More than Mud - Daniel and Laurie Hale
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.
Daniel and Laurie Hale are hosts of the Getting Dirty Podcast, dedicated to helping others find and share their love for obstacle course racing.
How did the Getting Dirty podcast come to be?
Getting Dirty got started as a way for me to share my love of obstacle racing with those who were in love with the sport as much as I was. When I was training to do my first race back in 2011 I devoured everything I could read about the subject, but there really wasn’t a lot out there. Daniel, who was already an established podcaster in his own right, suggested we start a podcast that offered up information for the beginners out there who needed help getting ready for their first obstacle race.
What were your first episodes like compared to now, and how has it evolved?
Getting Dirty has evolved some from the early episodes, but we have purposely kept it light hearted and fun. Our motto has always been to have fun and not take ourselves too seriously. In the early episodes we tried to make training discussion the main focal point. But it has evolved into more focus on race recaps, interviews with race directors with some training thrown in for good measure.
How would you describe the target audience of your show? Who do you imagine you are talking to when you speak into the microphone?
We have always geared our show towards those that are new to the sport and those who just love having fun at mud runs and obstacle races. We have really stuck to that and feel that we have that niche well covered. When we do the podcast, we talk as if we are talking to a friend. And the amazing thing is we have met some really amazing people who started out as listeners who we now consider friends.
For a first time listener, is there a particular episode you would recommend they check out first to get a feel for your show?
I think all of our episodes stand alone for the most part. One of my favorite episodes was episode 29 – Chronicles of a Badass where I interview Frank Prather from the defunct Bad Ass America. He was so funny and offered a behind-the-scenes look at how hard it is to create a new obstacle race.
What are your favorite types of shows to do - race reviews, talking to race directors, interviews with athletes?
I love doing race reviews. I really love sharing my experience with others and hopefully get them excited to try a race they never considered before. It’s also fun talking about races that weren’t so good. One thing we always try to do is be as objective as possible. Just because I had a bad experience at an event doesn’t mean everyone will.
You guys seem pretty rare as a husband/wife podcast team. Why does that work so well for you guys?
I think it works really well for us because our personalities complement each other. I am the yin to his yang. We know each other very well and are able to play off of that. We both are a little goofy and it seems to be received well by the listeners. People really seem to get a kick out of us laughing at ourselves. It’s also funny when Daniel makes his off handed Sci Fi geek jokes that go over my head. Truly it is not an act – he does it to me all the time even when we aren’t recording!
You've seen a lot of events. What do think are the key ingredients to a successful race event? Who is really doing it right these days?
That’s a really interesting question because I think it’s really subjective. What I love about a race isn’t necessarily something that others may value. For me a great race will offer a course that is challenging to all fitness levels, but not impossible for beginners. I happen to be a self-proclaimed medal whore, so a race that has a great medal will have a soft spot in my heart.
If you want me to name names I would say the big three are a safe bet for a good time (Tough Mudder, Spartan and Warrior Dash). A promising newcomer is Battle Frog. They have come on to the scene to high praises from all who have done their races and they have strong financial backing that allows them to have a high production value. I also love the Human Movement events like Dirty Girl and The Zombie Run. They are all about having fun and offer great quality events.
To me I think it is great that some of the older races are trying to change things up a bit to keep things fresh and new. Tough Mudder offered the Legionnaire obstacles this year for returning participants. That got a lot of great buzz. Whereas Spartan changed their medals into pie pieces and did away with the separate trifecta medal which angered a lot of people.
What is it about obstacle racing that gets you excited?
I love being able to do things that I don’t get to normally do. I have a very corporate job that has me sitting in an office all day. So it’s like I get to have a secret life on the weekends. Every time I do an obstacle race I am amazed and inspired by those around me who are pushing themselves further than they ever have before. It really helps me put things into perspective, and it’s cheaper than therapy.
What's something that your listeners don't know about you that would probably surprise them?
Daniel and I met for the first time at the Rocky Horror Picture Show when I was in high school. We had mutual friends that set us up on a blind date and we have been together ever since!
What's ahead for you in 2015? Any personal goals or podcast goals to share?
2015 should be a fun year. I think the ORC bubble has burst and we have been left with a lot of quality events to choose from. We hope to offer more coverage to more local races in other parts of the country as well as covering more UK events.
On a personal level I have dubbed 2014 the year of reflection. I got diagnosed with a bizarre medical condition this year that has really limited my running. My training has also taken a backseat because of this, so my goal for 2015 is to get back to training, so I can do more of what I love – getting dirty!
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