More than Mud is an article and interview series dedicated to documenting the incredible characters and stories that we come across in the world of OCR and outdoor adventure and endurance racing events. They range from everyday heroes to extreme athletes but all have unique and engaging stories to tell.
How Did You Get Into OCR Racing?
As a child I was always climbing trees, hanging from branches and jumping over walls so I guess I always was an OCR'er but didn't know it. I excelled it all sports throughout my schooling days but football (soccer for you guys - yes I'm originally from London, UK) and boxing was my two biggest passions.
Having recently got hooked to American Ninja Warrior I always thought I would be good at some of the obstacles because of my sporty background and it just happened to coincide with an increase of OCR's around Dubai and the UAE.
So last year I got a few friends together, promised I train them and we entered our first OCR. It was the 5k Desert Warrior Challenge and we all loved it. I was hooked ever since and started looking around for more OCR's, the best OCR's and the best clothing (which lead me to you guys). I have completed 3 races since, many with friends who would not normally even consider doing OCR's.
How do you describe what you do to people outside of the OCR community? (and why you do it)
"In my spare time, I enter races where I have to jump in mud/water, crawl under barb wire and jump over walls. Do you wanna compete in the next race?" People who know me don't ask why. They just give me a stare and try looking for the nearest exit.
What's been your most interesting or memorable moment in your OCR career so far?
The most memorable moment was completing my first Spartan Race, a super, in February 2016. Before the race I got involved in the Spartan Street Team (shout out to Marie C) so really got to understand the ins and outs of OCR'ing which just increased my passion for anything and everything OCR related.
What's the best training or racing advice you've ever received?
In order to exceed in an OCR you need to be an all-round athlete, so train for that.
What personal challenges has OCR has helped you overcome?
As a suffer of Keratoconus, a rare eye disease which pretty much wiped out the vision from my right eye, I had to stop playing competitive sports, mainly team sports and I thought I would never have the passion for any sport again. There was a while where I stopped training and put on weight. However, OCR'ing enabled me to continue to be competitive, even if its against myself at the moment, and sporty again.
What inspires you?
Anyone who has the same passion for OCR'ing as I do.
Any race stats you'd like to share? Any goals for this year?
So far all the races that I have run, I did so with friends so it was never about completing the race in the quickest possible time it was about getting people involved in OCR who would never had considered it.
What's something about you that others might find surprising?
That I'm blind in my right eye. No one could tell because I wont let it stop me from doing anything.
What are your thoughts on the current state and future of OCR?
I would love it if OCR became an Olympic Sport. An in the Middle East, would love to see it grow and more races rather than a few a year.
Photos courtesy of Spartan Race
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