More than Mud: Gemma Hebdon

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?

I was looking for something new to motivate me to train, I'm an ex-soldier, who had hated the assault course back in my serving days but figured it could be fun. We all need an escape occasionally from being a mum to 3 little people, and I found it on weekends by running with friends. I then did a Spartan Race, with a group from my gym and had so much fun that I went back the next day to do the Super alone. I placed pretty well for my first race and was hooked!


What Are Some Challenges OCR Has Helped You Overcome?

OCR has allowed me to focus when other things in life haven't been great. In the past 2 years, some historic issues have surfaced and I've suffered with PTSD. But knowing I can race, run, and forget real life for a specific amount of time has helped me so much. Knowing that people look up to me, that I'm responsible for getting an handful of friends off their backsides and active, volunteering, running training for events, because of ME..... makes my battle all worth while!

What Does The OCR Community Mean To You?

It gives me something to aim for, something outside of work and family that I can call mine. It means I can inspire others, my kids (aged 4, 5, and 8) love to come along and cheer - even more so if they can take part in a junior event. OCR is inclusive of everybody, no matter what level, shape or size.

There is a big part of me that loves to do a course with friends or youth groups that have never experienced OCR before, the feeling of accomplishment, sharing the moments that define the race for them, the fear, the pride, the achievement, and euphoria when an obstacle is beaten for the first time. It's amazing!


What’s Your Most Memorable Moment In OCR?

Bearing the Dragons back at The Worlds after it floored me in 2016, I really worked hard on my fear of the dragon this year, took a trip to Malmo so I could work on it, so beating it, with my band was amazing - and losing my band afterward at the rig was insignificant to me as the rig is something I can work on and get better on, Dragons back is totally mental!

Any Goals Or Race Stats To Share?

I've had numerous Top 10 finishes, with a 3rd place (McTough Guy), 3rd Okave (Winter fan dance- non OCR but special forces 15 mile tab), 4th Dirty Dozen 12km and 6th Judgement Day 10 mile, along with many top 10 in age finishers in Spartan and a Spartan Worlds qualifying place in 2015. I'm striving for a podium place again, and of course to complete 100% at the OCRWC in 2017

For free OCR training tips, get this powerful free OCR Guide: Warrior Strong - How Elite Athletes Become Resilient to Injury in Obstacle Course Racing

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