More than Mud - Kevin Norville

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?

My cousin-in-law showed me a video of a Spartan Race 3 years ago and I was instantly captivated. I signed up for my first Spartan Sprint later that day. A few months later, I ran in that Sprint with my son, wife, and other family members. I've been hooked ever since!


How do you describe what you do to people outside of the OCR community? (and why you do it)

I tell them that the races are amazing, they build confidence, and the best part about them... anyone can compete! For some, they don't have to worry about competing against other people--they are competing against themselves. I tell other people that the reason I run OCRs is because I love to challenge myself and want to see if I can outperform what I did in the previous event. I also enjoy meeting new people and going to different places and seeing what kind of setup they have on different landscapes.


What's been your most interesting or memorable moment in your OCR career so far?

I have two that are tied: They are from the very first race that I ran in the Spartan. Running and finishing the Sprint with my son was awesome. The other favorite moment of mine had to be when my wife and her cousin/ best-friend completed the same Sprint. It was also both of their first races and the hug that they gave each other after completing it was extremely emotional and it embodied the spirit of OCR.

What's the best training or racing advice you've ever received?

Don't ever let anyone else outwork you.


What personal challenges has OCR has helped you overcome?

It has provided me with a long-term motivation for staying in shape. Years ago, I would work out hardcore for a month to 3 months and then fall off. Preparing for running competitively has helped me to focus and sustain a non-stop, ass-busting regimen. I now understand that my strength and conditioning are a life-long commitment, not just a 2-3 month effort. I learned that due to OCR.


What inspires you?

My family without a doubt. The will to win and continuously challenge myself is my internal motivation.


Any race stats you'd like to share? Any goals for this year?

I'll keep you posted. I'm running elite events for the first time this year, and looking to make some noise. We'll see how those go.


What's something about you that others might find surprising?

Hmmmm... I'm pretty much a "what you see is what you get" type of guy. However, I asked my wife this question and she said, "That you're 45. You look like you're in your early thirties." I responded, "I thought you said before that it was my early twenties." To which my youngest daughter says, "More like your early seventies!" Grrrrr.....

Also, I've got a herniated disc in my neck which caused nerve damage down my left arm and into my hand and a couple fingers. It affected my arm and grip strength and was a setback for awhile. It's not something that I talk about regularly, but it has been another challenge that I've worked extremely hard to overcome.


What are your thoughts on the current state and future of OCR?

It's gaining momentum with every passing season. I think the sky's the limit because of the many different skills that this sport requires: Stamina, speed, strength, balance, etc. NBC has picked up the Spartan Championship Series this year and I would say that that exposure will enhance the sport as it moves forward.


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