More than Mud - Orla "Vermontster" Walsh
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.
What's the story behind your nickname, "Vermontster"?
Well, first and foremost, I am a Vermonter... I was born and raised in good ol Vermont… and I am a monster out there racing…. only made sense to be the Vermontster…grr...
Have you always been into fitness, and if not, what was the turning point for you?
I have always always been involved in some sort of fitness, whether it be a team sport like soccer starting way back when I was 5…or I was swimming competitively when I was younger than became a sprinter in middle school, high school and college. My OCR turning point actually only started about a year ago at the Montreal Mont Tremblant Spartan Super where a friend was injured and couldn't run, so with no obstacle specific training I jumped right in! I was sort of burnt out of the 5ks and road races that this was a perfect thing for me! I absolutely loved it! I felt like Katnis from the Hunger Games!
What are the highlights of your race and event resume?
Always trying to place top 10 overall female or better! Colorado I took 2nd, DC I won, Tuxedo and Amesbury I took 4th. All races are highlights to my racing career! I showed up, I conquered, and finished the VT Spartan World Championship 2014!
What inspires and drives you to compete?
The drive and fire that inspires me to compete is truly my mother and best friend Christi whom have passed away in the last 10 years. I also live and race for all those who cannot compete in such events. We are all Sentenced 2 Life (S2L), meaning we are all given this one life and should live it to the fullest and take every obstacle given to us in our path and overcome them. Life was never meant to be easy, so I take on these daily obstacles and figure a way I am going to get over it and continue on with my life of racing and enjoying living!
What has been your toughest race?
My toughest race would definitely the Vermont Spartan WC 2013. It was my 2nd official obstacle race and I was so ill prepared for such a huge and long race. I come from a 5k running background, and I was nowhere near prepared for the gruelling terrain and distance! I came back with revenged and knocked off an house off my race this year from last year!
Do you practice specific obstacles before an OCR event?
I don't really but I SHOULD practice the spear WAY more than I do. I need some serious work with the spear. I try and hit on most of the obstacles throughout my training. Where I live, I don't have access to every obstacle.
Who are you outside of racing, and what are you passionate about?
Outside of fraying OCR and being a jock/athlete. I am a full time Emergency Room Nurse/Ski Patroller/Paramedic. I am a trauma junkie and love the fast pace of the ER. I am passionate about caring for my patients and providing them with the best knowledge I can give them. I am also 100% passionate about mission trips around the world. The amount of love I felt in Haiti from the local population was unreal. Outside or inside of racing, I am a pretty silly chick, who likes to hang with the boys and spit and you know all that stuff. I am quick witted and love to crack a joke here and there.
What would be your ultimate pump up song when you are at the starting line?
For sure...TURN DOWN FOR WHAT? Or…..DMX PARTY UP….
Some people love to race, some love to train, some love competition, some love winning - where do you find the most personal enjoyment in all of this?
That's a good question! I would have to say all of it! I love everything for the sweat from my work outs and training, to my competition and who are mostly my friends and love seeing them at the starting line with me!
What's next for you - what are your goals in 2015?
To train even harder than this year, find a coach who will provide me structure for my workouts and diet. I plan to drop my Vermont Spartan time and kick some serious butt!
Loved it! Want to come race with her! Well done.
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