Ely man resigns days after his claims to have served with the Royal Marines are shown to be false

13:49 04 January 2014

Spartan Race director Richard Lee.

Spartan Race director Richard Lee.

Where images used, credit to Spartan Race/ Epic Action Imagery to be referenced.

Ely man Richard Lee has resigned after his claims to have served for three years with the Royal Marines were shown to be false.

The 30-year-old was one of the founders of the globally popular Spartan Race, a unique endurance race which attracts thousands of competitors in more than 60 events held worldwide.

But, caught up in a growing storm over his claims to have served with the Royal Marines mountain troop, it was announced that he had resigned

Mr Lee, a former King’s Ely pupil, said: “I was wrong, I am sorry, and I want to apologise for the fact that I publicised that I had passed out from CTCRM as a Royal Marines Commando Officer.”

And Joe De Sena, chief executive of Spartan Race, also confirmed that Lee had resigned, saying: “Richard and I spoke at length regarding the inaccuracies surrounding his status as a Royal Marine, and ultimately, Richard and I concluded the only honourable thing for him to do would be to resign his position.”

In countless interviews carried out with local and national media since Spartan Race was established in 2010, Mr Lee, claimed to have served with the Royal Marines mountain troop.

Speaking to race website muddyrace.co.uk, Mr Lee is quoted as saying: “When I was at university I was in the University Training Corp and that put me through university. After this I went into the mountain troops in the Royal Marines for about three years but I broke my leg which meant I left.”

In interviews with the Ely Standard, Mr Lee also referred to his service with the Royal Marines.

But, his claims came to the attention of a veterans group known as The Walter Mitty Hunters Club HQ, an online group which carries out background checks on people claiming to be former servicemen.

The group produced evidence it said cast doubt on Mr Lee’s service claims never and, just days later, a statement was issued by Spartan Race and Mr Lee apologising for what they called “inaccuracies”.

But the apology did little to quell a rising tide of anger online and, hours after his initial apology, Lee tendered his resignation.

Subsequently, he explained that, in 2006, he went through selection to become a young officer in Royal Marines and, after being selected, began training in 2007. During his 18-month course, however, he broke his kneecap and was forced to take a break.

After an assessment from a doctor, he was advised that the wound had not properly healed and that he would not be able to complete his training, something he described as “a huge blow”.

0 comments

More news stories

Yesterday, 16:59
Frances Gillett's surprise 75th birthday party at Little Downham Village Hall. Picture: Steve Williams

She was told she would be lucky to reach 40, but Frances Gillett, who has Down’s Syndrome, has defied the odds and celebrated her 75th birthday - and is now believed to be the oldest women in the world with the condition.

Yesterday, 13:05
East Cambs councillors may get a rise from April

They’ve not had a pay rise since 2013 but councillors in East Cambs could finally get an increase on their basic £4,261 a year from next April.

Yesterday, 16:07
The two teams shake hands before their charity match.

Charitable football talents from Witchford have raised over £700 to help two local footballers’ rehabilitation after they were involved in a hit and run earlier this month.

Yesterday, 11:16
There was another accident on Padnal Bank this week - this time involving three cars.

A car carrying a family with young children spun off a notorious East Cambridgeshire road less than 48 hours after work was completed on installing safety measures.

Most read stories

Most commented stories

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Ely Standard e-edition E-edition
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up