More than Mud - Jeff Bennett

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?

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

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