More than Mud is an article and interview series dedicated to documenting the incredible characters and stories that we come across in the world of OCR and outdoor adventure and endurance racing events. They range from everyday heroes to extreme athletes but all have unique and engaging stories to tell.
How Did You Get Into OCR Racing?
I first got into OCR racing in 2014 when I ran a Spartan Sprint with my Friends in Boston, MA. I had no clue what Spartan Race was or what it really entailed and I thought it was going to be easy. I found out the hard way and loved how physically and mentally challenging this sport was. It's incredible because the sport really showcases every aspect of athleticism as well as mental and physical toughness. Once I realized they were timed and competitive I was immediately intrigued and hooked into this sport.
I have played and competed in countless amounts of sports and nothing pushes you to the limits the way OCR does. I was a boxer for a few years and that was the closest to mental and physical warfare I had come in a sport, the brutal training and toll it takes on your body is very similar it's a feeling I enjoy because it makes you remember you're alive. At the end of the day if you fail to achieve your goal in a race you have nobody to blame but yourself and that's what makes it so special.
What's been your most interesting or memorable moment in your OCR career so far?
My most memorable moment in my OCR career would definitely be completing a World Championship in my first year of competing. The amount of work I put in throughout the year to cross that finish line and compete for the world as well as my country was just so surreal. It will be tough to ever top that moment. My close second would be completing a sleepless midnight solo 50 mile mountain ultra marathon in 30 degree weather and pouring rain. That's definitely something I wont forget and neither will my knees.
What personal challenges has OCR has helped you overcome?
OCR has helped me become a better person and has been a huge part of my recovery from substance abuse and depression. I have been sober going on 2 years now and OCR has easily been one the big reasons for me changing as a person and finding my passion as an athlete again. Instead of bars, clubs and party's all the time I am now focused on raising my daughter, training, and living the mountain life where I find peace. It's only on the course where I get crazy now and I wouldn't trade it for the world. OCR is really a lifestyle and the community is nothing but awesome people that turn into bad asses as soon as that cannon goes off.
Any race stats you'd like to share? Any goals for this year?
My goals for the 2016 season are to race and train harder then the previous year. The competition is growing as the sport evolves and there is no time for breaks. There is always someone out there training harder then you whether you like it or not. I want to finish the year as one of the top racers in the world rankings and point series and complete another OCR World Championship, Battlefrog Championship and my number one goal for the year is to go out with a bang and complete the 24 hour Worlds Toughest Mudder Championship.
What are your thoughts on the current state and future of OCR?
I believe OCR is becoming one of the largest and most popular sports in the world. It surpassed marathons last year and I think it will find it's way into the Olympics in the future. I believe every race series is different in many ways obviously and I like to stick with my thoughts on obstacle course racing and how it should be done.
The way Battlefrog Elite runs there races is how I believe every OCR race should be done, you get an elite band and if you don't complete the obstacle you must either retry until you complete it or sacrifice your band and take a disqualified time. You clearly have to be fast in this sport and It's good to have a chance to catch up to a faster runner if they are stalled at an obstacle. It makes the sport more well rounded. The future is obviously bright and I can't wait for the day to come when I tell someone I am an obstacle course racer and they actually know what it is and have a respect for the sport.
Photos courtesy of Spartan Race
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