More than Mud - Craig Johnson
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?
Started out seeing about Tough Mudder and then saw the Spartan Trifecta's and figured I would enjoy that more. Which I do. First year of OCR was in Open waves because I wasn't sure how I would stack up against the Elites…then seeing my finish time versus the Elite waves, I knew it was time to go competive (to match my extremely competitive self)
How do you describe what you do to people outside of the OCR community? (and why you do it)
I describe OCR as a great way to just be a legitimate overgrown child and along with other hobbies, like climbing, a great way to relieve stress and face different problems. For those that aren't as fit (or crazy) as I, I just tell them I like doing OCR and testing my limits and that if they ever want a challenge, I will run with them and help them.
What's been your most interesting or memorable moment in your OCR career so far?
Besides meeting a ridiculous amount of new friends, my most memorable moment to would be either my first World Championship race in Killington (2014) or NJ Super in September of 2015, when one of NBC's drones nearly took out the middle of the Elite pack going up that first hill...
What's the best training or racing advice you've ever received?
Never stop, keep training, keep pushing, and keep it up!
What personal challenges has OCR has helped you overcome?
Some personal challenges I've had that OCR has helped me overcome was realizing that our bodies can take whatever anyone, including Norm (eff Norm) can throw at it… the ability to improvise, adapt, and overcome any obstacle life can throw you. You may not be able to make it across a rig the first time,vbut if you push yourself you will the next time. Same thing in life, you may not get your dream job or event, but determination and drive, you will.
What inspires you?
My children and my drive to be better, I hate failure. I don't want to look like a failure to my family so I constantly push myself so that I won't disappoint them.
Any race stats you'd like to share? Any goals for this year?
My race stats just keep getting better every year, and that's a testament to my desire and drive to be better, even working odd shifts and the normal calamity of life. My goal this year is to find some sponsors and just continue growing and improving. As much as I would love a podium, I think a coin (Spartan series) is more obtainable, anything else, is also an achievement.
What's something about you that others might find surprising?
I have a weird crazy addiction to Taylor Swift's music… and I have no idea why…
What are your thoughts on the current state and future of OCR?
I like the current state of most OCR venues, I think there needs to be a better distinction between Elites and Open Racers. Most recently being limiting how you complete an obstacle in a certain series. I understand the reasoning behind it, but one must also take into account that banning certain moves or tactics for racers who are competing is a low blow in my book. It's all about speed, skill, and motivation (and some shit luck too)… limiting those competing only makes them want to go to other OCR venues that are less "soft" (for lack of a better word)
Photos courtesy of Spartan Race
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