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'm always looking to challenge myself and the mix of running PLUS obstacles seemed like a perfect fit for my skill set.
How do you describe what you do to people outside of the OCR community? (and why you do it)
They always ask "It's like a Tough Mudder, right?" and I'll usually just let that fly, but, if they press or genuinely seem interested I actually try to convince them to try it for themselves. It can change your life!
What's been your most interesting or memorable moment in your OCR career so far?
I've got a client at my gym who was working with one of my trainers to get in shape for a hiking trip with his kids. Not only did he reach his goal of losing 50 pounds and completing the hike, BUT he enjoyed the training so much that he has run his first 5k, his first half marathon, his first trail race AND his first OCR. We brought him out to the Ohio Spartan race in 2015 and a group of us all started in the same heat.
He was gracious enough to let us run our own race upon the promise of heading back out to help him finish. Once we were done, we went back out to find him roughly 2 miles from the finish with a large bulk of the obstacles to go. He was determined to do everything (or at least try) and he did an amazing job. He was very overwhelmed at the finish and I was very emotional as well. It's a great experience to see the accomplishment on someone's face who just did something they never dreamed they were capable of only a few short month earlier.
What's the best training or racing advice you've ever received?
Run your own race. It's not a race against the person next to you, but a race against yourself. You are the one who has to suck it up and do the work. You are the one who has to fight and claw through the course. As long as you give it your best effort, there will never be anything to be disappointed about.
What inspires you?
My kids inspire me. They inspire me to be the best Dad I can be. They inspire me to be the best husband I can be. They inspire me to be the best person I can be. And they inspire me to be the best athlete I can be. I want to show them that you can excel at anything you put your mind to and i want to show them what a fit and healthy lifestyle can do for you.
Any race stats you'd like to share? Any goals for this year?
So my goals for 2016 include reaching the podium more often and consistently. For the 2016 OCRWC, I finished 10th in the world for the short course. I've run more than 30 races and have finished in the top 25 in ALL of them with 12 age group wins and typically a top 3 age-group finish. I have finished third overall in each of my last two races and finished 5th (2nd in age group) and 11th (1st in age group) in my last two Spartan races. I have been averaging only 3-4 race per year and I hope to triple that number this year. I believe that more racing and more consistent racing will help me reach my goal of more podiums.
What's something about you that others might find surprising?
This may not be what other's might find surprising and more along the lines of what am I working on, BUT, I am in the process of building my own obstacle course on the grounds of my fitness facility. It'll be a short course (similar to the new OCRWC format) of 1.8 miles (3k) and include a lot of the traditional obstacles you normally see plus a few added wrinkles of my own. Hopes are to have this completed by late Spring.
What are your thoughts on the current state and future of OCR?
I think we are at a major crossroads right now as far as growth is concerned. There are a LOT of companies beginning races because they see the money that can be made and but not a lot of them well. I think the popularization is a good thing but a double-edged sword as the added growth of the industry invariably brings out the bad in people as well.
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