More than Mud - Paul Buijs

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. 

What was your first obstacle race, and when did you get fully sucked into OCR? 
Excluding the confidence course (giant awesome obstacles) at Parris Island, my first organized obstacle race was the inaugural Men’s Health New York City Urbanathlon in 2006. Around the same time I was doing some regular local trail races down here in Florida that had a few obstacles thrown in. I went full fit-head (like deadheads but fit) in 2012 after running my first Spartan Race at the NJ Super. 

What made you decide to build the mudandadventure site?  What opportunity did you see? 
In 2010 + 2011 I had been running a race calendar for South Florida as a side business. After doing a couple of obstacle races in 2011, I figured I could run a similar site for obstacle races on a larger scale. I sold the local site to an acquaintance and started Mud and Adventure Christmas day 2011. I am still trying to add all of the obstacle races out there. In 2013 I quit my job and made Mud and Adventure my full time gig.

Any big projects or goals for the site you can share for 2015?
I am really good at biting off more than I can chew. Ultimately I see M+A being a one stop portal for all things OCR – events, training locations, gear, industry jobs and a friend / training partner finder #OCRUNITED. For the time being I am refocusing on the original mission of having every OCR event in the world listed on one handy site.

It’s been said that you have a slight pre-workout problem, what's that all about?
Ah – my self admitted caffeine problem. I have tried every single pre-workout drink or mix on the market. It got to point where I was taking it to wake up. I’ve managed to cut back where I can survive on a cup of coffee and save the pre-workout for actual workouts.

What are your passions/hobbies outside OCR? 
Seeing new places, and cities. Visiting art galleries. Hiking, SCUBA diving and body surfing.

Rapid fire questions:

What one obstacle would you most like to be better at?
Besides running? The damn spear.

Best pre-race pump up song?  
Anything Guns and Roses or Beastie Boys

What would be your ideal post race meal?
At the end of my second day of racing at the OCR World Championships I was shivering and didn’t have any cash on me. Someone bought me a grilled cheese sandwich. It was the best thing I have ever tasted. Adrian, if you are reading this I will come back to Ohio just for those sandwiches.

Your best race?
From a personal performance perspective: Spartan Race Hawaii where I came in fourth in the Beast. I was doing burpees (after missing the spear) as I watched my friend Richard make his spear and, unknowingly to him, pass me for the podium spot. It was bittersweet. Besides that I would say participating in the first ever Fuego y Agua Survival Race was pretty epic. It was quite the adventure and I got to meet many of the respected badasses of the sport and some cool people in the industry.

Your worst race?  
Hmm, that would be my last road bike race. 80 miles in the mountains. I stopped mid race to take a wiz on the side of the road and caught up to the pack (because I don’t have the coordination to pee while riding). In a rookie move I pulled the pack for the last 3 miles. In the final sprint I went from first to tenth in one second. It was the only time I’ve ever raced in any sport where I got tunnel vision and everything off to the peripheral seemed like I was launching into warp speed. I should be proud of that race but I know in my heart I had it in me to win that one. Besides the constant crashes in cycling I like that OCR is more of an individual sport. For me it is about racing against myself.

Most worthless obstacle on a course?
The burpee – people do them differently and with different standards (and counting abilities).

Best thing that ever happened to the sport of OCR?
If you ask me, competition. New event organizations have forced everyone to up their game, introduced new obstacles and race formats and introduced some decent cash purses to the sport. I bet if you asked the event organizers, they’d say Facebook – where the participants are basically doing the advertising for the race series.

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