Team MudGear Blog

Profiles in Badassary: Maxine Colvey June 01 2017, 0 Comments

MudGear Profiles in Badassary 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?


As an out of shape 22 year old, at the encouragement of my close friend, I ran my first Tough Mudder in Toronto. And it took us about 5 hours to complete. Even though my heels were bleeding from shoes that were too small, I loved every minute on that course. I immediately signed up for another. After that season, I looked in the mirror and was miserable, I was overweight and didn't feel comfortable in my skin, so I decided to do something about it. In June 2015, I began working out regularly and fixing my diet and I have lost over 30 lbs and gained a significant amount of muscle. At the end of 2015, I started running multi-lap mudders, for 30 miles in a weekend. That was just the beginning. This season, I have accomplished goals that I never imagined were possible and it all started with that first day on course. OCR has changed my life. I am fit, confident and happier than I have ever been and I am so grateful for our sport.



What Are Some Challenges OCR Has Helped You Overcome?


Throughout my childhood, I always felt like an athlete. I played sports regularly and I was always fit. Somewhere along the way, I fell off that train. At 23, I was overweight and unhappy. OCR has led me back to that lifestyle and I am the strongest and healthiest I have ever been. OCR has really helped me regain confidence. Confidence stems from hard work and the efforts I put forward on and off the course have allowed me to believe in myself in ways I never did.

What Does The OCR Community Mean To You?


Everything. My community is my family. The bonds I have made with other athletes is like nothing I have ever experienced and I am so grateful to share my life and many courses with them. As much as I love a number of different series, my real passion is with Tough Mudder. My Tough Mudder family is the most accepting and encouraging group of people I have ever met. It doesn't stop there, being out on course and receiving encouragement from strangers is what sets OCR apart from other sports. We want everyone to win.



What’s Your Most Memorable Moment In OCR?


My most memorable OCR racing moment was at BFX Toronto, which took place on my 24th birthday in July 2016. I set a goal of four laps for the day, and if I was capable maybe even five. I started out on my first, casually talking to another girl as we took turns gaining leads on each other. We caught up to the same pace on our second lap and chatted the rest of the day. We became instant friends. As we started to complete more laps, we noticed that we were gaining negative splits and decided to push for the last bit of our 4th lap to make it out for a 5th. I was surprised on my ability, I was able to exceed my original goal and earn a silver maple leaf. I ended up placing 5th overall and 1st in my age group, that coupled with a new lifelong friend made for the best birthday ever.



Any Goals Or Race Stats To Share?


Here is a link to my Athlinks profile, with a full breakdown of my 2016 season: https://www.athlinks.com/athletes/262053757. I have also ran 13 Tough Mudder events and over 20 laps last season, often being the first female to cross the finish line. I have also competed in World's Toughest Mudder. 

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

 

 


Profile in Badassary: Janet Gubser May 18 2017, 0 Comments

MudGear Profiles in Badassary 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 husband saw a video and said "you can do that." I said "I don't like mud." Training for my first race, I missed a box jump and ended up with 11 stitches. When I finally did run, I fell 2 miles in and limped the other 7. I was hooked.

What Are Some Challenges OCR Has Helped You Overcome?

Several years ago, I was in some ruts in my life. I had a job that did not satisfy me; my daughter was struggling with alcoholism (and had a small baby), and I suffered from depression and anxiety. I just felt like I did not have anything to look forward to in my life. After I started doing a couple of OCR's I felt more in control of my life; I did not feel that life was beating me. I changed jobs and gave my daughter the tough love that helped her start working out her problems. I also noticed that the helpless/hopeless feelings disappeared and that when they do return, I feel in control and know that I good run will help more than lying on the couch watching Netflix.



What Does The OCR Community Mean To You?

I have an entire OCR family. They understand going back to work on Monday with bruises and cuts, feeling spectacular, but knowing that no one there will get it, that all of my other world friends think that I have a death wish and don't have "real" hobbies. They cheer me on and cry with me; they push me to be my best, but also to have good sense and take breaks. Even the family that lives several states away is always supportive and we hug and cry together at races.

What’s Your Most Memorable Moment In OCR?

This one weekend, I was running the Winnsboro Beast on Sunday. On Saturday, I came in in the top 20 elites females and was thrilled, so I was going to take it easy. About 3 miles in, the volunteers started yelling "Hey 4th place; 3rd is about a minute ahead." A mile or so later another racer came alongside and said, "you can get ahead of that girl, she is like 20" (I am 47) and he pushed me the rest of the race. I did 30 more burpees and finished on 2 1/2 minutes slower than Saturday. I did not know I had that in me. OR . . . standing in the cold water at the Ohio HH thinking "I cannot do this; I cannot do this; I cannot do this" and then finishing (there are far too many curse words that belong in that sentence); it was the one time that I really thought about quitting.

Any Goals Or Race Stats To Share?

I placed 3rd in Female Master's Elite in 2 races last year.  I was 19th elite woman at the Winnsboro Beast and on Sunday I was the 6th Competitive Woman. I am consistently in the top 3 of my age group and usually in the top 10 master's elites

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


Gearophilia picks MudGear as "Essential Gear for a Mud Run" May 18 2017, 0 Comments

Outdoor product research site, Gearophilia, has selected MudGear trail socks and MudGear Compression OCR socks among its picks for "Essential Gear For a Mud Run" in their May 2017 review article.  

The full story is available at  https://gearophilia.com/essential-gear-for-a-mud-run/


Profiles in Badassary: Paul Ryan May 04 2017, 0 Comments

How Did You Get Into OCR Racing?

I was looking for something after my mom died from a brain tumor. I made a decision that I needed to start truly "living". I have always needed "my mountain" to motivate me. Each summer I try to go hiking which motivates me, but the rest of the year I needed more "mountains". OCR racing became "my mountains" and after running my first race a year ago I have been hooked ever since. Over 12 races later I have come to point where I am competing on a very high level. I am almost always one the top guys in my age group and in the top 10% of all males 


What Are Some Challenges OCR Has Helped You Overcome?


OCR racing has helped motivate me to become a better person. OCR has brought out something in me that I didn't realize was still there. OCR helped me overcome the death of my mom. It has become the mountain I need to prepare for each week. I hope to be racing for the next 20+ years.

What Does The OCR Community Mean To You?


The OCR community has changed my life. I truly believe OCR racers are unique in that they think about more beyond just their own time. Many OCR racers have the same or similar story. They are looking for something more than just running in a Half-marathon where it's all about you and that road. OCR racers love and thrive on being a part of a team. We love improving each race but we love more to support others on their journey. I love hearing the interaction between OCR racers during a race. If you need help any racer is there to help. Every racer encourages each other and motivates those in need.

What’s Your Most Memorable Moment In OCR?


My most memorable moment was running the SPARTAN race in Dallas. I was in the best shape of my life and while running the BEAST on Saturday I was able to truly lead my team. The first 7 miles we were running an elite time with 100% completion of obstacles but when we reached the mountain section of the race one of our team members had some serious asthma attacks which were rare for her. At times we thought we might have to carry her and she kept wanting to quit. What I loved was the fact that no longer did we care about being elite. No longer did we care about time. Now we only cared about a promise we had made the night before... WE WOULD FINISH TOGETHER. For the rest of the race we took turns to help her and we kept that promise. WE FINSHED THAT RACE TOGETHER. Yes I could have finished that race in 4 hours but I would not have been telling you about it today. OCR racing to me is pushing yourself to your limits but remembering it's more about the team and those that helped get you where you are today. That is what OCR racing means to me.

Any Goals Or Race Stats To Share?

I've really had a great start to the year. I have qualified for OCR World Championship in two of my three races so far and came close at the Spartan Sprint in Houston. I placed 6th and missed it by one but considering there were over 300 in my age group I was pleased.
I qualified running elite at the Terrain race and we ran two laps.
My proudest race was when I ran the Conquer The Gauntlet race in Houston. I placed 5th in my age group and was 34th overall with 1000 runners. We have several other races coming up this Spring but thought I would share. It's been a great 2017 season and I can't wait for future races. Qualifying in my age group for OCR WC is exciting and I can't wait to go.


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

 

 


Profiles in Badassary: David Fatula April 21 2017, 0 Comments

MudGear Profiles in Badassary 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 started with my first Fenway Park (Boston) Spartan Sprint four years ago and have been hooked ever since. I just completed my first Spartan TriFecta in 2016, finishing with the Killington, VT beast, and this year I'm getting my 2x TriFecta, have all the races scheduled and booked the Spartan season pass so I can do more if I choose


What Are Some Challenges OCR Has Helped You Overcome?

12 years ago I had a near-fatal snowboard accident, I broke all my ribs on the right side of my body, punctured my lung, broke my clavicle and scapula and got a type-3 concussion and couldn't feel the back of my head for months. While that was a long, long time ago, I never felt like I got my stamina, strength, endurance and cardiovascular performance back until I started training for OCRs. I had run some road half marathons, but they were boring, and didn't fulfill any of my real fitness goals to be both strong and fast. I can now muscle through almost every obstacle I come across, and the ones that still challenge me I train for all the time, so I can beat them at my next race. I love that I feel strong running, I love that my shoulders and back are in shape to cross rigs, climb ropes, swim, climb ladders, a-frames, etc. It took a long time to get that strength and mobility back, and OCRs are the primary reason I'm back to where I am today.



What Does The OCR Community Mean To You?

The OCR community is amazing! The sense of family, the racers helping each other through every obstacle, the motivation and the stories and party after each race keep me psyched for every race I participate in. OCR racers are such a resilient group, any time you feel like you want to slow down or give up, someone is there to push you, which is a huge factor in my training and motivation to stay fit.



What’s Your Most Memorable Moment In OCR?

Finishing the Killington Beast this year was incredible. The sense of accomplishment crossing that finish line was one I will never forget. I'm 39 years old and feel like I'm in the best shape of my life, and crossing that finish line after 16 miles and 11,000 feet of elevation gain told me that I can tackle any race, and I look forward to doing it even faster next year!



Any Goals Or Race Stats To Share?

This year I'll do a Spartan 2x Tri-fecta, a Tough Mudder, an o2x summit race, the Ragnar trail relay, and several other smaller, less publicized local races. My goal is to be faster  this year at all my races, and finish in the top 20% of all males, and the top 10% in my age group. This year I tended to be in the top 33% of all males, and top 20% in my age group.

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


PROFILES IN BADASSARY: KIM COLLINGS April 13 2017, 0 Comments

MudGear Profiles in Badassary 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?


An on-line friend from Fitocracy lived in the area. We chatted and had common weight lifting goals. He asked if I would be interested in doing a "Mud Run". I did the Survivor run and then my first Tough Mudder. I was completely hooked. He asked about doing the Spartan race the next year and I reluctantly said yes. Reluctantly because I saw the videos and it looked so much harder. Now I'm a Spartan fanatic. I train all the time to go faster and tackle the obstacles. The first time the rope clicked for me was so amazing and I was so proud. I've continued to conquer obstacles and have a couple to go, but that is part of what makes it so exciting. Working hard and completing those goals you thought were impossible before.



What Are Some Challenges OCR Has Helped You Overcome?


When I got into OCR's and joined the Beast OCR, it was like having a whole new wonderful world open up to me. Besides the excitement of the races, the friends I've made are lifelong and strong. I used to have trouble getting to know people a bit, but our common passion for OCR's has brought us all together and we are truly like family. We go above and beyond for each other. If anyone is in need we make sure they are taken care of 100%! I really feel alive again, instead of just going through the motions of daily life. I love that these wonderful people are sharing the same journey with me!

Oh yes...I also get the age and gender thing. I'll be 51 in December and of course I hear the "you're too old"..."you'll hurt yourself"...."you're a girl" comments. As the saying goes, "When they say you can't, just smile and say Watch Me!".



What Does The OCR Community Mean To You?


I've described it quite a bit in my answer to "What are some challenges OCR has helped you overcome". That really explains my heartfelt adoration for my team and the people I've met through OCR. In addition to the amazing people and "family" I've found, I would say it is a challenge I'm dedicated to for myself and helping others in any way I can. The fulfillment that occurs when a challenge is met is addicting. I love to conquer one more obstacle after weeks of work perfecting it. I love helping others to do the same and see them glow when they do it for the first time. I know that no matter what happens I can count on my team and friends and I would do whatever it takes to help them as well. I've also learned the meaning behind "I will never leave a fallen comrade" by participating in Hurricane Heats. The bond that is created with your team is hard to describe and gives me chills just thinking about the missions we've accomplished together.

What’s Your Most Memorable Moment In OCR?


I'm not sure I could pick one. There were a few that really stood out. My first race, because it was my first race. The first time I climbed a rope with no knots in a race. I went from disbelief as I was going up and rang the bell, to pure joy! The 2x trifecta this year...my first full year of Spartan racing..... that I completed with my "Mud Buddy"...his official title, lol. One last quick story, but this was very memorable to me. The first race I did was Survivor. When we reached the first mud pit. I approached it slowly and my foot squished in the bit of mud leading up to it. It felt weird and I said to myself, "what would my mom say".....then I ran in full speed, laughing and having the best time ever!


Any Goals Or Race Stats To Share?


My 2017 racing goals are big and exciting: 2-3 Spartan Trifectas; UltraBeast; Spartan World Championship and/or OCR World Championship; Tough Mudder (4th time); 12 hour Spartan Hurricane Heat; 12 hour Machete Recon; 12 hour Spartan Hurricane Heat; GoRuck Tough; My first full marathon (Jack & Jill-Snoqualmie, WA); Seattle Half Marathon (6th time); Ragnar; The Big Climb (69 floors in the Columbia Ctr in Seattle), Spartan SGX Training (Currently Spartan X Certified); and.....CLIMB MT. RAINIER!!!! I also plan to finish the Agoge in 2018 to complete my Delta.

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

 


PROFILES IN BADASSARY: Jen Groleau April 06 2017, 0 Comments

PROFILES IN BADASSARY: Jen Groleau

MudGear Profiles in Badassary 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 first OCR race was the Ottawa Spartan Beast in 2013. At this point I had never even run 25km on flat ground, and now I am going to attempt to do it in the hills.
I decided to run this one because earlier in the year some friends had run the Spartan Sprint but I wasn't able to make it.
After hearing how much fun it was, I just HAD to try it. The only race left that season in the area was the beast. So, I recruited 7 friends (just as crazy as me) and we signed up for our first race. I trained hard and during the training was when I really discovered my love for obstacles.
The race came and went, and the google search began. All the races were found and signed up for. Haha


What Are Some Challenges OCR Has Helped You Overcome?


OCR has helped me to become a much healthier person.
Before OCR I was a premier level soccer player that smoked. After my 4th ACL surgery, I was unable to return to the field. Lucky for me I found OCR shortly after my recovery which kept me active and motivated.
My biggest challenge of quitting smoking finally became a reality because I emerged myself in OCR and everything about it. Being surrounded by people changing their lives, no matter how big or small, and being healthy, is motivation enough to do the same.

What Does The OCR Community Mean To You?


Honestly, this is a great question. The answer is Family. To me, it's not just a community, this is the family I chose and they chose me. The OCR community is simply the most encouraging, motivating and accepting community anyone could be a part of.
I've never had an easy time fitting in, and when I found OCR and what the community represents I truly felt like this is when I belong and wondered why it wasn't around when I was growing up.



What’s Your Most Memorable Moment In OCR?


AHHH, oh boy, so many.. I'm going to go with a shared moment with Team HEXT and some friends because it stands out the most in my mind.
At the Montreal Beast/Ultra Beast it was so hot and Spartan Race ran out of water, early. It was probably not later than 2pm, and a lot of racers were still out there, suffering from the heat and dehydration.
We had a cottage on the hill and the racers passed right beside us. As soon as we recognized that the racers had been going without water for such a long time we decided to get all the water bottles available to us, filled them with water and stood at the course to refill people's hydration packs or Give them a drink. We ran back and forth between the house for water and the racers to make sure everyone had some until Spartan racer brought more water to the stations.
It was such an amazing feeling to help these racers. We even had some racers tear up because they were so overwhelmed and thankful. It was the most rewarding experience at a race.


Any Goals Or Race Stats To Share?


Race Age (30-34) Gender (F)
Polar Hero Ottawa 1st 3rd
Ragnarok Run 1st 1st
Spartan Race Quebec (Sprint) 7th 18th
Spartan Race Quebec (Super) 7th 25th
Spartan Race Ottawa (Sprint) 3rd 14th
Spartan Race Ottawa (Sprint) 3rd 19th
Spartan Race Toronto (Sprint) 1st 5th
Spartan Race Toronto (Super) 3rd 15th
Spartan Race Montreal (Sprint) 3rd 17th
Badass Dash Ottawa 3rd 4th
Crohnies Dash Ottawa 1st 1st
Finished 11th in my age group (with band) at the OCRWC.
Qualified, but did not attend SRWC


My current goals are to gain strength in my lower body to help me run and climb hills easier. (I'm more of a runner, so my races would suffer when it was hilly). I also want to work on my flexibility to help prevent injuries. This year I would like to complete my first Ultra Beast.
In general, I would like to do better in my gender placing. I want to be a consistent top 10 at the Spartan races.

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

 

 


OCR Gear Review: Tom Tom Adventurer GPS Watch April 03 2017, 0 Comments

Tom Tom has produced a new Adventurer GPS outdoor sports watch that looks like it's going to be a hit with trail runners and those who like to minimize the gadgets they carry on their runs.

I'm a long time Garmin user, but it's always been the lower end models that can track pace and not a lot else, so I knew the Tom Tom would take some getting used to.  It is packed with features you expect in a higher end GPS watch and a few surprises as well.  Here are my overall impressions after a couple weeks of testing...
  • As an F3 guy, I frequently combine running and boot camp workouts.  One of my pet peeves with my Garmin was that I was constantly stopping my tracking by accidentally hitting the buttons.  Doing merkins (American style pushups) cased the back of my hand to hit the buttons on the right side of the watch.  I quickly became a fan of the Tom Tom nav button which is large and placed centrally to avoid those inadvertant clicks.  It took about a week to get accustomed to the new button style, but now I dig it.
  • The Tom Tom is fast charging and fast to grab a signal before a run.  No more waiting at the end of my driveway looking up at the sky like an idiot forever.
  • I never tried a fit bit or other activity tracker so having those features was new to me.  It's great to have it in a single device.  The sleep tracker was disappointing to only show total hours - I was hoping to see some analysis of sleep time/patterns/restlessness etc - not worth wearing for sleep yet, but an update may improve that.
  • The Android phone app was a surprising highlight of my testing.  It is really well done and easy to use.
  • Navigating the menus take a bit of time to understand.  It took me 4 runs before I finally found a workout summary.  It's there, but I hope this gets updated to be displayed automatically after a run and included a review of each mile split.
  • The Tom Tom also comes with a wrist-based heart rate monitor.  I could not get a consistent read with this but that is likely due to my sasquatch-like hairy arms.  It can also be paired with a chest strap for improved results, but I've not been able to test that yet.
  • The built in music player allows you to load the watch with music files and play them through the included blue tooth headphones.  These paired easily for me, but unfortunately, my new PC doesn't have any music on it.  I've gone to Pandora/Spotify so this doesn't quite replace my music for me but it will for others.
  • The ability to save runs as routes and download others to try to run and navigate with a built-in compass is pretty sweet.  Trail runners will especially enjoy playing with those features.

Overall Impressions:  "A-"   The Tom Tom Adventure Watch is a huge step up from my old basic Garmin, loaded with features, great battery life, and an impressive phone app.  


Profiles in Badassary: Francois-Michel Guitard March 30 2017, 0 Comments

Profiles in Badassary: Francois-Michel Guitard
MudGear Profiles in Badassary 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.

Francois-Michel Guitard

How Did You Get Into OCR Racing?

Looking up some YouTube videos about OCR and I wanted to do something crazy to lose weight. I wanted to be as exceptional as these athletes in those videos.  I wanted to find myself... I can say it's mission accomplished! Now everyone/everything in my life is around OCR!

What Are Some Challenges OCR Has Helped You Overcome?

After a breakup with my ex, I was falling into depression. I was overweight and saw some of those videos about Spartan races that seemed impossible to me.  But I wanted to try, to prove myself that I was capable of accomplishing something by myself... I signed up for a Super (in 2013) and began a weight loss journey. The race really beat the crap out of me but... I was hooked. Every obstacle I was getting over in that race was like overcoming an obstacle in my life.  It really helped  put me back on track. I made a 180 degree change in my life and became a personal trainer.

What Does The OCR Community Mean To You?

OCR community is the best in the world. It's all about support and helping each other. I''ll never forget my first race when people helped me. Now it's my turn to give back because I know the impact that I can have on someone's journey!

 

What’s Your Most Memorable Moment In OCR?

My greatest moment was in Ottawa in 2015 when I completed my first Ultra Beast and my girlfriend was at the finish line to give me that medal. You go through so much in those long distance races. It was very significant for me because I met my girlfriend in a Spartan Race over 2 years ago. Since than, we are traveling a lot for races because both of us are hooked and in love with the sport and camaraderie! We now have OCR friends all around the globe... very useful when you travel to a race haha ;)

Any Goals Or Race Stats To Share?

2x Ultra Beast finisher
1x Navy Seal Challenge Finisher
Over 50 OCR across North America
Best OCR result : 41st Elite Division Ottawa Sprint
OCRWC 2016 finisher with Band (104th age group)

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

 

 

 


Profiles in Badassary: Haven Rain Munk March 23 2017, 0 Comments

Haven Rain Munk, Age: 9
MudGear Profiles in Badassary 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 made you decide to try an obstacle course?
I saw my parents doing races and it looked really fun, so I wanted to try it also. I was also running a lot of 5k races and loved to climb so it seemed perfect for me. I did a Battlefrog Race first which was really fun, then Terrain Race and Bonefrog. We have a few Spartan and more Bonefrog races planned this year.

Why do you like racing?
I like that there is competition and I like to try to win. I want to be one of the best one day or at least see what my best can be. It’s also more fun than just running.

What is your favourite obstacle?
I like the rope climb and any grip strength obstacles. Those are the obstacles that make me feel strong. I have callouses all over my hands because I climb so much.

 



Is there an OCR you would love to compete in?
OCR Worlds as soon as they let me! My parents did it last year and it looks amazing. I would love to be the youngest person to do OCR Worlds. 

How do you train?
I go in my basement most nights and weekend mornings I climb and run. I love climbing. My dad will set a route and I keep doing it until I get it. My dad will tell me it's time to go upstairs and I'll say "No, one more time please!". I also run about 3 or 4 days a week on my own and with Girls On The Run. I also go to Ninja Warrior classes at a local gym (Fit Me Up), and do gymnastics classes.

 


Who inspires you?
My parents because they do OCR and try their best. They work really hard at it.

What other activities/ hobbies do you enjoy?
I don't really do many other things but I like soccer and just playing outside with my friends. I also raise money for the local animal shelter by running a Snack Shack with my friends in the neighborhood.

Who are your favorite OCR racers?
Lindsey Webster, Robert Killeen, and Hunter McIntyre. I have watched them
On TV and they are so confident when they are racing. I want to be like Lindsey because she wins a lot and she is always smiling. Hunter is hilarious, I loved him on Broken Skull Ranch. Oh, I know he’s not a racer but I love Coach Pain!

Any tips for someone wanting to try an OCR?
Don't think it will be easy because sometimes it's not. I wish I would have known what the obstacles would be...so watch some videos online.



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

 


Profiles in Badassary: Tara Skinner March 16 2017, 0 Comments

MudGear Profiles in Badassary 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?

A woman I had just met told me she was doing a Sparan Race in two weeks. I didn't know much about it but I am up for anything so I decided to sign up too. Once I crossed that finish line I knew this was something I had to do again and again. That was four years ago! That was her first and only one and I have since done about 30 OCR races.

What Are Some Challenges OCR Has Helped You Overcome?

I used to weigh 271 pounds and have kept the weight off for ten years now. OCR helps me keep it off because it gives me a reason to go to the gym or go on hikes now. Its not just to keep looking a certain way, it's to be able to perform well at these races. One of the reasons I enjoy racing alone is because it gives me time to truly listen to my body and see what its telling me it needs me to work on.

What Does The OCR Community Mean To You?

I usually race alone and when I first started I would literally cross the finish line and walk to my car and leave. Thanks to social media I have met so many other great people who are into OCR. Some I only know online and trade training tips and healthy eating tips with and others I get to see at races. Some great friendships have been formed. Through some of the people I have met I now participate in many online fitness challenges which help me stay on track.

What’s Your Most Memorable Moment In OCR?

This years Tough Mudder was icy cold and rainy. Running through the woods with so many muddy...cold people was something I will never forget because everyone was HAPPY. Most people would have been miserable and actually probably would not have even been there but OCR people are different beasts all together. We were all laughing..some were singing and everyone was helping each other deal with the elements and slippery obstacles. That was such a defining day for me.

Any Goals Or Race Stats To Share?

Even though I did 17 races this year I did not get my Spartan Trifecta because I did not do a Beast. Next year is my year!! I am already signed up for 8 races in 2017 including races to complete my trifecta. I have also contributed stories to a few OCR websites and hope to continue with that.

  

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

 


Profiles In Badassary: PJ Magpantay February 23 2017, 0 Comments

MudGear Profiles in Badassary 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?

First race was Savage and fell in love ever since.  I got into it as a means to stay focused on training and keeping healthy.  I got some fellow gym members involved and had a blast.  As a result, we even started a special OCR training class at our gym.  

Its helped gain some more interest in the sport.  I find that OCR is a great way to get everyone together.  What I find helps open the door to those who are interested is letting them know how close and supportive the OCR community is. On race day, the comments I get from most of the beginners in our group are how fun it was to help each other.  

They knew we'd help each other in the group, but they didn't know how random strangers would help you out too!  Wish it wasn't just an aspect of the "OCR community". That should be illustrated in just "community" in general!

What Are Some Challenges OCR Has Helped You Overcome?

All my life I loved to play sports and be active.  I was never the best shooter in basketball and never the best hitter in volleyball (2 sports I always loved), but I was always the person willing to give it my all.  

I was short (literally, I'm 5'6" on a good day) on talent, but long in heart.  As such, I loved competing and testing my limits athletically as a high schooler and in college, but only with friends and in intramural sports.  

Fast forward to 2013 - I am very fortunate to have a loving family, wife and 2 kids, and gainful employment as a dentist!  In April of that same year, my father passed away after a steady decline is his health for years.  He died at 67, but I can remember when I was a teenager how he was not the most active person and ate pretty much whatever he wanted.  

That never changed and unfortunately his body started to decline, first with knee pain, diabetic neuropathy, then with failing kidneys and Parkinsonian-like symptoms.  As hard as it was on him, it was just as hard on my mother and the rest of the family to see his body slowly shut down.  Keeping up with his medical care and his increasing needs was challenging to say the least.   


With the passing of my father, it forced me to take a good look at where I was physically.  As a new dad, my health took a backseat and I slid HEAVILY.  The following year, I had so many health problems - from gout to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, debilitating back and knee pain, everything!  Basically, my body was telling me it had enough. Finally at 5'6" and at over 196 lbs in Feb 2015, I knew something had to change - not just for me, but for the well-being of my family.  

I didn't want to just be alive (like my father unfortunately was for his remaining years).  I wanted to LIVE!! I started to take my health seriously, joined a gym, ate right, and a year later, I was finding myself happy with the best possible version of myself I have ever been.  During this fitness journey, I found the world of OCR.  I loved how it gave me a way to be competitive again and achieve things I never would've even thought of before.  


I feel like training for OCR gives me the motivation to be at my best, and not just physically.  Now I find that training for a OCR races is something that guides me in my daily routine, whether it be my choice to wake up everyday at 5 am to train, or my choice to drop the pizza slice and pick up the roasted veggies, or my choice to face fears in my professional life that have, until now, held me back.  

And finally, like any other parent out there, everything I do, I do for my kids.  That means being there for them now, being there for them when they grow up, and being there for my grandchildren.  I want my grandchildren to know me...not just know OF me.  In short, OCR has been instrumental in helping me overcome obstacles in my personal life (with the passing of my father), my physical well-being (by becoming functionally fit and having lost 40 lbs in the process), and my professional life (as I embark on opening my first dental practice as sole owner).


Any Goals Or Race Stats To Share?

I have high hopes for 2017.  I plan on completing my first trifecta!  Really only bad timing for not being able to do it this pass year.  I plan on competing in the most races than I have ever done in the past - about 11 races, including but not limited to Spartan, Savage, CMC, Goliathon, Tough Mudder, and OCRWC.  Finally, I am really excited to participate in the Philly Toughest Mudder!  

Although I mostly like to race competitively, its mostly just to force to push myself to my personal best.  I'm REALLY not within striking distance to make a podium... although this year, I DID get 4th place in a smaller OCR called Muddy Brute (2nd in my age group) :)  

Other than that, my only race "stat" that I was super proud of this year was surviving the NJ Super - Saturday in Vernon New Jersey.  Wearing the MudGear compression socks definitely helped me through that one!


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

Photos courtesy of Spartan Race, Savage Race, Muddy Brute, and BattleFrog


Profiles In Badassary: Joseph Minutella February 16 2017, 0 Comments

MudGear Profiles in Badassary 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?

Three years ago, my neighbor told me I had to do a Spartan Race with him. He told me it would change my life and it did. I trained for 6 months to be able to complete the Spartan Beast as my first OCR. It was one of the toughest things I had ever done. But I fell in love with it right away.

That year, and every year since I completed the Spartan Trifecta and ran other races as well which include Terrain Race, Battlefrog, and Tough Mudder. I will be competing in my first World's Toughest Mudder in 2016. OCR is something that I always talk about, passionate about and really all I wear everyday. It's something that I will do until my body physically won't let me. But its going to take a lot to do that!

 

What Are Some Challenges OCR Has Helped You Overcome?

Like I said before, OCR has changed my life in a tremendous way. It gives me the will to test myself physically but more importantly mentally. After my first race I decided to eat healthier and try new work outs. I lost 25lbs and felt better about myself each day since. I talk about it a lot of Facebook which has gotten a lot of attention from other people. I love being asked about how i can help others and what I did to overcome my first race or even just signing up for one. Challenges are what makes life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.


What Does The OCR Community Mean To You?

In 2009, I graduated from Penn State University. It was my dream to go there since I was 7 years old. I met a lot of great people over my time there.  People always say Penn State is a cult. That we love each other so much and what Penn State has to offer to us!

I always said we were just one big family, a community, and a group of students who work together towards the same goal. We all shared the same beliefs and helped each other through good time and bad times. Till this day i can always count on my Penn State family.

My Penn State community to help me through any challenges I may face in my personal or work life. That's the same spark I feel each and every time I attend a OCR. The OCR community is something special. Maybe not everyone will understand. I know for sure I didn't until I did my first race.

Now I'm in love with what I do and what I can do for my OCR community. By helping each other accomplish the same goals. Whether that's crossing the finish line or competing to win the top prize. We are a family, We are....OCR!

 

What’s Your Most Memorable Moment In OCR?

My most memorable OCR was defiantly my first race. It was the New Jersey Spartan Beast. I wanted to give up over and over again but my family, girlfriend and everyone I talked to about this race was waiting at the finish line.

I thought to myself, "Why in the world would I sign up for this?" Just as I was about to give up, My neighbor pushed me the last 3 miles and I completed the race. I remember the great Michael Jordan once saying. "Some people want it to happen, some people wish it would happen and others make it happen."

On that day I made it happen and I fell in love with OCR from that day on. I remember crying on my family shoulder, not because of the pain or my knee gushing blood because of a rock stuck in it. But because I pushed myself through a lot in my life and this was one obstacle that pushed me harder than anything before and I was so happy to overcome it.


Any Goals Or Race Stats To Share?

My goal each and every race is to not only cross the finish line. But to compete at a high level and push myself to be the best to my ability. I may not be the fastest or strongest person on the course. But I will make sure if you pass me on the course you better bring your best because I'm giving hell!

When I completed my first NJ Spartan Beast i was 1,677 out of 3072. But this past year I finished 407 out of 2,296 and I will only get better. I finished a sprint earlier this year coming in 34th out of 1544 competitors on Sunday. I also came in 26th out of 934 competitors during a Sunday Spartan Super.

In less than a week I'll be competing at WTM. I plan on achieving 50 plus miles. During a Spartan Race I was asked "Why I race". I race for those who can't. I always dedicate my race to someone so its not always about me. Each and every race I been getting better and I plan on getting a top 10 finish next year!



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

Photos courtesy of World's Toughest Mudder, Spartan Race, and BattleFrog.


Profiles In Badassary: Mike Weaver February 09 2017, 0 Comments

MudGear Profiles in Badassary 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?

Back in 2011, I started doing Warrior Dashes.  I hated running with a passion and the idea of being able to do a 5k with obstacles was intriguing to me.  After the first one, I was hooked and continued to do them for the next several years.  There came a point were I wanted more and wanted to push myself further.  

In 2014, I did my first Tough Mudder.  I had so many emotions hit me during that event, from wanting to quit to realizing this was the best thing I had done in my life.  Once I crossed that finish line, I knew my life wasn't going to be the same.  To this date, I have done 13 Tough Mudders with a total of 20 laps.  


What Are Some Challenges OCR Has Helped You Overcome?

I suffer from chronic depression.  OCR has given me an outlet to help overcome the depressed states that I would seemingly fall into for no reason.  Even if I don't have a race coming up, OCR gives my mind something to focus on.  It is a battle that I have fought my whole life and will continue to fight.  However, OCR has made it so much easier.  


What Does The OCR Community Mean To You?

It's family. Plain and simple. Over the last few years I have met so many people, most of which have become very close friends and other's who I know consider part of the family.  OCR isn't just about the race or the venue to me.  It's an experience and a chance to spend the day with people who share your type of crazy.


What’s Your Most Memorable Moment In OCR?

At this point in my racing career, I would have to say when I earned my Savage Syndicate medal by walking the Ohio and Pennsylvania Savage Races in a walking boot this past summer. I had broke my left foot at the Chicago Tough Mudder during my first lap and actually went on to complete a 2nd lap.  

A few weeks later I found out that my foot was broken and had to be in a walking boot for 6 weeks.  During that 6 weeks, I had 2 Savage Races that I already signed up for and I didn't want to miss out on getting that awesome Syndicate medal.  I went out and completed every obstacle that didn't involve mud or water with my walking boot on.  It was an amazing feeling crossing the finish line and getting my medals.  


Any Goals Or Race Stats To Share?

In 2017, I have already signed up for the new Toughest Mudder in the Northwest and will be aiming to hit 40 miles in the 8 hour time frame.  I will also be trying to qualify for my first OCRWC through a few different races 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

Q&A with Savage Race Co-Founder Lloyd Parker February 08 2017, 0 Comments

Savage Race was founded in 2011 with a course of 4-6 miles that has 25 world class obstacles. They pride themselves on not being your average mud race and guarantee that it will kick your ass. Savage Race lovingly calls their participants "Savages" as racers must prove their inner power and intensity to get through the course.

This year we've also joined Savage Race as the official sock sponsor that will help Savages get through the Colossus, Lumberjack Lane, and many other obstacles. We had a brief chat with Lloyd Parker, Co-Founder and Chief Commercial Officer of Savage Race.

Q: What makes the Savage Race experience special?

Obstacles, Obstacles, Obstacles. The overall experience is like none other at Savage Race. We have some of the most challenging obstacles in the industry and some that are just pure fun. I think the variety of obstacles and the course length make our race the ideal experience for everyone.

Q: What kind of training do you think is most important for someone who has done a 10K but never an obstacle race? 

Grip strength exercises. Most runners don't typically work on grip strength which is really important in obstacle course racing. I suggest kettlebell swings, pull-ups, and farmer's carries to name a few.

Q: Do you have a favorite Savage Race obstacle?

I would have to say my favorite obstacles is Colossus.  Not only because of the sheer size, it's also two obstacles in one. First, you face a 16' high warped wall, but after you conquer that, you climb another ladder and are rewarded with a huge free fall on a water slide.

For the 2017 Savage Race schedule, find out more information here.


Profiles In Badassary: Shan Khan February 02 2017, 0 Comments

MudGear Profiles in Badassary 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 New Year's Resolution goal this year was to complete a Spartan trifecta as my previous experience comes from Mixed Martial Arts, where I achieved an orange belt in Krav Maga. Wanting to challenge myself on a further level, obstacle racing seemed like the perfect vehicle to do that. It has been my best life-decision to date as it's hard to imagine my life without obstacle racing as I pretty much eat-sleep-repeat obstacle racing outside my normal work day.


What Are Some Challenges OCR Has Helped You Overcome?

Getting a full understanding of gratitude and really getting over my mental thoughts of comparing myself to others. As I've grown physically throughout the year, mental growth has mirrored the physical gains, and that has really helped my performance as well as my day-to-day happiness.

It's been a struggle as high hopes are held for myself and not having the races expected out of the gates had me take a great self-reflection of myself and understand that this is a step in the journey that will only make me stronger.

OCR has given me a much better grip (literally) on handling the obstacles that come whether it come to work, family, or racing, and really has taught me to appreciate every moment and think of the glass half-full, rather than half-empty.

 

What Does The OCR Community Mean To You?

It's a true blessing to be a part of it. It's hard to describe with words but it's a network of individuals that want to strengthen themselves while doing the same for one another. The positive energy is outstanding whether it be a training session or on race day.

The best part about it is seeing the struggles people have gone or currently going through, whether that be physical or mental, and how they not only survive through it, but thrive through it. The different backgrounds of people and the stories of how they get into OCR are truly outstanding and really give you a true appreciation for the sport and life in general.


What’s Your Most Memorable Moment In OCR?

By far, the Dallas Savage Race, where I raced in the Pro Wave and had a great start. Feeling very confident, being in the top 20 for most of the race, I got tripped up by Kiss My Walls (a horizontal rock climbing wall) and it took me about 15 tries and a lot of willpower to find a way through it.

My goal then changed from being a top finisher to finishing with my pro band. Gliding through every obstacle after, my nightmare was in the form of Savage Rig before the finish line. Trying method after method, nothing would click as my grip strength died after every attempt. However, OCR has instilled in me the no-quit attitude.

After about 3+ hours on the Rig, I finally conquered the rig and crossed the finish line with my Pro Band...in last place. A great lesson about grit and determination which helped fuel me to my best finish the next race after, the Dallas Beast.


Any Goals Or Race Stats To Share?

BattleFrog Dallas (Open Heat): 2nd in my Age Group, 8th Overall!
Spartan AT&T Stadium Sprint (Elite): Overall: 202, 27th Age Group (I was two days out of antibiotics, so really just wanted to finish)
Spartan Utah Super (Elite): Overall: 149, 16th Age Group
Spartan Dallas Beast (Elite): Overall: 90, 9th Age Group (Best finish to date, and definitely one race I was able to perform to what I thought I was capable)

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

Photos courtesy of Spartan Race and Savage Race


Profiles In Badassary: Gemma Hebdon January 26 2017, 0 Comments

MudGear Profiles in Badassary 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

Q&A with The Battlegrounds Mud Run January 25 2017, 0 Comments

We're excited to announce that MudGear will be an Official Sponsor of The Battlegrounds Mud Run.  The Battlegrounds is a fixed course facility near St. Louis  that features over 30 fantastic obstacles and a venue worthy of a destination weekend.  We asked Bob Holm, Race Director, what makes this race special, and why it should be on your list for 2017...

 

 

Q: What makes the Battlegrounds race experience special and different from other obstacle course races? 

A: As a smaller – yet permanent – mud run OCR course that holds only two events each year, The Battlegrounds can really focus on creating an experience that is second to none for our runners and spectators.  We offer a lot of benefits including nearby free parking, fast registration check-in, a free and easy gear check process, and a motivational start line announcer.  Our overall experience involves good, muddy fun at a challenging course that provides reliable timing, a cool finisher medal, runner t-shirts, a free heated post-race shower plus changing rooms to clean up in after the race.  

The Battlegrounds is definitely different from your typical race venue.  One of our best perks:  Our wonderful winery and event venue that is just 500 yards from our course where runners can relax with their friends after the race.  Another perk:  Our course is designed to be extremely spectator friendly.  The Battlegrounds is laid out where runners wind in and out of the main festival area so all can see them eight different times trying to conquer some of our biggest and most challenging obstacles.

Q: What's different about the Battlegrounds race this year?  Are you guys trying anything new?

We add a few new obstacles at each and every race, as well as update and change our existing obstacles.  This year we are planning to make some big changes in our trail layout and the direction of the course.  We don’t want to share this year’s newest obstacles just yet, but we guarantee they will include more upper body strength and plenty of low crawls.  

Q: Do you have a favorite Battlegrounds obstacle? 

I have three.  I really love a heavily wooded cedar tree forest trail cut we made in our backwoods.  The trees are extremely tall and completely block the sun.  It’s always about five or 10 degrees cooler in this section of our course, and the trail is cut really tight.

My other favorite includes our creek crosses and creek runs.  Our course is pretty flat, so the creek’s slopes and crevices add a nice yet challenging change of terrain with lots of rocks, exposed tree roots and, of course, mud!

My other favorite is a crowd pleaser:  The Gauntlet, which has six lanes of varying difficulties and is situated over an eight-foot deep water pit.  I love watching runners attempt to cross The Gauntlet because it’s near the end of the race, and they are exhausted from the 30+ obstacles they have already encountered.  It is a great ending to our very challenging course.

 

Interested in joining a Battlegrounds race? Here's their 2017 schedule:

  • May 20th, 2017 Saturday: Cedar Lake
  • Sep 23rd, 2017 Saturday: Cedar Lake

Save $10 for each race with code Mudgear10 at registration with unlimited uses!

Visit The Battlegrounds here on their website for more detailed information.


Profiles In Badassary: Dylin Moran January 19 2017, 0 Comments

MudGear Profiles in Badassary 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?

In high school, I was a Cross Country and Track athlete. I planned to go run in college, but I ended up going to Baylor, which is a big school and super competitive. I had the opportunity to walk on there but initially chose to focus on academics. I regretted this though. I missed competing, so I tried to walk on again my second year, but I had just lost too much of my endurance. I moved on to the Baylor Triathlon team because I missed competing so much.

However, I thought about doing OCR races all the time. I signed up for a Spartan a time or two but every time the people I was supposed to go with, backed out. Finally, after college, and meeting some more like minded people, I did my first OCR event with some people from my local gym in 2015. It was the Caveman Crawl in Dallas. I was stoked.

Unsure of what to wear, I ended up with some Nike shoes, regular Nike socks, and some running shorts. The shoes and socks were by far the worst decision. I took 3rd in that race and that instantly made me believe I had found my calling. Now, I cannot stop doing them and would love to do them every weekend if I could. There is just something about it still being an endurance event, but on steroids.


What Are Some Challenges OCR Has Helped You Overcome?

OCR fills that void where I feel like I can't be competitive or athletic anymore. It gives me an outlet to get away from work and other stress. It just makes me feel more alive.

What Does The OCR Community Mean To You?

Pushing yourself past your limits not matter what that may be for you. We all have different goals but I think OCR allows everyone to meet those goals in someway. Personally, it means being able to be competitive and feel accomplished in my own right. During an OCR, I just feel grateful to be able to do things like that and then the people around you are just so encouraging and help you meet those goals. They want you to do well just as much you want yourself to.


What’s Your Most Memorable Moment In OCR?

The first time I really felt like I was competing in a race was BattleFrog Dallas 2016. The first Battlefrog I had done in Austin 2015 was a rude awakening. The platinum rigs took me forever. However, when I came back for Dallas 2016, I was much more prepared for the rigs, even though there were two per lap. The first lap I went straight through both rigs and I felt ecstatic. It was the best I had ever felt about almost anything.

Coming through on that second lap I had a lot of the race staff telling me I was close to the top guy. I was in 7th place at that point. It did fall a part a little bit on the second lap. I had to take multiple attempts at both rigs and it cost me my place but I still remember the feeling of being in that position and it drives me because it made me realize I was able to compete.

Any Goals Or Race Stats To Share?

In 2015, I only did 2 races. In 2016, I upped that number to 6 races. This next year I hope to be closer to 20. I did qualify for OCR World Championships as well this past year but I was unable to go. I do hope that I can find a way to go in 2017 though.

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

Photos courtesy of Spartan Rance and Savage Race


Q&A with Conquer The Gauntlet OCR Race Series January 17 2017, 0 Comments

We're excited to announce that MudGear will be an Official Sponsor of Conquer The Gauntlet Race Series in 2017.

We absolutely love partnering with obstacle course races that are delivering life-changing experiences to participants.  Conquer The Gauntlet is a family owned company that lives and breathes OCR. All of the founders are present at every race, and work tirelessly to bring you the best obstacles.

Our sponsorship includes working together on a custom Conquer The Gauntlet MudGear compression sock that is going to look incredible.  It will be available at the races and also awarded to top finishers at each event.

For those newer to the CTG races, we recently caught up with one of the race directors, Courtney Mainprize, who explained more about the series:


1) For people who have done a Spartan Race or Tough Mudder, why should Conquer the Gauntlet be on their list for 2017?

Because life is for living! When we started CTG, we wanted to put a ton of obstacles in just a few miles. We have more unique obstacles packed into a 4 mile trail than either of these races. Our obstacles are really what keeps people coming back.

We strive to provide the perfect balance of challenging and fun. CTG is the most elite race for the competitive runners, and the most fun for those running open wave. Also, it's cheaper than any other event so you can do more races every year!

2) What is it that makes the CTG experience special?

Hands down the most unique thing about CTG is the atmosphere. Each of our races has a family and community feel. The CTG owners, family, and staff are present at every race.

We interact with the runners and most of the time you won't even know it. Every runner who crosses the finish line becomes part of the #ctgfamily. Someone is always ready to congratulate you, and if you come back to race again, you might see that same person the second time you cross the finish line.  

3) What's different about CTG this year? Are you guys trying anything new?

We are always trying new things and improving each year. New obstacles, new spins on existing obstacles. We're also building more challenging obstacles for elites and funner obstacles for open wave runners.

We really focus on creating a unique experience that makes it about the runners. The obstalces and course are our tools to tell that story. We will be expanding the east coast this year which is HUGE for us. We are having an Atlanta race, and adding two new Texas locations in Houston and Central Texas.

4) Do you have a favorite CTG obstacle?

I really love Tarzan Swing. I know a lot of people are groaning from just the mention of that obstacle, but it has been my favorite since we built it. It was the first obstacle we built back in 2012 and it has evolved so much since then. It's really fun to see how the obstacles change as our runners perform better and we become more innovative.

Interested in joining a CTG race? Here's their 2017 schedule:

  • March 25, 2017: Houston
  • April 29, 2017: Central Texas
  • May 13, 2017: Atlanta
  • June 3, 2017: Dallas
  • June 24, 2017: Oaklahoma City
  • July 15, 2017: Wichita
  • August 5, 2017: Des Moines
  • August 26, 2017: Tulsa
  • September 16, 2017: Little Rock
  • Fall 2017: Kansas City CTG/XTC

Visit Conquer The Gauntlet here on their website for more detailed information.


Profiles In Badassary: Andrew Hendrickson January 12 2017, 0 Comments


MudGear Profiles in Badassary 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.

Andrew Hendrickson - Profiles In Badassary at MudGear.com

How Did You Get Into OCR Racing?

I got into OCR in 2015 when my company, Thomson Reuters, set up a team to compete in a Tough Mudder.  It was a 10 mile, 20 obstacle race and one of the most memorable experiences of my life.  I was hooked instantly and went on to become my team's top competitor, one of 2 competing in the World's Toughest Mudder next weekend and the trainer for the expanded 100 person team we fielded in 2016.


What Are Some Challenges OCR Has Helped You Overcome?

At Fordham University, I competed on the Varsity Swim Team as one of the top long distance swimmers.  After college, I no longer had the team environment nor something to compete in.  Competition and the bond that comes from a team were a huge part of my life and they became something I sorely missed.

OCR changed all of that.  It gave me the opportunity to compete in something entirely new and enabled me to build a strong, competitive team.  OCR has taught me a huge amount about leadership and perseverance.  Training 100 people for 10 mile races while simultaneously training myself for WTM was no easy task.  I learned how to be a leader, how to manage my time and energy and how to motivate and energize those around me to feel the love and passion for OCR that I have.


What Does The OCR Community Mean To You?

Every day when I wake up, I strive to be smarter, faster and stronger than I was the day before. OCR, especially endurance races like World's Toughest Mudder, are some of the most challenging races in the world. It requires all three of those elements. You have to be strong enough to get over obstacles. Fast enough to complete the distance and smart enough to know how to pace yourself throughout the race.  Most people will never be able to complete an OCR.  Even fewer will compete at World's Toughest Mudder.  I race to prove I have the drive and dedication to be better than most people.  I am tough enough to be a Tough Mudder Legionnaire, Spartan, OCR Pro.


What’s Your Most Memorable Moment In OCR?

My most memorable moment came around mile 8 of my first OCR, the 2015 Tri-State Tough Mudder.  I remember turning to one of my teammates as we ran and saying I wished we weren't at mile 8 of 10 yet because I was having so much fun.  That was the spark that set of my passion for OCR.  Ever since that first race I have been a huge advocate of OCR's throughout my company and have made it so Thomson Reuters now fields teams in both the US and UK.

 

Any Goals Or Race Stats To Share?

At the 2016 Long Island Tough Mudder I placed second and qualified for the World's Toughest Mudder.  A team of 2, myself and one of my OCR teammates, will now be competing at WTM in 8 days with the goal of completing 75 miles in the 24-hours.

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

Photos courtesy of World's Toughest Mudder and Tough Mudder


Profiles In Badassary - Dago Lugo December 22 2016, 0 Comments



Profiles In Badassary - Ellie Schwartz December 15 2016, 0 Comments

 

MudGear Profiles in Badassary 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 have been an athlete for the majority of my life. Being involved in low level soccer, gymnastics and ultimate from a young age. I was always looking for ways to push myself and try something new. I had done several of the local mud runs here in Winnipeg like Dirty Donkey and after my first one I knew I had found something special. Two years after my first mud run I met my boyfriend, Mikhail Gerylo.

After 2 months of us dating, he asked me if I wanted to register for the Spartan Beast in Ottawa over 6 months away. It would be both of our first Obstacle Races. After thinking for about 30 seconds I decided why the heck not. Taking a chance on this new relationship and the under taking of a whole new type of training was one of the best decisions I have ever made. The race changed me and changed my life, that was 2 years ago and its safe to say it was the start of an addiction.

How do you describe what you do to people outside of the OCR community? 

When telling people about the races and what its like I find myself constantly telling them that no matter what I say, they will never fully understand until they do one themselves. As you cross the finish line, you are never the same person as when you started. You always push yourself and find some new level of comfort, you do something you never thought you could do, you push your boundaries and leave everything on the course.

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

Crossing the 2015 OCR World Championship finish line. That race was the one that I grew the most from. I tear up after every race, however as soon as I crossed the finish line to this one I collapsed to the ground crying. The announcer came over and I remember hearing him say into the microphone "Ellie Schwartz everyone, showing us what its all about." And he couldn't have been more right. These races push us past who we were when we started and shape us who we are after. I have never laughed more, cried more, or pushed harder than I did during the race. I left it all on the course.

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

The best advice I ever received was indirect. Someone very close to me always says that you need to "find your why". When you are tired and don't feel like going to train, find your why. When you have that "why" nothing will stop you from working hard towards being a better and bigger person than you were the day before.

What personal challenges has OCR has helped you overcome?

Three years ago, I developed chronic cold urticaria induced by heat of exercise induced anaphylaxis. I know that is a mouth full. Essentially, it's my body's inability to regulate its internal temperature versus the external temperature during exercise which causes my body to release histamine.

I've been hospitalized for it several times, I have had to change the way I train, where I train, what I eat, and what gear I wear many times before finding the right balance. It has been my personal like obstacle for many years, but I have never let it stop me from doing what I want to. Some call me stubborn and stupid for trying these races with what some call a lethal risk, but I have never been one to let anything control my situations other than myself.

What inspires you?

My inspirations are the people I surround myself with. I chose to surround myself with fierce strong men and women who inspire me to be a better person every day.

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

My goal for this year is to get top 10 in my gender in every race that I do,  stay at top 3 in my age group, and podium at at least once, or twice. Because of different commitments this year I am only doing 5 OCR races this season so the stakes are high!

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

I am extremely clumsy. During my first race I did three somersaults down a very steep downhill run on Mont Sainte Marie, if there wasn't a little lede I am honestly not sure when I would have stopped rolling. I love sports and being active, but I never said it looked pretty when I do it!

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

I think that this is only the beginning! The sport is growing so fast and is only picking up speed. I am so excited to be a small part of its growth and I cannot wait to see where it goes, maybe the olympics one day!

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


Profiles In Badassary - Jennie Maldonado December 08 2016, 0 Comments

 

MudGear Profiles in Badassary 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 husband.  He and his brother did the Spring Savage race here in GA in 2013.  I went to watch with our then 4 year old daughter.  I was hooked by the end of the race.  The energy was infectious. People were exhausted and grinning from ear to ear, so I signed up for the fall Savage race that weekend and have never looked back.

How do you describe what you do to people outside of the OCR community? 

I get a blank look when I mention the races, so I keep it dirt simple, pun intended.  I tell them that I run trails while carrying heavy crap, crawling through mud, jumping walls, and laughing like a maniac the whole time.  

Why I do it is a whole other matter.  You meet the best people in the world slogging through muck, mud, and water.  There's no color, no race, no religion, everyone is just a person and everyone is equal.  Everyone is willing to lend a hand, leg, back to help out the person next to them and no one asks for anything in return (other than assistance in getting over an obstacle).  

You can't walk away from a race feeling like you didn't accomplish something.  You just ran miles of rough trail, through mud/water/questionable substances, climbed 8 foot walls, crossed muddy monkey bars, carried logs that weigh as much as your golden retriever, and you helped others do the same.  That's the way the world is supposed to be, dirty, messy, and everyone working toward a common goal together.

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

I sprained the heck out of my ankle around mile 2 at the Spartan Super in Atlanta in 2015.  I managed to finish the race, and learned a lot about how mentally strong I really can be.

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

Laugh. You have to laugh. When it is 35 degrees, wet and you're out there, you have to find something to laugh at.   

What inspires you?

My husband and our two daughters.  He works tirelessly to ensure we're taken care of and still finds the energy to play with the girls, get a workout in at night, encourage me to workout after work, and lend a hand with dinner and dishes.  Our oldest daughter has the best heart I have ever seen in a person.  She cares for everyone, even if she doesn't know them, and just wants everyone to be happy and healthy.  

Our baby is feisty as they come, and is not afraid to let you know exactly what she thinks about something.  I strive to be like each of them, working tirelessly to ensure my family is cared for, seeing the best in everyone, and not too shy to speak my mind when needed.

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

Racing fall Savage in the Pro wave and not losing my band.

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

I love what the future holds for OCR.  This sport is still so young, and changing constantly there's so much room for it to evolve.  I fully expect to see more high school OCR teams sprouting up, more college competitions, and maybe pro teams in just a few short years.

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

Photos courtesy of Savage Race


Announcing: Team MudGear 2017 December 07 2016, 0 Comments

It's Malko from MudGear,

After reviewing close to 600 phenomenal applications from the OCR community, it's time to announce our team. This was no easy task considering the many amazing accomplishments and inspiring stories you all submitted.

As our company has grown this year, we've received twice the amount of applications compared to last year. We ended up having to expand the team, and that's why things took a bit longer than expected to announce.

After reading countless stories of how OCR has helped people turn their lives around, I'm grateful and humbled to be a part of this special community. It gives me great satisfaction that our products are helping people change their lives through OCR, and I can't thank you enough for taking the time to submit an application.

We'll be featuring some of the inspirational stories on our blog this upcoming year, but until then here's the roster for Team MudGear in 2017!

 

Brakken Kraker

Mike Ferguson

K.K. Stewart-Paul

Robert Killian Jr.

Alexandra Walker 

Mark Jones

Kevin LaPlatney

Morgan McKay

Victor Quezada

Brian Gowiski

Laura Lunardi

Josh Chase

Ryan Woods

Tiffany Palmer

Kate Cramer

Angel Quintero

Shelby Harris

 

 


Robert Killian Jr - Team MudGear 2017

Robert Killian Jr.

Robert Killian Jr. is a world-class OCR racer with a distinguished career in the US Army Special Forces, routinely working with coalition allies throughout the world. In 2016, Killian and his partner were named winners of the 2016 Best Ranger Competition. He also has the highest ever finish by an American at the World Military Orienteering Championships, being nominated for US Army Soldier-Athlete of the Year in 2015. We're honored to have him on Team MudGear for 2017 and the upcoming racing season. Some of his race highlights include:

  • #1 at Best Ranger Competition 2016
  • #1 Spartan Super and #1 overall trifecta rankings in Austria Oberndorf Tirol, 2016
  • #2 at WTM Team Division 2016, Completing 100 Miles
  • #2 Spartan Race Breckenridge, 2016
  • #3 at Spartan World Championships Tahoe, 2016
  • #4 at OCRWC 15KM Pro Division, 2016
  • #1 Longmont Triathlon, 2015
  • #3 OCRWC Team Championships, 2016
  • #1 Spartan World Championships, 2015
  • #3 Spartan Super Pennsylvania, 2015
  • #3 Spartan Super New Jersey, 2015

 

Laura Lunardi

Laura has been a star athlete since her college days, a Division 1 athlete in both field hockey and lacrosse. Now working in geriatric physical therapy and a mother to five kids all under the age of 9 - she still manages to find time crushing OCR races and ultra-marathons. Laura's is a true inspiration for all OCR athletes. Some of her race highlights include:


2016:

  • 9 Elite Spartan podiums
  • 10 Elite Masters Spartan podiums
  • Top 3 Female in 4 marathons
  • 2016 Spartan Elite Masters
  • 2016 Spartan Elite Female #5

2015:

  • 14 Elite Masters Spartan podiums in 2015
  • Top 3 Female in 3 ultra marathons in 2015
  • 2015 Elite Masters: #1
  • 2015 Elite Female Spartan: #10
  • Podium finishes in all 2015 races from 10K-15K distances 


Brakken Kraker - Team MudGear 2017

Brakken Kraker

Brakken has been a full-time OCR racer since 2014, but his beginnings in the sport started at the Illinois Spartan Sprint in 2011. At that race, he discovered how bad his fitness was and the misery of burpees. Since then, he’s pushed himself to become one of the leading figures in the OCR community. Brakken currently lives in West Allis and is the head coach of http://leaderboardfit.com/. Some of his race highlights:

  • #2 Montana NBC race 2016
  • #1 Spartan Stadium Series Champion
  • #3 Spartan Points Series 2015
  • 7 OCR wins in 2015
  • 20 races completed in 2015
  • 16 races with podium finish in 2015

 

Kate Cramer

Kate has a long-standing athletic background since high school that allowed her to blaze into OCR. Though her speciality is in shorter races, you'll also find her competing in Spartan Beasts & Supers. In 2006, she represented the United States at FISU World Championships in Lausanne, Switzerland winning the sprint triathlon national championship. She's also trained with the US triathlong team at the Olympic Training Center in 2007, and placed 16th at the ITU National Championships in Honolulu, HI. Some of her race stats include:

  • Spartan Pro Team & Yancy Camp Athlete
  • 2016 Spartan Race Stadium Series Champion
  • Spartan Race rookie of the year, 2015
  • 12 Spartan Race podium finishes in 2015
  • 8 Spartan #1 podium placements in 2015

 

Kevin "Mudman" LaPlatney

Kevin "Mudman" LaPlatney has over 110 OCR races completed and isn't stopping anytime soon. He's the owner of OCR and Ninja Warrior training facility "Obstacle Athletics" in Long Island, NY. As the head coach, it's a one-of-a-kind gym that delivers functional fitness training and helps push people past their limits. Learn more about them on Facebook here. He also operates MudMan Report, a popular OCR race and gear review website. "MudGear has always been a brand that fully stands by its products, its athletes, and the awesome sport of obstacle racing.  This is the type of company I’m proud to be representing." Here are some of his race stats:

  • #3 Elite Ranking in age group, Spartan Stadium Series, 2016
  • Ranked #16 nationally, Spartan Stadium Series, 2016
  • Earned Spartan Race Elite Coin at Killington VT, 2016


 

K.K. Stewart-Paul

K.K. is a Crossfit endurance enthusiast, mountain runner, and former equine trainer. She now dominates OCR courses around the country. In 2015, she won 1st place in over ten races, and looks forward to breaking new records this year. Some of her race stats include:

  • #1 Arizona Spartan Race (back-to-back), 2015
  • #2 Atlas Race SoCal, 2015
  • #1 Atlas Race SoCal, 2015
  • #1 Atlas Race San Antonio, 2015
  • #1 Battle Frog Dallas, 2015
  • #1 Colorado Spartan Race (back-to-back), 2015
  • #1 Pac-West Spartan Sprint, 2015
  • #1 Breckenridge Spartan Sprint, 2015
  • #1 Dallas Battlefrog, 2015
  • #1 Atlanta Battlefrog, 2015
  • #1 Miami Battlefrog, 2015
  • #4 Orlando Battlefrog Championships, 2015
  • #3 Obstacle Course Race World Championship, 2015

 

Brian Gowiski

Brian has dominated the 2016 OCR season. He lives in Charlotte, North Carolina which is also the home of MudGear. He's a US Marine Corps Veteran with two tours in Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom and a Purple Heart recipient. After spending many years abroad, he sees racing in OCR as an opportunity some are not fortunate enough to have. Some of his race stats:

  • #1 OCR World Championships 2016, 25-29 category
  • #1 Men's Elite Fort Bragg Sprint, 2016
  • #1 Men's Elite Washington Spartan Sprint, 2016 (Saturday)
  • #1 Men's Elite for 2016 Washington D.C. Sprint (Sunday)
  • #1  Men's Elite for 2016 Ohio Sprint
  • #1  Mens Elite for 2016 Ohio Beast
  • #1 OCR World Championships 2015, 25-29 category
  • #1 OCR World Championships 2014, 25-29 category

 

Morgan McKay

Morgan is an OCR addict from Ottawa, Canada compiling an impressive OCR resume in the most extreme races around the world. As a full-time personal trainer, she loves helping clients reach their goals and break through barriers. She fell in love with OCR in 2011 when she completed her first Spartan Race. Now she also dedicates her time training for extreme OCR events with coach Yancy Culp. With hard work and determination, she believes that anything is possible. Some of her recent race stats:

  • #3 Overall Female Finisher World's Toughest Mudder, 2016
  • #1 Battlefrog 24-Hour Extreme Race, 2016
  • #3 Spartan Ultra Beast New Jersey, 2016
  • #1 Battlefrog Extreme New England, 2015
  • #1 Spartan Ultra Beast World Championships 2013

 

Mark Jones

Mark Jones has been dominating races across road running, OCR, trail running, triathlons, CrossFit, and adventure racing. As training for the Spartan Death Race, he once ran 50 miles with a 50lb pack to prep himself for the race. Mark served in the Marines and continues to serve in the US Army. He will also be race director for "Dark Rainbow" and "The Suck" in 2017. Some of his race stats include:

  • #1 Ultimate Suck, 2016 (First ever 2x overall winner)
  • #3 World's Toughest Mudder (Team), 2016 
  • #1 Ultimate Suck, 2014
  • #3 Spartan Ultra Beast (Overall), Killington 2016
  • #1 World's Toughest Mudder (Team), 2014
  • #1 CIOR (Confederation of Interrelated Officer) Gold Medalist, 2012
  • Texas Water Safari “Real life, Oh S$#t - I can die type of race” 56hr Bucket List,  2016 

Alexandra Walker

As a dental hygienist out of spring Branch, TX, Alexandra got her first taste of OCR when she ran a Tough Mudder in 2014. Being a member of Team Power Up, San Antonio OCR Racers, and Lone Star spartans, she loves being a part of the vibrant community. Her favorite races are Savage Race and Conquer The Gauntlet. For next year, she has her eyes set on the Spartan World Championships and OCR World Championships. Some of her race stats include:

  • #1 Warrior Dash Austin, 2016
  • #1 BattleFrog San Antonio, 2016
  • #1 BattleFrog Dallas, 2016
  • #1 BattleFrog Kansas City, 2016
  • #2 Spartan Sprint Austin, 2016
  • #2 Spartan Super Austin, 2016
  • #2 CTG/XCT, 2016
  • #2 Savage Race Houston, 2016
  • #3 BattleFrog Arizona, 2016
  • #3 Spartan Beast Team Challenge, 2016
  • #3 BattleFrog Atlanta, 2016

     

    Ryan Woods

    Ryan Woods is from Boone, North Carolina. He's an accomplished racer that doesn't take himself too seriously. Ryan runs far; Ryan runs fast. Ryan ran track; Ryan cracks backs. Ryan is small; Ryan excels at the barb wire crawl. Ryan once couldn't climb a rope; now Ryan in dope. Ryan swings through the rig; Ryan is working to get big. Some of his race stats:

    • Won 3 savage races
    • Won 7  Spartans
    • 4th OCR Worlds short course
    • 11th Spartan Worlds
    • 8th in Spartan US Championship series

     

    Tiffany Palmer

    Tiffany is an obstacle course racer from Gambrills, MD.  She grew up as a multi-sport athlete competing in junior Olympic speed skating, all star cheerleading, and softball. Currently, she is a full-time childcare provider and high school cheerleading coach. When Tiffany is not giving piggyback rides or spotting a tumbling pass, you can find her training for or competing in an OCR.

    In April 2016, Tiffany competed in her first Elite race, the Spartan Beast in New Jersey, where she finished in 2nd place.  During the 2016 race season, She competed in 11 races, all of which she finished in the Top 15, including nine Top 5 finishes and six podium finishes!  Between training and competing, Tiffany loves inspiring others to reach their full potential. She says “It's an honor to represent MudGear and I cannot wait for the 2017 season!”


    #1 BattleFrog Philadelphia, 2016
    #1 Warrior Dash MD, 2016 
    #2 DC Sprint Sat, 2016 
    #1 DC Sprint Sun, 2016 
    #4 Spartan Super Wintergreen, 2016
    #1 Spartan Sprint Wintergreen, 2016
    #2 Spartan Beast New Jersey, 2016
    #5 OCRWC 3k, 2016
    #14 OCRWC 15k, 2016
    #12 Palmerton NBC race, 2016

     

    Victor Quezada

    Victor has always been active, maybe even a bit hyper so OCR is a perfect fit for him. It challenges him to put everything he has into competing at the highest level. After playing baseball for 16 years, he drifted away and eventually weighed 210lbs at one point. In 2011, he decided to make a change and live healthier. He ran his first race in January of 2014 and has been hooked ever since then. Victor currently has a total of 26 OCR podium placements. Among those are 13 from terrain racing, and 8 from Spartan Race. His other race stats include:

    • #1 Throwdown in the LBC, 2016
    • #2 Epic Series, 2016
    • #2 OCR World Championships (25-29 Category), 2016
    • #2 BattleFrog League Championships ESPN: Team San Diego, 2016
    • #3 Down and Dirty, 2016
    • #4 BattleFrog Placements In 3 Races, 2016
    • #4 BattleFrog Placements In 3 Races, 2016
    • #6 BattleFrog Overall, 2016
    • #2 OCR World Championships (25-29 Category), 2015
    • #6 Spartan Super Sacramento, 2014

     

       

      Shelby Harris

      Shelby has a masters in Exercise Physiology and works as a CrossFit L-1 personal trainer at CrossFit Vesuvio & CrossFit Dynamo in the Atlanta area. She's been running OCR races since 2013, and is a member of MIT Tough Team USA, Georgia Obstacle Racers, and Mud Runners. Her nickname is "Muscle Hamster" because while small, she packs incredible strength to conquer obstacles that require technical work. Her favorite race series is Savage Race. "I began OCR in college when I wanted a challenge and a way to encourage myself to get back in shape. I went out of my comfort zone and signed up for a Spartan Race with no friends doing it with me, and ended up having a blast. Now I've been running races ever since."

       

       

      Mike Ferguson

      Mike's love for racing traces back to middle school when he used to race BMX bikes competitively in middle school. During high school, he was introduced to track and field where he did well in state championships. His first OCR race was in 2013 and placed fifth in the elite race. That's when he discovered he was both enjoying and excelling at OCR.

      “I don't ever want to look back and say I wish I would have, or wondered how good could I have been. So I'm taking advantage of being in my prime right now to become the best OCR racer I can possibly be." Some of his race stats from this year:

      • #1 Men's Elite MN Spartan Sprint, 2016
      • #1 Men's Elite MN Rugged Maniac, 2016
      • #1 Men's Elite MN Warrior Dash, 2016
      • #1 Men's Elite MN Terrain Race, 2016
      • #27 Men's Elite - 2016 Spartan World Championships

       

       

      Angel Quintero

      Angel Quintero is an OCR racer that lives in Mexico City. As a dedicated and passionate person that always works hard for what he wants, we're proud to have him on board as OCR races are expanding internationally. He has 14 podium placements across 16 different Spartan Races. On goals for 2017, Angel says “I have no doubt that I will work harder in 2017 so I can get even better results”.

      • #4 Place NBC Spartan Championship, 2016
      • #6 Place Spartan Race World Championship 2015
      • #6 Place OCR World Championship 2016
      • #12 Place Spartan World Championship 2016

         

        Josh Chace

        "I am a member of the New England Spahtens - we're an almost 5,000 member strong community that has been running OCR since 2010. Our goal is too help encourage, educate, and cheer on members and others from the novice runner to the pro athletes. For me the sport of OCR is a life changing experience. I co-host a podcast with other NES members and our goal is to share the experiences we have as well ass interact with the community in order to promote OCR in general.  I've got a pretty wide variety of finishes as I don't always run to compete. Most times I run to finish as a team, or help new people finish a race they're scared of."   


        Profiles In Badassary - Jeff Bennett December 01 2016, 0 Comments

        MudGear Profiles in Badassary 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?

        A baseball coach of my son's rival team went to lead practice with the horned hat from Warrior Dash back in 2010. I asked what that was all about and I learned about obstacle races for the first time. I began racing in local events then learned where to find the national level ones like Warrior Dash, Spartan Race, Savage Race and Battlefrog.

         

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

        I talk about obstacle racing in the locker room. People ask me why I run all winter long and almost every day rain or shine. Sometimes they say, "hey, aren't you the guy doing burpees on the trail?". I tell them about why my training is different than street running.

        I also have my medals on my desk at work and it always brings up competition. Many are surprised I compete in this kind of sport in my '50s.

         

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

        Winning my age group at Savage Race and qualifying for the OCR World Championship.

         

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

        Best training advice is to practice my grip strength. I run well, and can complete all obstacles except one. My nemesis is the platinum rig and I want to master it this year.  So far, I've incorporated a lot of pull ups and hanging grips, and fun jungle gym obstacles.

        What personal challenges has OCR has helped you overcome?

        I gained 40 quick pounds after retiring from the army. After 40, my metabolism slowed down and I couldn't count on my training and war stories to keep me in shape. I had to take action. Training for OCRs has helped me focus and keep dedicated. I lost my 40 pounds and keep my warfighting shape thanks to OCR.

         

        What inspires you?

        I enjoy practicing my Christian faith. My favorite saying is "finish the course".  1 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. That really inspires me when I think I've done all I can, but still have more. That works in faith, life, and in exercise.

         

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

        I have come in second overall in the Moon Shine Mud Run in my first race. My second race was St. Claire Mud Run where I also came in second. I also came in first in my age group last may for the Savage Race, Atlanta. My goal for this year is NOT to fall off the platinum rig. I've adjusted my training and I want to breeze through it. If I can just make it and not have to give up my wrist band...

         

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

        I own a publishing company and am the author of several books.

         

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

        I've seen obstacle racing transition from running with some crawling and climbing obstacles to full blown strength events. I believe the future OCR athletes will have to be strong and great runners.


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

        Know a real badass? Send them here to submit an application to be our next profile in badassary -  or apply yourself!




        Profiles In Badassry - Justin Anderson November 24 2016, 0 Comments

        MudGear Profiles in Badassary 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 about 70 pounds overweight and had just gone through a very bad break up from a 10 year relationship. I saw an ad for a spartan race and decided that it would give me something to train for and a goal to set my sights on.  

         

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

        My initial response is that OCRs are a way to feel like a kid again and also to overcome fears and anxieties that permeate everyday life. I explain to them that, while it may seem crazy or extreme, it is a lifestyle that continues to show me who I am and what I am capable of.  

         

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

        My most memorable moment will always be finishing the 2014 Vermont Ultra Beast. This was a race that made me extremely nervous and was way outside of my comfort zone and athletic ability (my longest run at that point was about 12 miles...most of it walking!). It was such an amazing sense of accomplishment that I will never forget that moment...or the amount of food i ate afterwards!

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

        Take care of and listen to your body. The idea of "beast mode" or crushing yourself everyday in the gym is only going to hurt you and is never going to make you better.

         

        What personal challenges has OCR has helped you overcome?

        OCR has helped me overcome severe depression and anxiety. Also, I was a very heavy drinker before racing, and OCR has been a huge part of my commitment to a sober lifestyle. All around it has just made me a better person.

         

        What inspires you?

        My biggest inspiration is seeing people every weekend toe the line with doubts, fears, or physical limitations and watching them face those obstacles and come out and give it their all. To me, those people are the true elites, the true role models.  

         

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

        I have set some pretty lofty goals for myself this year, including a top 25 finish in the spartan points and a top 5 finish at WTM. I am putting in the work now, so if I race hard and believe in myself, there is no telling what I can accomplish.

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

        Maybe a couple of things. First, that I am a lawyer in DC. Second, that I have absolutely no running background, and 3 years ago i couldn't even run 1 mile!

         

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

        I think OCR is at a cross roads. The sport has grown so rapidly over the past few years, but it still seems a ways away from being really taken seriously. I think the industry really needs to be united and move in one direction for this sport to continue to gain legitimacy. I am really excited about the potential for this sport, but its going to take everyone to help it reach its full potential.



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

        Know a real badass? Send them here to submit an application to be our next profile in badassary -  or apply yourself!


        Profiles In Badassry - Jonathan Ronzio November 17 2016, 0 Comments

        MudGear Profiles in Badassary 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 started going to an OCR training class on Thursday mornings at my local rock gym and for almost a year, this proved to be a really fun and effective cross-training to build strength and elevate my climbing game. That's how it all started. To help with my mountaineering pursuits. There was a pretty consistent crew that went to this class on a weekly basis and out of all of us, I was the only one that hadn't run a Spartan Race, or any other OCR circuit for that matter.

        Having directed and produced an adventure doc, and done the whole film festival thing in the past, I get the occasional industry newsletter. One day I saw the casting call for the Spartan Race show on NBC and told my training mates about it. When they asked me to be a part of their team, I was psyched and of course said yes!

        We ended up getting cast for show as the "Freedom Trail Runners" and the epic team course they built down in Atlanta was my first go at a Spartan Race. After the show, I was hooked and couldn't wait until the next time, when I could run a more traditional, less made-for-tv, race. And since, training harder and pushing myself to succeed within the OCR community has become a new passion of mine!

         

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

        Everything I do, from my mountaineering and adventure travel pursuits to my obstacle racing, people see as crazy. And I love that! Attempting what most people won't kind of drives me. But I also try to show that while, yeah, I may have a few screw loose, I'm just someone who decided to act on the pursuit of his dreams. Everyone's got them—crazy dreams—but not everyone choses to chase them. and that's what I try to tell people. That I'm just chasing mine, and it's totally possible for them to do the same and be as crazy as the rest of us!

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

        Definitely competing in Spartan's Ultimate Team Challenge on NBC. I'm more a fan of the obstacles than the running the races, and this was basically Ninja Warrior in the woods. Huge, complicated, insane obstacles, back-to-back, that it took a whole team to complete. I loved that!

         

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

        "Do lots of burpees. I mean lots. And you'll be fine."

         

        What inspires you?

        Challenges inspire me. Whether that be a mountain, a race, a business, or person goal. I'm inspired by looking at seemingly impossible possible dreams, and breaking them down into obtainable and inspirational realities.

         

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

        I'm just getting going! This year I'll be knocking off a Spartan Trifecta for sure. I'll also be doing a Tough Mudder or two. And my main goal is to cut down my running time between obstacles. In my last Sprint, I finished 10th out of 274 males in the 25-29 age group. I can totally climb that ladder if I shave my average mile times!

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

        Outside of OCR, I've led expeditions backpacking and climbing through 4 continents and nearly 30 countries. I directed an award-winning documentary, am an international speaker, have singles on iTunes, and run a travel blog called Explore Inspired. I also founded a marketing startup called Content Jelly, and I'm marrying my amazing fianceé, Alexandria, in September! Lots going, and that's how I like it!

         

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

        It's such an exciting time to be part of the OCR community! These races are absolutely blowing up and it's all of the sudden a well-known and respectable sport. Something more than just a crazy mud run you and your friends do to say you did and have a beer at the end. The caliber of athletes coming into the sport and taking it to the next level is just inspiring and I'm beyond psyched to be a part of that!

         

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

        Know a real badass? Send them here to submit an application to be our next profile in badassary -  or apply yourself!


        Profiles In Badassary - Jerry Zalesak November 10 2016, 1 Comment

        MudGear Profiles in Badassary 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?

        In 2012, it was suggested to me that I should participate in the Warrior Dash and raise money for St. Jude's Children's Hospital. In high school, I raised money for this charity playing tennis, being able to continue helping them in my adulthood sounded great.

        Days before the race I had raised $250 for the charity. I went to Facebook and posted to my friends, "If my donations double to $500 I will shave my head!" Four hours later my donations were up to $540+. The night before the race my friend who ran with me assisted in shaving my head.. and filming it. It was like a transformation, a metamorphosis from ordinary human to... something more! An Obstacle Course Racer was born!!

         

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

        This is a topic that comes up quite often as people question my multiple shirts or patches, "Do you actually do these races? What are they like?". Of course once they are answered most ask, "I could never do that, it sounds difficult. Why do you do it?". To which I respond, "To defeat the very statement you just made. And yes, you can do it."

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

        Singing the National Anthem at the Spartan Hawaii Trifecta weekend!  Link to video here: https://www.facebook.com/jerrythez/videos/1437013349647493/

         

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

        Don't stop.  

         

        What personal challenges has OCR has helped you overcome?

        Before I began participating in OCR I hated running. I don't use the word hate often but I can truly say I HATED running. I was also completed uneducated about how to take care of my body. I struggled thru my first race, and once I finished I vowed two things: 1.) I will be competing in many OCRs. and 2.) I will do what is necessary to perform substantially better in each race. I have since become a Certified Personal Trainer and before the end of they year would like to become a Spartan SGX Coach.  


        What inspires you?

        I enjoy being the person others are comfortable asking health questions. Let's be honest, one of the most difficult things to talk about with someone else is our own health. This is my forte. I'm told I am quite charismatic; this helps people to talk to me about things they wouldn't tell their significant other. In return I am able to enlighten them with advice, answers, knowledge, tips & tricks, and if I'm lucky the tools they will need to conquer their next health/workout/OCR goal.

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

        I qualified for the OCR World Championship this year during the Spartan Sprint in Hawaii (placed 7th of 225 in my age group 30-34), I have completed my Triple Trifecta with Spartan and will Quad Trifecta by the end of the year (I have the South Carolina Beast and Jacksonville, FL Super left this year),  I just completed my Triple Savage Syndicate, and I also ran a Tough Mudder, BoneFrog, and one of the last BattleFrog Xtreme Races in Philadelphia, PA.

         

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

        I have a titanium rod and four bolts in my left leg. I've had my skull fractured, muscles relocated, and a collapsed lung.

         

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

        I love that we have developed an outlet where we can let our animal instincts take over; where we can leave everything at the Starting Line and just enjoy life. As for the future of OCR, I would love to see an Olympic category created so a true world competition can be had!


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

        Know a real badass? Send them here to submit an application to be our next profile in badassary -  or apply yourself!


        Profiles In Badassary - Kevin Norville November 03 2016, 0 Comments

        MudGear Profiles in Badassary 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.

         

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

        Know a real badass? Send them here to submit an application to be our next profile in badassary -  or apply yourself!


        Profiles In Badassary - Jason Goggins October 27 2016, 0 Comments

        MudGear Profiles in Badassary 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.


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

        Know a real badass? Send them here to submit an application to be our next profile in badassary -  or apply yourself!




        Getting Into Trail Running October 26 2016, 0 Comments

        Running is an impressively versatile activity – you can run 100 meters on a track, 100 miles up the side of the mountain, a 10k over an obstacle course, or any other practically innumerable combinations of distance and terrain – and therein lies its beauty and, at least for me, its appeal. Like many others, when I began running endurance events, I started on roads and the typical distances: 5k, 10k, half marathon, the marathon. It wasn't until I had been running for several years that I learned about the whole other as-yet untapped realm of running that I hadn't yet explored: trail running.

        If you're already a regular 5k or 10k runner, I bet you'll be surprised at how easily you, too, can make the transition from running primarily on roads to running primarily on trails. You'll of course also get all the side benefits from running on trails – such as a totally indescribable appreciation for (and access to) nature, far exceeding what you'd be able to usually experience; a hippy-dippy feeling like you're becoming more “zen” and centered; and hey, practically speaking, running trails will probably help you get faster on roads over time, since running trails will make you less injury-prone (think of all those “little stabilizer muscles” that you'll be developing when you're running trails); – and fortunately, getting started on trails is easier than you think.

        Here are some tips on getting started:

        Look at a map, and see what's around you. You're ready to run trails? Awesome. Before you get ready to go run into the nearest wood sand hope for the best, check out a map and see what's around you. It might be obvious, but if you're a trail n00b, one of the easiest ways to find trail running opportunities is to simply look for the big patches of green – indicating forests or parks – on a map. Similarly, look for bodies of water, since oftentimes there will be trails adjacent to them. Who knows? Maybe there will be some trail opportunities nearer to you than you had imagined. If not, consider saving your trail forays for the weekend mornings, when you have a little more time than usual to run.

        Find some experts. The internet is invaluable for bringing people together, and it's especially helpful in situations like these, when you're the new kid trying something out for the first time. Do some internet searching to see if there are any trail running groups in your area. When you're doing something new for the first time, it's always helpful to do so under the watchful eye of someone more experienced, and connecting with a trail running group will help ensure that you hook-up with a more experienced trail runner who can give you (solicited or unsolicited) words of advice. Bonus: most likely, experienced trail runners will be able to make sure that you don't get lost the first few times you go run in the woods. :) Chances are high that many of these experienced trail runners originally began running just like you did – 5ks or 10ks on roads – so definitely use their sagaciousness to your advantage. Learn from their trials and tribulations to help make your transition as seamless as possible.

        Get the gear … maybe. Eventually. While running is naturally a pretty simple and straightforward sport, we runners like to have our stuff – our gear. You'll soon learn that there is an entirely different market that caters to trail running, and it can be really tempting to want to splurge on everything all at once, especially when you are first beginning. Take a step back and wait. It's likely that the stuff you already have from roads running will work just fine on the trails. Trial and error – giving yourself the opportunity to have trial and error – will teach you what is essential for you to spend your money on. Start small with affordable gear pieces that can add comfort and enjoyment like a good pair of trail running socks. Plus, saving money on some gear purchases will allow you to use that money for trail races, my next point…

        Race trails! As a road runner, you already know the magic of race day. Pinning on a bib, lining up with a whole bunch of perfect strangers, and running to your heart's desire: few things in life are better than this. You'll likely find that the environment of trail racing is a little more subdued and chill, but it's still definitely exciting and invigorating – especially since you're running through woods and trails instead of business districts and residential neighborhoods. You have the luxury of being able to race anything from a 5k all the way up to a 100-miler (and beyond) on trails, so it ultimately boils down to picking a distance that's a good fit for you and one that you can safely and effectively train for. Use your local trail running group's words of wisdom when you're selecting your trail races – I bet that they've probably run many of the local ones already – and go out there and enjoy yourself. Another bonus? Racing trails means that you earn yourself a whole new set of trails-specific PRs, since roads/trails racing is inherently different.

        If you've been racing 5ks and 10ks on the roads for quite some time, making the transition to trail running will be easier than you think. A little research can go a long way, and before too long, you'll find yourself standing at the starting line of your first trail race, staring down the side of a mountain (or into a thick, dense forest, perhaps) wondering what took you so long to get there. 

         

        Writer’s Bio:

        Dan Chabert

        Writing from Copenhagen, Denmark, Dan is an entrepreneur, husband and ultramarathon distance runner. He spends most of his time on GearWeAre.com,  runnerclick.com and nicershoes.com. He has been featured on runner blogs all over the world.

         

         

         


        The OCRWC MudGear Wall of Fame October 26 2016, 0 Comments

        Thanks to all our friends who stopped by the MudGear tent at the OCR World Championships in Ontario.  Here's our MudGear Wall of Fame honoring many of our MudGear wearing friends!


        Profiles in Badassary - Nico Bidin October 20 2016, 0 Comments

        MudGear Profiles in Badassary 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 started racing in 2013 with the Ottawa Spartan Sprint. My mom found an ad online and thought it would be a fun family thing to do. We all registered and ran in possibly the worst weather thinkable for an OCR. Everybody else seemed traumatized by the experience but I was hooked. I earned my first Spartan Trifecta in 2014  after dominating the open heats and made the jump to elite racing for the 2015 season and continued to grow in the 2016 season.

         

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

        It would have to be sequence of events to end the 2015 season. It started with completing the Ottawa UltraBeast last Summer. It was a very emotionally draining race, it took me 10:36:25. The distance, the hills and everything between were amped up from any other race I've done. Somewhere along the 2nd lap from repeated impact I ruptured the bursa sac in my left knee. At the time I had no idea because I couldn't tell the difference between general wear and tear and a real injury.

        I finished the race, but ended up with a nasty infection from the rupture and unable to run for almost 2 months. Not only did that end my season prematurely, but also hurt my winter job as a hockey referee since there was no way I could skate for the first 2 months of the season. After intravenous antibiotics for 3 weeks and oral antibiotics for another week I was eventually able to walk and start to run again after nothing for most of August and the month of September.

        I then made a risky move to compete at OCRWC 2015. Fortunately my knee would hold up and I was able to complete the race. After battling the cold and the intense obstacles I kept my band and finished 25th in the 18-24 division. That race was the greatest experience I have had in OCR and I’m very excited for the 2016 event.

         

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

        The best advice I've received is the "Frame of Reference" mindset. Basically, everyone has an idea of what their physical limits are, but usually these are only “perceived” limits. When we put ourselves into situations that are seemingly impossible, we often find that we are capable of much more than we ever thought.

        By making it through these challenges, you set new limits for yourself and therefore change your frame of reference. Each time you reset the bar, everything you previously found to be a hardship will seem more manageable. This idea got me through Ultrabeast training and helped me complete my first ultra-marathon distance training run in preparation for the race.

        Also being part of a team this year (shoutout to Capital OCR) helped me push myself. It's amazing what surrounding yourself with great racers and people can do for motivation.

         

        What inspires you?

        This season my mother was a huge inspiration. She got me into OCR years ago and after our first race she was the only one who not only supported me in my goals to race at an elite level but also continue to run them. The past two years we would run a Sprint lap together in the afternoon after I had completed my elite race. Its always a good mix of walking and burpees but it was something we did together. Growing up my dad always coached my hockey and lacrosse so we had that, but now in my twenties, my mom and I have OCR.

        This year she decided she wanted to have her trifecta before her 50th birthday. She also said she would pay for my Spartan season pass if I did it with her (so the poor university student in me jumped on that offer) without knowing what an experience it would be for the both of us. We started off early spring spending more time together training at OCR Academy getting her more comfortable with obstacles and got her cardio in shape for a Beast.

        Then the race season started. We fought through the heat at the Ottawa sprint, overcame the mud at the Toronto Super and survived the Owls head Beast. 9.5 hours and 21+km after starting the race we approached the festival area and last few obstacles.

        While my mom was doing her 30 burpees at the rig I told her I wanted to finish the last 2 obstacles hard and I quickly sprinted the last 200m over the fire and flipping over the A-frame to get my medal, but more importantly take one for her. I took a medal from the volunteer at the finish line I was able to place the finishers medal on my mom’s neck welcoming her to the trifecta tribe just short of a month before her 50th birthday.

         

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

        • 2016 Ottawa Badass Dash- 3rd place
        • 2016 Ottawa Polar Hero- 4th Place
        • 2016 Spartan Season Elite- 4x top 25, 2x top 20, 1 top 15 finish

        And an open heat trifecta completed with my 50 year old mother. I hope to improve on last year’s 25th place run at OCRWC, and of course keep my band in the process, I’d like to at least crack the top 20 this year

         

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

        When I'm not doing OCR things I have a part time job as a hockey referee. I've been refereeing for 7 years, and I have moved up the ranks to officiate Junior A in the Eastern Ontario area and have worked 2 AAA provincial championship tournaments. This past season I started working for the referee association in a teaching role focusing on the development of new and youth referees, and I was in charge of all the hiring of first year officials (often 14-16 years old)

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

        I really like fact that there are a variety of difficulties and race series’ choose from, it allows newer athletes to test the waters without being thrown into the deep end almost immediately. With that I would like to see more standardization with races.

        Advertising a 5km race and making it 7.5km isn't going to deter me from registering, but when I try to sell a race to a friend and they do a quick google search and all the comments say “it was way more than 5km” it really doesn't do anybody any good. Some race series are calling their race 7km or whatever and I think that is the way to do it.

        Since I was doing a few open heats this year it also opened my eyes to rampant cheating in ocr. Sure one school of thought it that they paid so they can do whatever but when I see people skipping obstacles, not doing their burpees or helping someone in a dangerous way it just makes me cringe. If you register for a marathon everyone runs 42.2km… there's no open heat option of 42.0km OCR should be the same.

        In terms of the future, I think a lot of standardization of obstacles and rules need to happen before this sport becomes an olympic sport. There's a lot of interesting characters in the OCR industry and I think they need to put aside their individual “my race is better/harder/more fun than your race ideology and really develop a sport. I fear that if something like a governing body doesn’t become a reality OCR will become just another fitness fad.


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

        Know a real badass? Send them here to submit an application to be our next profile in badassary -  or apply yourself!


        Profiles In Badassary: Chelsea Aronica October 13 2016, 1 Comment

        MudGear Profiles in Badassary 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 played basketball my entire life.  After my college basketball season and career ended, I wanted something else to keep my fire going and that challenged me.  My dad did his first Spartan Race in Staten Island, where we live, and he told me that I would love it.  Later that year, we did Tuxedo Spartan together and I instantly got hooked!

         

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

        When I describe what I do to people who are not familiar with OCR, I show them pictures or videos that my parents have taken.  They think I am crazy! I tell them all about the views at the top of mountains and how exhilarating finishing a race feels.  I've tried to get some of my friends to do one with me so they can experience that same rush!

         

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

        My most memorable moment in my OCR career so far was the 2013 Vermont Beast.  It was my first beast ever and the first time I ever did a race over 13 miles.  It was also my first OCR season.  I did not know what to expect.  I ran on Sunday, and it was rainy and freezing.  This race pushed me to my limits and forced me to overcome all of the challenged I was facing (fatigue, hunger, frost bite).  Not to my knowledge, until after the race had ended, I ended up finishing the race in 3rd place female!  It was a great experience with or without the podium and made me come to the realization that I can do anything I put my mind to.

         

        What personal challenges has OCR has helped you overcome?

        I tore my ACL playing basketball in 2010 and ever since then I have had a totally different mindset.  Coaches doubted me to get back to 100% so I wanted to show them that I can get back into even better shape than I was, and I did.  I have always used that as fuel to keep going.  Now, I am doing things that I have never imagined and accomplishing much more than I ever thought I would.  

         

        What inspires you?

        I am a Special Education Teacher and children inspire me every day.  Things people doubt they can accomplish and then they accomplish them and more inspires me to never give up.  Telling my students about my races and the faces they have when I tell them what I am going to do on the weekend, inspire me to do well so I can tell them all about it!

         

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

        My goal this year is to get stronger in running.  I love the obstacles, but I know running is my weakness.  I have been working on it all through the off season, so hopefully it pays off in the end!

        Photos courtesy of Spartan Race

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

        Know a real badass? Send them here to submit an application to be our next profile in badassary -  or apply yourself!


        Profiles In Badassary: Jake Ryan October 06 2016, 0 Comments

        MudGear Profiles in Badassary 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 mom did a Spartan Race in 2012 and I thought it looked really fun and started competing the next year!

         

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

        My most memorable moment in OCR was racing the Spartan Race World Championship 2013 in Vermont and earning my first TriFecta at the age of 13.

         

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

        Matt Kempson gave me a technique that really works well for the spear throw a few years ago and to this day, it is still working great. Also, Hunter McIntyre gave me a lot of training advice for obstacles I used to struggle with. I always struggled with the Hercules Hoist until he recommend towel pull ups, and now I can do it with ease!


        What personal challenges has OCR has helped you overcome?

        The incredible people of OCR and their stories. Also, see how much stronger I have become inspires me to continue.

         

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

        I have won my age group at many events, like Merrel Down and Dirty. I placed top 20 at Battlefrog, when I was only 14. I also placed 2nd overall in a Spartan Race open heat and do pretty well in some of the elite Spartan Race heats I have done.


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

        I started racing at 13 years old. I am now 16. I play soccer and run track for my high school. I also enjoy making YouTube videos of races, training, and other adventures! My channel name is JMR_Spartan.


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

        Right now I feel like many of the events I have been doing for a while, are starting to get easier then they original were. I think that OCR events should have more obstacles, and some more challenging obstacles. I still feel like OCR favors runners rather then people that do not focus on running quite as much. Also I would like to see a competitive team aspect of the sport so that more competitors will be known and have a better chance for sponsorship.

         Photos courtesy of Spartan Race

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

        Know a real badass? Send them here to submit an application to be our next profile in badassary -  or apply yourself!


        Profiles In Badassary: Chris Wheeler September 29 2016, 0 Comments

        MudGear Profiles in Badassary 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 got roped into OCR as a work function. I remember thinking "Who the hell pays 80 bucks to run through the mud?" Then about a 3rd of the way into it I remember thinking "crap where is the next one?" OCR took off from there for me.

         

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

        This sound weird but I don't really talk about the events themselves when people ask me about it. I talk about what I get out of them, the amazing community, the uplifting nature to make yourself shatter your limitations, from mister six-pack to the person on a journey of transformation trying to help you reach your goal while going after theirs.

         

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

        I've had a few but both came from persevering when the people around me were suggesting I call it a day for my own good. At BattleFrog Dallas I got stuck at the Bridge over the Cry, I got to the point I was hypothermic, my hands were bleeding all over because I kept trying and trying. I got to a point where I told myself I don't car how much it hurts I'm going to get the job done. I just dug down and BFTFU to get across that bloody thing. I was so pumped I grabbed the Course Marshall, Melissa Hall off the ground and gave her a big bear hug and possibly a heart attack.

        The second was the Killington Ultra Beast. I did it on a whim 3 weeks out I signed up after thinking I wasn't going to do it all season. After taking it very easy on the first lap I decided to really take off because I was gaining on the other leaders, around Mile 3 I saw a Beaster doing something that would get her hurt and in a bit of irony by helping her I did to myself exactly what I helped her no do and smashed my knee into a boulder and tree root.

         

        I had a medic suggesting I get carted down, I hadn't brought my glow sticks or headlamp because I was suppose to finish with plenty of daylight left. I had to dig deep down to focus on the goal at hand getting to finish line if it killed me. Along way I got great support from the famous HB and even walked some of the heavy carries with Roxie and her Mum. Really kept me starting at my goal and I finished right at sunset, it was a incredibly euphoric feeling. Now all I want to do is run Ultra Beast, WTMs, BFXs and want a crack at BFX24 in 2017.



         

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

        Don't Embrace the Suck, Love it! When things feel like they are at the worst that is the time to be at your best because that is how you grow that is how you get stronger.

         

        What personal challenges has OCR has helped you overcome?

        OCR gave my my athletic passion back, I credit it heavily in my 115 lbs weight loss.


        What inspires you?

        Anyone who uses what others view as a shortcoming or disability as their strength to succeed. We too easily look for excuses as to why something can't be done, there is something beautiful about someone be told "they can't do something" and the response being "watch me".


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

        I've had a few top age finishes and top 10 overalls. My goals this year are to reach the podium in an Elite Heat and at least 1 BFX Trident


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

        I am very go with the flow and can have an amazing time with people and not say 10 words, but I'm known as the Shenanigator in some circles so people are surprise to see how laid back I am.


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

        I love it because while the industry and sport as a whole are in their infancy, the biggest component running is very mature. The way series are taking notice of all the different lengths of specialty is great and I'm curious on how that evolves. I am also curious on how the "Competitive Wave" will evolve because people want to compete for something beyond the bragging rights and the Elite wave should evolve to be earned not be used as a price upgrade to run a clean course. I could write War and Peace here but I'll hold myself back.

        Photos courtesy of Spartan Race

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

        Know a real badass? Send them here to submit an application to be our next profile in badassary -  or apply yourself!


        Pro Athletes Are Crucial To The Sport of OCR, And Here's Why... September 29 2016, 0 Comments

        by Ryan Bowyer

        Over the past six months, I’ve had the awesome opportunity to serve as one of #TeamMudGear Open Call Athletes. It has been an awesome experience, as I’ve been able to talk about OCR, MudGear, and the crazy sport we do with countless people. Perhaps, though, the best part about the experience has been my ability to connect with some of our sport’s elite athletes on an almost daily basis through my affiliation with the MudGear Pro Team.


        With the OCR’s World Championship Season (Spartan Race’s World Championship and the Independent OCR Championship) quickly approaching, I think that it is an appropriate time to discuss what an Open Athlete can learn from paying close attention to the greats of our sport. They are the best in the business for a reason, and I think that they are critically important to the sport. Let’s talk about a couple reasons that this may be the case.I ran cross country in college, and I still haven’t quite been able to translate my speed on a track or a cross country course into super successful OCR performances. With a 5K personal best under 16:30, I imagine that I’m towards the top 5% of all athletes in the sport on pure 5K speed, but I rarely finish in the 20-25% of Elite Heat racers. 

        Professional Athletes Can Give Insights into Their Workout Routine

        I ran cross country in college, and I still haven’t quite been able to translate my speed on a track or a cross country course into super successful OCR performances. With a 5K personal best under 16:30, I imagine that I’m towards the top 5% of all athletes in the sport on pure 5K speed, but I rarely finish in the 20-25% of Elite Heat racers.

        I think a large part of that is that I haven’t quite diversified my training enough yet. I’m a runner - I’m not an athlete yet, and I think that being a well-rounded athlete is something that is necessary to be successful in this sport.

        That’s where professional athletes come in. There are fantastic examples of people on the MudGear Pro Team that share workouts, talk about what they are doing day in and day out, and that’s been incredibly helpful to me. Some of the names on the MudGear Pro Team include Robert Killian, K.K. Stewart-Paul, Brakken Krakker, Janet Barry, and Laura Lunardi, to name a few. These athletes are bad ass in every way, and it’s been incredibly helpful to see what they are doing and incorporate many of their training techniques into my own training. They are the best for a reason, and it’s often because of their insane work ethic and training quirks.

         

        Professional Athletes Give Us Something To Aspire To

        Earlier in the year, I was speaking Malko Thrasher prior to the start of the Elite Heat at the Southeast Showdown Asheville Super. David Magida had previously been speaking with Malko and Malko introduced me to David. Specifically, Malko asked if I knew David. Of course, with David recently appearing on the Spartan Race Ultimate Team Challenge and his presence in the sport, I knew of David, but had never had the opportunity to meet him personally. This type of connection is awesome. 

        Further, through this opportunity, I’ve been able to connect with Robert Killian, Janet Barry, K.K. Paul, and Brakken Krakker. These are athletes that I aspire to be like, and having the opportunity to meet them, connect over MudGear, and chat about OCR is incredible.  I think we all want to be successful. It doesn’t matter whether it is in OCR, our careers, our home life, or any other area of our life. The qualities that these athletes possess and what makes them the best are qualities that each of us possess and should strive to embody on a daily basis. If we do it on the athletic field - awesome. However, if we do it in our personal lives, that’s probably even better. These athletes show us qualities every day that we should attempt to embody ourselves.


        Professional Athletes Gives the Sport Credibility 

        These professional athletes give our sport the credibility it deserves. I think that there are few sports out there that require the athleticism, the primal, animalistic drive that OCR requires. While I don’t know if it’ll ever be an Olympic sport as Joe De Sena seeks, I sure know that it should be if half of the sports in the Winter Olympics continue to be.

        Professional Athletes Are Personable and Approachable

        One of the best things about OCR is that our professional athletes love interacting with us. They understand that while they’re critically important in giving our sport credibility, they understand that the open heat athlete, or the aspiring elite athlete, gives our sport longevity. Without you (us!), the sport that they love can’t exist.

        An incredibly positive recent trend has been that these athletes are staying in the festival area longer, chatting with athletes, and even going back out onto the course after they have finished to encourage athletes to keep going.

        If you see an elite athlete, feel free to say hello. Based on my own personal experience, they’re absolutely excited to meet and interact with each and every person who say’s “hello!” 

        At the end of the day, our professional athletes’ visibility makes the experience better for everyone. And that’s awesome.

        Professional Athletes Gives A Reason to Watch Important Races

        With the Championship Series quickly approaching, the rise of the professional OCR athlete has give us a reason to care about these races where we might not otherwise.

        It’s a fascinating story line when you think about whether Ryan Atkins will continue his dominance or whether someone like MudGear Pro Robert Killian can repeat, whether Hunter McIntyre can have a repeat performance like he did in Asheville, or whether someone else can come away victorious.

        The recent TV airings of Spartan Races has also captured so much attention. These stories are so interesting, and stories is what ultimately makes sports fun and entertaining. 

        I know that I will be glued to twitter, instagram, and Facebook the weekend of the championship as I’ll be seeking to know everything that’s going on. It’s a truly exciting time in the OCR world, and I can’t wait for this championship season.

        Final Thoughts

        I’ve had an amazing experience with MudGear thus far and you have the opportunity to do so, too! Be on the lookout in November for open applications for the 2017 MudGear Team. You can sign up for alerts by visiting www.mudgear.com and signing up for the MudGear Insider Alerts by entering your email at the bottom of the page. There, not only will you be able to know when the Team application comes out, but you’ll also get information about Mud Gear such as new products, industry news, and other exciting updates.

         

        About Ryan Bowyer

        Ryan is an OCR fanatic living in Conway, South Carolina. Ryan races in the Spartan Race Elite Heats before running with his wife, Amanda, in the open heats at every event they do and he recently completed 30 miles (6 laps) at BFX Charlotte. When he’s not racing or training, Ryan works for Coastal Carolina University in the Dean of Students Office.



         



        Profiles In Badassary: Brad Van Dolah September 22 2016, 0 Comments

        MudGear Profiles in Badassary 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?

        After completing my college basketball career I really took an interest in fitness and lifting weights in particular.  For a few years I became the stereotypical "gym bro."  After awhile I started to miss the competitiveness that comes along with sport so I started looking into ways that incorporated my interest in fitness but also would get me out of the gym and doing something competitive.  I also had some significant back injuries that made me re-evaluate my training strategy.  

        After researching I found Spartan Race and signed up for my first Spartan Sprint.  After that I was hooked.  It reignited the spark to push my physical limits and also to explore other aspects of fitness that I wasn't as focused on. This in turn made me a better overall athlete and trainer.  I think overall it's the atmosphere that I enjoy the most and the fact that people come together from different backgrounds to support one another and go through something that creates a sense of community.

         

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

        My most memorable moment so far is the Spartan Sprint in Calgary in 2015.  The race took place in August and the weather leading up to the race was awesome; hot and sunny, so naturally I thought the race conditions were going to be ideal.  Nothing could've been farther from the truth.  The morning of the race an epic storm rolled through just as I was slated to start.  The rain, wind and cold lasted during the entire race.  It rained so hard that the descending hills became so slick that all the competitors were sliding down them like waterslides.  This was one of the most brutal and challenging moments in my athletic career but I think the thing that makes it most memorable is that this is the fundamental embodiment of what OCR is; pushing you out of your comfort zone and challenging you to conquer something that you've never done.  


         

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

        I do a lot of reading and listening to OCR podcasts.  So I'm constantly looking at ways to improve my performance.  I think that the best training advice I've heard is that in order to compete in OCR you need to be a well rounded athlete.  It's not always the strongest person or best runner that wins a race.  So in order to be competitive you need to have a solid foundation in strength, endurance and mental toughness.  Training all aspects of this is going to help you achieve any goals that you may have.


        What inspires you?

        I think that what inspires me the most, especially about OCR is not only accomplishing thing that I've never thought possible but also helping others and watching them overcome their challenges.  This is the main reason I became a fitness trainer and why I started Van Dolah Fitness.Utilizing OCR as the platform with which to draw people out and become more active has been a large part of my success as a fitness trainer.  Also, being able to watch OCR pro's compete at such a high level inspires me to continue to build upon what I've already accomplished and continue to push myself to become a better OCR athlete, trainer and mentor to those wishing to participate.

         

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

        I have three races scheduled for this year.  I am participating in a Mud, Sweat & Tears; a Battlefrog and a Spartan Beast. My goal is to complete every obstacle in each race.  In the past there are a few that have had me snake bitten, so I'd like to finish each race without penalties.

        Another goal is to continue to build the OCR community in my hometown through continuing education and the ongoing development of vandolahfitness.com.  I truly do feel that OCR is a great way to get people off the couch and live a more fulfilling life and I want to continue to promote this as much as I can.

         

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

        I think a surprising fact about me and another reason I decided to leave the gym bro lifestyle behind and become a more well rounded athlete was the multiple back surgeries I've had to repair herniations in all my lumbar discs.  Other than the scar I have fully recovered and am more fit than prior to all the surgeries.  I thank Crossfit and OCR (and my wife) for changing my perspective on fitness and giving me the tools to overcome the injuries.

         

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

        I think that OCR is starting to show that we are entering a new era of fitness.  I believe that people are looking to get out of the standard cookie-cutter gym lifestyle and challenge themselves.  OCR does just that.  It provides an experience that not only addresses fitness goals but also helps people to overcome challenges which can translate to other aspects of life as well.

         

        Photos courtesy of Spartan Race

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

        Know a real badass? Send them here to submit an application to be our next profile in badassary -  or apply yourself!


        Profiles In Badassary: Dawn Marin September 15 2016, 0 Comments

        MudGear Profiles in Badassary 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?

        Initially I got into OCRs to continue with weight loss and I fell in love with the challenge.

         

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

        I do it with so much passion it is really hard to explain what an OCR is to a person that is not part of community. I explain that it is something that I love to do and it keeps me on my toes. I do it for the rush, for the community and the large amount of awesome friends I have in my life because of it!

         

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

        My most memorable moment was finishing my OCR back in August of 2014. I met so many people along the way but I would have not gotten through that course without Chris and Anne being so open to me on the course.

         

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

        There really is no best training advice. I would say adapt your training to what you need and what you're training for.

         

        What personal challenges has OCR has helped you overcome?

        I have several health issues and have damage to my lower spinal region due to a car accident that left me paralyzed. I have come so far. I'm now at about 50 races in the last 3 years! I never let anything stop me!!!

         

        What inspires you?

        Transformation stories, stories of courage anyone that is positive in their journey

         

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

        My goal this year is to get better times in all my races and just to finish all the events I have set up...I did my first half last year I am so proud how far I have come.

         

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

        I love to sing....but wont do it in public!

         

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

        I think OCRs are here to stay I'm looking for the next one that is epic

         

         

        Photos courtesy of Spartan Race

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

        Know a real badass? Send them here to submit an application to be our next profile in badassary -  or apply yourself!



        Profiles In Badassary: Adam Schutze September 08 2016, 1 Comment


        MudGear Profiles in Badassary 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.


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



        How Did You Get Into OCR Racing?

        I ran my first race in October of 2012 at a local raceway.  I was interested in losing weight and finding a purpose to train.  A friend at work was the race director for the YMCA and told me about it.  I had the worst gear possible for the race and ended up almost puking on a barely 5k, weak obstacle local race.  At that moment I was hooked and quickly signed up for a Spartan Race.


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

        People ask me all the time about racing in general and obstacle racing.  I have since in the last year discovered trail running in addition to OCR.  I always tell friends and co-workers that it is an interesting thing, the human capacity for engaging in challenges and overcoming them.  You never really find out what you are capable of until you actually try to find that limit.  

        I tell people that originally I got into it to motivate myself to be healthier. My triglycerides when I began this journey were over 500 and my weight was around 280.  Last October my annual health check showed my triglycerides in the 80's and my weight at 231.  A drastic improvement, and I loved every minute of it.  I always tell people my "why", is to find something you enjoy and love doing, the rest will take care of itself.


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

        My most memorable OCR moment had to be my first Spartan Race.  Anyone who raced Charlotte in 2013 remembers the weather that weekend.  It poured rain the whole weekend and was barely above freezing.  My gear choices weren't bad but my conditioning definitely wasn't where its at today.  I choose to do Sunday to save money and by that time the course was ruined and everything was muddy water and rocks.  

        I remember standing there waiting to go and people were literally walking off the starting line and leaving because it was so cold and miserable.  About 2 hours later, 120 burpees, and a mild case of hypothermia, I finished my first Spartan.  I stood around a makeshift firepit after eating a muddy banana until I stopped shivering enough to drive my car.  I'll never forget it.


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

        My best training advice I got from another racer was in my first year of racing.  I had always avoided running because it hurt my knees and I always figured since my days in the Marine Corp, my running career was over.  I always saved my knees for race day and iced them for days after.  He told me to start running, slowly, and eventually my knees loosen up and the soreness wouldn't be as bad.  Since then I have run a couple trail half marathons and consistently finished under 2 hours.


        What personal challenges has OCR has helped you overcome?

        Personally OCR has motivated me to bring my weight down and take my health more seriously.  I am not a fan of medications and my triglycerides and cholesterol were pushing me down a road to that eventuality.  With proper nutrition and exercise I have all that under normal limits and am cleared by my doctor to not need any medications.


        What inspires you?

        My inspiration comes from a myriad of places.  My military background inspires me to be what I once was, a jolly green giant crushing the earth and feeling invincible.  My wife and kids inspire me to take care of myself, as their main provider I know that it rests on my shoulders to make sure they are provided for.  

        Most recently I lost my father in December, I found out that he had passed on my birthday of all days.  He and I were making plans to move him up to NC so he could be closer and spend more time with us.  He didn't get to make that move and was only 63.  He always told me to work for what I wanted and I think of that often.


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

        I just started running competitively last year and really felt good running with the upper level of OCR athletes.  I'm a bigger runner but managed an 8th place finish in the competitive wave in Rugged Maniac NC 2015, I finished in 3rd at Legend Race in Oxford NC in 2015, I have also consistently been in the top 15 of the masters division in Spartan Races at Charlotte, Asheville, and SC.  I am looking to improve on those finishes this year.


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

        Most people meet me and I am a large, imposing looking guy at 6'4" and over 230 lbs.  I am clearly a Marine Corp veteran, but most don't realize that I do computers for a living, and work for a large company on their infrastructure team dealing with large scale projects and scaling new technologies.  Most people are surprised that I am a technical person and not construction or something like that.  You can be big and smart!


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

        OCR currently seem to be still in a flux of certain companies getting bigger, others trying to keep up, and yet more falling by the wayside as costs increase or attendance wanes.  Currently you have a ton of people that enjoy the social aspect of OCR and its a muddy party for them to enjoy with people and use a an excuse to get out and be healthier.  Others obviously are taking it a lot more seriously and are working out the ground floor of competitiveness.  

        I think its interesting that as the sport becomes more legitimized you are getting more serious athletes involved and a lot of the "original" badasses in the sport are getting passed by a much stronger class of athlete that may have not really taken the sport seriously before.  I think OCR's future will lie in its ability to keep the audiences happy.   Everyone talk about legitimizing it as a sport to get more coverage, etc.  

        Really I could see it being involved in the X Games or something like that, but as far as Olympics are concerned you would have a hard time getting enough countries to represent to make it a serious contender even if it was standardized in some way.  I think people really enjoy being on the fringe in general, and once the sport is too mainstreamed they move on, not to mention the sponsors and money involved relies on the masses paying for entries, and getting their medals.

         

        Photos courtesy of Spartan Race

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

        Know a real badass? Send them here to submit an application to be our next profile in badassary -  or apply yourself!


        Profiles In Badassary: Craig Johnson September 01 2016, 0 Comments

        MudGear Profiles in Badassary 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?

        Started out seeing about Tough Mudder and then saw the Spartan Trifecta's and figured I would enjoy that more. Which I do. First year of OCR was in Open waves because I wasn't sure how I would stack up against the Elites…then seeing my finish time versus the Elite waves, I knew it was time to go competive (to match my extremely competitive self)


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

        I describe OCR as a great way to just be a legitimate overgrown child and along with other hobbies, like climbing, a great way to relieve stress and face different problems. For those that aren't as fit (or crazy) as I, I just tell them I like doing OCR and testing my limits and that if they ever want a challenge, I will run with them and help them.


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

        Besides meeting a ridiculous amount of new friends, my most memorable moment to would be either my first World Championship race in Killington (2014) or NJ Super in September of 2015, when one of NBC's drones nearly took out the middle of the Elite pack going up that first hill...



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

        Never stop, keep training, keep pushing, and keep it up!



        What personal challenges has OCR has helped you overcome?

        Some personal challenges I've had that OCR has helped me overcome was realizing that our bodies can take whatever anyone, including Norm (eff Norm) can throw at it… the ability to improvise, adapt, and overcome any obstacle life can throw you. You may not be able to make it across a rig the first time,vbut if you push yourself you will the next time. Same thing in life, you may not get your dream job or event, but determination and drive, you will.

         

         

        What inspires you?

        My children and my drive to be better, I hate failure. I don't want to look like a failure to my family so I constantly push myself so that I won't disappoint them.



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

        My race stats just keep getting better every year, and that's a testament to my desire and drive to be better, even working odd shifts and the normal calamity of life. My goal this year is to find some sponsors and just continue growing and improving. As much as I would love a podium, I think a coin (Spartan series) is more obtainable, anything else, is also an achievement.


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

        I have a weird crazy addiction to Taylor Swift's music… and I have no idea why…


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

        I like the current state of most OCR venues, I think there needs to be a better distinction between Elites and Open Racers. Most recently being limiting how you complete an obstacle in a certain series. I understand the reasoning behind it, but one must also take into account that banning certain moves or tactics for racers who are competing is a low blow in my book. It's all about speed, skill, and motivation (and some shit luck too)… limiting those competing only makes them want to go to other OCR venues that are less "soft" (for lack of a better word)

         

        Photos courtesy of Spartan Race

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

        Know a real badass? Send them here to submit an application to be our next profile in badassary -  or apply yourself!


        MudGear Named Official Sock of the 2016 OCR World Championships August 31 2016, 0 Comments

        MudGear is the Official Sock of the OCR World Championships

        “Water, mud, debris: They can all work against OCR athletes, especially when it comes to their legs and feet,” said OCRWC Sponsorship Director Sandra Sawyer. “Because the comfort of our athletes is of the highest importance, we’re excited that industry leader MudGear will be the official sock sponsor of the 2016 OCR World Championships. MudGear’s high-quality, function-forward compression and trail socks provide unmatched drainage and durability. They’re a virtual fortress for feet and legs against any racing obstacle!”

         

        “OCR brings out the best in people,” said MudGear President Malko Thrasher. “You can see it in the eyes of the first-time racer who crosses the finish line, and it’s in the hearts of the die-hard OCR fanatics who will soon invade the Blue Mountains. The world needs this sport and the OCR community needs this championship. We believe that being a sponsor of the OCRWC is an investment in the future of obstacle racing for all of us. We’re excited to be a part of this year’s championship, and we encourage athletes to join us October 13 for a welcome dinner and everyone to check out our limited-edition OCR World Championships compression sock throughout the race weekend.”

        About MudGear

        MudGear has been creating outdoor sports apparel for obstacle racers since 2012, using input from athletes to make the best performing products on the market. We don’t run on treadmills and we don’t make gym clothes. We build rugged tactical gear for top athletes competing in OCR, trail running and outdoor endurance events. We believe we were all made to get outside and get dirty. We believe obstacle racing is meant to unleash everyone’s extreme inner-athlete, and we’re proud to supply the gear that helps make it happen.

        About the OCR World Championships

        The OCR World Championships is the first and only independent global championship event designed to celebrate athletes in the burgeoning sport of Obstacle Course Racing. Held Oct. 14-16, 2016, at the Blue Mountain Resort in Ontario, Canada, the three-day cash-and-prize-filled race will be one of the most diverse and challenging competitive events in the sport, pitting athletes from around the world against one another in grueling competitions on 15K and 3K courses.

        About Design Shorty & Company

        Design Shorty & Company (DS&CO) are highly respected master brand builders proud to be in their second year working with the OCRWC. Specializing in corporate and event branding and known for their creative passion and client commitment, DS&CO boasts experts in every field of communication. Their crackerjack team of marketers, designers, videographers, writers and editors ensures that all aspects of the branding process, from generating stellar ideas and launching online marketing initiatives to securing sponsorships and executing projects on-site, run smoothly and successfully.


        Profiles In Badassary: Shari Donison August 25 2016, 0 Comments


        MudGear Profiles in Badassary 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 started seeing posts and pics on Facebook and it peaked my interest. I signed up for a 6km Mud Hero, and then went straight into a Tough Mudder. I was hooked from Day 1!

         

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

        Aside from the obvious fitness aspect of the OCR, it is the most empowering, most enlightening, most personally challenging experiences I've ever committed to.  The team-work and comradery ensure that NO ONE is left behind, and that also makes it the most fun!

         

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

        Every time I conquer something I couldn't previously complete, is memorable. Every time I stop to help others along the way, is memorable. Every laugh, every cheer, every high-five is memorable.

         

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

        Recognize your weaknesses in each workout and draw them out in successive workouts. Don't just ignore them because they suck. They will give you the most pride to conquer.

         

        What personal challenges has OCR has helped you overcome?

        Definitely my social skills. I had gotten to a point in my life where I detested social events, avoided crowds, and felt an attraction to serious hermit-dom. OCR's got me liking people again, enjoying the company of others, and working as a team.

         

         

        What inspires you?

        Strength; mental, emotions, physical. Humour. Humility.

         

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

        I've registered for 14 runs this year as well as FEMSPORT. My goals include training to my fullest potential, finishing each event at the top of my game, and making myself ULTRA-proud.

         

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

        I have a stubborn heart and head, and if I set myself on something, I will make it happen.  Period. And I've got a sick sense of humour.

         

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

        OCR's are the most well-rounded sport out there. They include all people, all ages, all levels of fitness, all demographics and in all types of geographic areas. The future holds nothing but higher success; bigger, better, more inclusive and extensive events.  It's a very exciting time for OCR's, now and in the future.

         

         

        Photos courtesy of Spartan Race

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

        Know a real badass? Send them here to submit an application to be our next profile in badassary -  or apply yourself!


        Profiles In Badassary: Justin Escaravage August 18 2016, 0 Comments

        MudGear Profiles in Badassary 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 got into OCR racing because of a friend. Back in 2012 my friend showed me a video about Spartan Race. I was instantly hooked just from that one video. It defined exactly who I am and what I love to do. I was an active person growing up, competing in many sports and I was a Collegiate Track and Field Athlete (Decathlon/ Pole Vault/ Javelin). Seeing the nature of what a successful OCR athlete needs to be, I knew this was a perfect fit for me once my collegiate career ended. Just like a decathlon, you need to be a well rounded athlete. With a combination of endurance, speed, strength, grit coordination, etc., I knew that OCR was perfect for me. Everything I love to do all thrown into one race and who does love getting an excuse to crawl around in the mud without being judged.

        It wasn't until Fall of 2013 where I ran my first OCR race (Vermont Spartan Beast) due to finishing up my final year of college and Track and Field. Going into the Vermont race, I drastically underestimated this race entirely. Going into I thought it would just be a fun race with obstacle and it would be that challenging for someone with my background. I was completely wrong!!! 3 miles into the race, I realized how wrong I was and how much this race was going to kick my butt.

        After the dreading sandbag carry, my body was wiped out and I still had 11 more miles to go. Towards the end of the race I was slowly chugging along and pushing my body past its limit, but I kept fighting and evidently finished. I will admit, I was miserable a majority of that race. With the cold, icy swim, steep hills, cramps, and being completely exhausted, somehow I loved every second of it. Challenges like these really drive me. I love putting up a fight and seeing how far I can push my body. It was that day, when I crossed the finish line, that I knew this was something that I would love doing for a while.


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

        The most memorable moment for me in OCR would be my races in 2015 at the Tri-State NY Sprint. This venue was having the races run on 2 separate weekends back to back. So my plan was to run a race on each weekend. This was my first elite race of the year. On the first weekend I had the best finish I have ever had in a Spartan race ever. I finished 13th place overall.

        My goal for this race was to earn my coin and qualify for the Spartan World Championships. To earn the coin you have to finish top 5 in a race or finish top 5 in a race that hasn't earned a coin yet. For this particular race, you needed to finish at least 12th to earn the coin. I missed it by 1 spot!!! I was very discouraged that I just missed getting the coin. Especially when the 12th place finisher was only seconds ahead of me.

        So the week following that lead up to the next weekends race, I was determined to earn that coin. At the second weekends race, I fought to race even harder than the week before and ended up finishing 5 minutes faster than the week before! I was the 12th finisher in the race this time. After figuring out how many racers already earned their coin that finished ahead of me, I EARNED MY COIN!!! I qualified for the Spartan Race World Championships! This was the most memorable moment so far for me in OCR because it was a huge emotional roller coaster for me. Going from being disappointed for missing the coin by seconds, to actually earning it the week after! I never gave up after the first week and I was determined to get the next.

         


        What inspires you?

        The thing that inspires me the most is proving people who didn't believe in me wrong. Hearing my story as I transition into OCR may seem boring to most people. But what people don't know is what I have done and went through to be where I am today. Growing up I was never the biggest, never the fastest, never the strongest. I was a tiny little kid who looked like he was whittling away to nothing.

        People, players, and coaches would take one look at me and assume I was no good and that I couldn't handle it. So I was constantly overlooked.  I was never given a fair chance to show what I can really do. I wasn't my physical appearance, it wasn't my overall talent, but it was my drive, my heart, my work ethic, and my will to be successful.

        So throughout my entire life, I had to work twice as hard, sacrifice twice as much as everyone else. Still, after all the hard work, all the dedication, all the sacrifices, and proving myself that I am good enough, I was still underestimated. Through all of that, I still fought to be successful and eventually I did.

        The main thing that drives me is to never give up, always fight for what you love and what you love to do. Although it was difficult to cope with the people that underestimated me, turned me down, told me I was no good, teased me, and belittled me, I thank them for who I am today.

        If it wasn't for them I would not have the fight, the drive, and the passion to never give up. If it wasn't for them I would not be as courageous to fight for my dreams, goals, aspirations, and desires. Some people would crumble under the scrutiny and doubt. For me, it builds me up, make me stronger, and drives me to prove them wrong.

        Even with all the doubters, I will admit I did have my share of supporters as well. I did gain some inspiration from my supporters as well. Without the love and support from them, I wouldn't have that extra boost to keep pushing forward. They helped drive me too when I was feeling low. The feeling of not letting them down help me be successful as well


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

        College Track and Field

        • 2 Time New England Champion (Decathlon)
        • Conference Champion (Pole Vault)
        • Division 2 National Qualifier- (Heptathlon)

        Spartan Race 2015

        • 12th and 13th Place finish- Tri-state NY Sprint (Coin qualifier)
        • 4 Top 20 Finishes
        • 88th ranked Male Elite in the U.S.

        Goals for this year

        1. Finish top 10
        2. Get on the Podium (Top 3)
        3. Win a Race
        4. Rank in the top 50 for male elites in the U.S.
        5. Place top 50 at the World Championships

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

        My thoughts on the current state and future of OCR is very positive. This sport is really booming and making a big splash in the world. It has been a huge growing sport in the past few years and is only getting bigger. OCR is the next big sport and I feel like it will become as big as some of the major sports in the world soon. OCR is doing a great job constantly evolving and trying to make it better and better each year. They are always coming out with new obstacles and challenges. OCR tests you as a complete human by pushing your mind, body, and spirit to its limit. It is set for a big future and I believe it will have a huge success in years to come!

         

        Photos courtesy of Spartan Race

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

        Know a real badass? Send them here to submit an application to be our next profile in badassary -  or apply yourself!

         


        Profiles In Badassary: Jeromy Miramontes August 11 2016, 0 Comments

        MudGear Profiles in Badassary 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?

        One of my soccer teammates invited me to the Charlotte Spartan Sprint in spring of 2014 and I was hooked ever since.


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

        My most memorable moment in my OCR career so far is placing top 30th in the OCR world Championships in Ohio of 2015.

         

        What personal challenges has OCR has helped you overcome?

        OCR has helped me overcome being absorbed into the typical college lifestyle of going to clubs and bars and dropping hundreds of dollars a week on experiences that you will probably never remember. OCR has taught me how to treat my body and most of all gave me an epiphany of what i what degree to strive for in college.

         

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

        Placed 28th in males 18-24 division at OCR world championships. Carolina Spartan Sprint/Beast weekend: Elite Sprint- placed 1st in age group and 31st overall.

         

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

        The current state of OCR is great! I am definitely looking into the future with the OCR lifestyle. Hopefully big companies like redouble and Monster can start sponsoring racers and events to really take the OCR to the next level.

         

        Photos courtesy of Spartan Race 

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

        Know a real badass? Send them here to submit an application to be our next profile in badassary -  or apply yourself!


        Profiles In Badassary: Doug Snyder August 04 2016, 0 Comments

        MudGear Profiles in Badassary 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?

        In 2012, a friend had told me about an annual mud run that went through the woods and over a few obstacles, hosted by the local Navy Seabees. I had been running road races for a few years, but I love the woods, so I tried it. It was awesome! Then in 2012 Spartan brought their first race ( a primal ‘founders’ race!) to Mississippi, near my home. I was asked to join my friend’s team. I did pretty well in the race. Around 60th place in opens! Seeing that this was an organized sport and that I had some aptitude for it, I’ve been addicted ever since!

         

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

        It’s surprising how some people have no idea of what I’m talking about. Pictures can be quite helpful. Sometimes I have to relate it to a military boot camp mixed with a 5k run. At least then they can visualize climbing up, over, and under things while running. But then they wrinkle their noses and ask “Why in the world would you want to do that?” Sometimes I half-joke that it’s my way of dealing with having both a desk job and ADHD. But seriously, I explain that I am compelled to test and hone my willpower. I love the adrenaline rush of competition, and the excitement of achieving better and better results, and the satisfaction of setting and attaining aggressive goals.

         

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

        There’s been so many memorable moments. Hurricane Heat 080 in Atlanta was notoriously memorable. The temperature dropped that night into the 40’s. Many people were not dressed for it, plus we all got wet and muddy early on. Everyone was shivering and it was my toughest mental battle to stick with it to the end. We continued for hours doing team challenges and reciting the warrior ethos (which no one will EVER forget). When it finally ended late that night, we were told we are the largest Heat to date, with over 200 people, and only about 5 did not complete it. That is absolutely amazing and inspiring to me considering the conditions and mixture of less-athletic people. We all even stay in touch now on a secret Facebook page.

         

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

        It is from Rocky, of course! I literally recite this to myself when I’m maxed out: “The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard you hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done! Now if you know what you're worth then go out and get what you're worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain't you! You're better than that!”

         

        What personal challenges has OCR has helped you overcome?

        At times, I became too caught up in stressful daily problems and I let things get out of perspective. OCR reset my “obstacle immunity” and taught me to not let problems push me around. I sometimes refer to racing as a lightning rod to ground out the negative energy in my life.

         

        What inspires you?

        I am very inspired by the beginner athletes. Both the young ones who don’t know what to expect and just dive in, and the older ones who have let life push them into an unhealthy corner. It makes me happy to see them giving everything they have, meeting a goal they have set to break out of their comfort zones and become something better. I love the stories of success. They see what once looked impossible now seems easy, and it’s time to set the bar higher.

         

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

        This year’s goals include going to several world championship races, making it on as many podiums as possible, and competing in at least one regional ninja warrior competition.

         

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

        People are usually surprised to learn I did not play sports or run in school. I was quite active on my own, playing in the woods and biking many miles regularly. Although I’ve ran for exercise for 20 years, I didn’t actually get into competitive running until about 2009, and elite OCRs in 2014.

         

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

        I love that OCR has become more mainstream in the athletic world, yet each brand still has its own personality and quirks. A couple big brands have failed, which reminds us that it is a business that must make money and be managed properly to continue. I like the vision behind the OCR World Championship, because it brings together the best of all the brands without pledging allegiance to any particular one.

        Given the competitive similarities, and growing popularity of Ninja Warrior, I see things like Battlefrog’s league/college short races gaining immense popularity. I already see how much more technical the rigs are at several races. People crave that kind of challenge. 

         

        Photos courtesy of Spartan Race

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

        Know a real badass? Send them here to submit an application to be our next profile in badassary -  or apply yourself!


        ESPN Trailer for 8/2 BattleFrog League Championship July 29 2016, 0 Comments

        Airing 8/2 on ESPN...