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 two meet?
H - I was proud of finishing the Tough Mudder and I posted pictures to a fitness page I had been added to by my cousin: NMotion Fitness. I had some guy scoff at my finish and tell me, “You haven’t done anything until you’ve done a Spartan Race.” So I signed up for the PA Blue Mountain Sprint 2012, where I met that scoffer for the first time….and then Tri-State Super 2012 where I went as friends with the scoffer…..and finally the VT Beast 2012, where the scoffer got down on one knee to wrap my injured knee….we’ve been together ever since.
How did you decide to have an Obstacle Race wedding?
We were introduced to Shale Hill Adventure Farm and the owners the weekend of 2012 Vermont Beast and have returned many times over since that time. It was during the 2014 2nd Annual Polar Bear Benson 8 hour Challenge that Jason proposed. No getting down on one knee, no ring. We were running side by side and he simply said, “Will you be my OCR running mate for life?” to which I responded “Yes”. Given our mutual love of Shale Hill and the sport, it only seemed right to say our vows in trail shoes and have our guests join in that love by running with us.
How did you manage planning a wedding and planning a race at the same time?
We saw it as one and the same: The bib #s were the wedding invitations. The death waivers were the RSVP. Instead of having a gift registry, we had a Race Roster page for guests to register for the wedding. (this was in lieu of gifts). Instead of shopping for wedding attire, table center pieces, flowers, and favors, we commissioned a number of sponsors who fell in love with the idea of being a part of our wedding day. The wedding party was fully outfitted, we were given swag bags and filled them with samples and stickers provided by our generous sponsors. The best part of the wedding planning was the creation of the medal. No race is complete without one. It was simply JHM in red sparkly letters along with the date: PERFECT.
What were a couple of your favorite memories from the wedding day?
J - Looking at Heather and realizing my best friend is now my wife. H - 1. To “seal the deal”, we flipped a huge tire. 2. Having Jason, instead of carrying me over a door threshold, he carried me over the finish line.
Something small goes wrong with every wedding and becomes a memory, what went wrong at your badass wedding?
Thinking back to our big day, I am trying hard to remember something that went wrong. We had family, both by blood and by OCR, there. The weather was great. The course was awesome. The volunteers were phenomenal. And the best carrot cake ever (made by The Wheel Inn, Benson, VT)! I would say at worst, the day went too fast.
Did you guys have a badass honeymoon as well?
We opted to have a quiet retreat directly after the wedding and stayed on Stratton Mountain in Vermont.
What was your first obstacle race or mud run, and how did it go?
H - My first race was Tough Mudder PA, April 2012. The idea started by a girl on my roller derby team (I am now retired. I was a Pottstown Roller Derby Rockstar for 1 year). I agreed (though I had never trail run EVER) with a small amount of trepidation. I had to get muddy? We dressed in flashy hot shorts and pig tails and I was hooked after the first mud puddle.
What is “The Brutality? When do you decide this was the next big thing for you two?
The Brutality is a 12 hour endurance race/ and survival challenge that will cover 22+ miles, designed with mental and physical challenges to push you to your limits and then beyond. For the last year we have been hosting adventure camps of a shorter duration. These camps where often called brutal which we often found comical. We decided, why not give the people our version what brutality really is.
Tell us more about the event. What can participants expect? Do you think it will favor any certain types of athletes?
This is a one of a kind event that combines rucking, trail running and endurance challenge all in one event. This not a event that caters to just one strength or discipline. The unknown is the backbone of this course, this is a total organic course no man made obstacles. Totally unpredictable wild and unmatched. Athletes can expected to be pushed and taken to the point that they feel that they might break, remember our motto is "endure survive repeat". You are forced to not only use your muscles but also your mind. This event is for the athlete that can push past the desire to quit, find that little of extra and push on.
Who should sign up for the event?
This is not a beginners event. This event is for the athlete that can push past the desire to quit and find that little of extra and push on. This is for anyone that is ready for their next challenge and is tired of the everyday race offerings of today.
What is your top training tip for someone just getting into OCR?
Train to be a total athlete, and run a lot of hills. Push-ups and pull-ups are your friend.