Innovation Leader Interview: Thaddeus Lawrence Ultra-Marathon Endurance Racer

The Innovation Race

Thaddeus Lawrence Interview - The Innovation Race, Travelers Tales

About Thaddeus Lawrence: Thaddeus has participated in the “racing the planet” ultra-marathon series, which consists of races across the 4 largest deserts spanning over 1000KM. This series has been rated by TIME magazine as one of its Top Ten Endurance Competitions in the world. Thaddeus has raced unsupported through the Sahara, Gobi, Atacama and Antarctica deserts. He also recently attempted a race through the Italian Alps that was the equivalent of three Everest sea to summit climbs. We asked Thaddeus what the motivation behind racing is and how that has impacted his interpretation of the concept of the innovation race - along with how he sees the innovation race from a Singaporean perspective.


  • How do you define the word “race”, and what does it mean to you?
  • What does winning mean in the context of an ultra- endurance race?
  • What are you racing against, what are you racing for, why are you racing?
  • What is the most difficult part of an ultra-marathon endurance race?
  • How much courage did it take retire, and how hard was it to say ‘no more’? Why is this important in the context of a global innovation race?
  • What can we learn and what parallels are there between ultra-marathon endurance racing, and the innovation race?
  • How can Singapore successfully transition from an innovative sprint, to a long term sustainable innovative culture?