you forever,” commented Alluis.  “Each of us have different ways in which we extend ourselves, finding new envelopes to push and heights to reach. For some, the Spartan race is the perfect path to that goal.” 

Haviland added, “When planning and preparing to run, there are three ideas to keep in mind. First, prepare for your own goals, but run for each other. Second, know that everyone – no matter how experienced – is in the same boat. We are all seeking our own new heights. Third, know that it is your mind as well as your body that you bring to this challenge, and they both will reap the benefits.” 


There are many more exciting Spartan Stories out there.  Rakuten Arena recently produced a documentary honoring their efforts and success. It can be viewed here.