More than Mud - Justin Lund
More than Mud is an article and interview series dedicated to documenting the incredible characters and stories that we come across in the world of OCR and outdoor adventure and endurance racing events. They range from everyday heroes to extreme athletes but all have unique and engaging stories to tell.
How Did You Get Into OCR Racing?
Kind of by accident. I visited my friend Sara at a Crossfit box after a Turkey Trot 5K. I guess I always enjoyed the grit of lifting which was strange with my runners frame, but didn't stop me from being one of the rare bunch squatting and thrusters while busting out sub 5 minute mile runs. Seems like a good fit.
How do you describe what you do to people outside of the OCR community? (and why you do it)
I describe it as elementary playground equipment designed by the Terminator after 4 shots of espresso. Either that or I go on YouTube and show them on my phone.
What's been your most interesting or memorable moment in your OCR career so far?
Sitting my 150lb butt down on the Herc Hoist next to a guy pushing 30-50 pounds heavier than me and blowing his doors off on it. That can not be normal but I was jacked up about it. My athletic career spans over a decade, but this is still very new and looking forward to all of the moments ahead.
What's the best training or racing advice you've ever received?
I've received so much great advice on everything from shoes to racing, but if someone held a gun to my head and told me to pick or else, I would have to say taking the time to work on your grip strength will help you a long way in OCR.
What personal challenges has OCR has helped you overcome?
My first OCR race was the last real moment of accomplishment that my step dad and I shared before he passed away late last summer of esophageal cancer. He was so interested in how this OCR stuff worked and he being a baseball and football guy for him to really take to an endurance sport with such interest made it that much more special.
What inspires you?
I want to be the best at everything I do every day I wake up. I want to be the best in the world at living my life and setting a good example of fitness for my daughter, but my step dads work ethic, his humbleness, and determination to make each day better than the last inspires me everyday to be a better version of myself and to push myself harder knowing that somebody out there is willing to work just as hard if not harder than me.
Any race stats you'd like to share? Any goals for this year?
2016 is just starting for me due to the snow and cold that is Wisconsin, but I was able to post some decent indoor track and road race stats already this year going 4:53 in the mile and 28:29 in a 5 mile road race, but ideally should everything work in my favor, I want to be on the top of that podium at the Minnesota Sprint and earn my way to the world championships.
What's something about you that others might find surprising?
I'm a Young and The Restless junkie....I know, not very macho, but I do play the drums to that makes it even I think....right?
What are your thoughts on the current state and future of OCR?
I LOVE what this sport offers everyone. It's not about the cost of equipment that makes you a competitor it's about the attitude and drive and also the bonding amongst competitors helping each other grind through the open classes is refreshing in today's society. I think it is a true test of who the best all around athlete is and should be a legit Olympic level sport. Only worries are to make sure it's a clean sport in the form of performance enhancing drugs and also standardized distances and series championship schedule consistency. As long as we don't have a governing body that loses touch with the athletes of the sport (who shall remain nameless) the sport has a great future.
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Photos courtesy of Spartan Race
Wow. So much inspiration here, Justin, I don’t know where to begin.
You definitely tugged the heart strings mentioning Gary. I believe our endeavors grow and become more and more important to us as we connect with those we love. We strive to do our best as our spirits bond.
You are a testament to the way you were raised – and, yes, your little darling will see you set and struggle to reach even bigger goals, and she will want to emulate you. So, good work!
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