PROFILES IN BADASSARY: Jen Groleau
MudGear Profiles in Badassary 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?
My first OCR race was the Ottawa Spartan Beast in 2013. At this point I had never even run 25km on flat ground, and now I am going to attempt to do it in the hills.
I decided to run this one because earlier in the year some friends had run the Spartan Sprint but I wasn't able to make it.
After hearing how much fun it was, I just HAD to try it. The only race left that season in the area was the beast. So, I recruited 7 friends (just as crazy as me) and we signed up for our first race. I trained hard and during the training was when I really discovered my love for obstacles.
The race came and went, and the google search began. All the races were found and signed up for. Haha
What Are Some Challenges OCR Has Helped You Overcome?
OCR has helped me to become a much healthier person.
Before OCR I was a premier level soccer player that smoked. After my 4th ACL surgery, I was unable to return to the field. Lucky for me I found OCR shortly after my recovery which kept me active and motivated.
My biggest challenge of quitting smoking finally became a reality because I emerged myself in OCR and everything about it. Being surrounded by people changing their lives, no matter how big or small, and being healthy, is motivation enough to do the same.
What Does The OCR Community Mean To You?
Honestly, this is a great question. The answer is Family. To me, it's not just a community, this is the family I chose and they chose me. The OCR community is simply the most encouraging, motivating and accepting community anyone could be a part of.
I've never had an easy time fitting in, and when I found OCR and what the community represents I truly felt like this is when I belong and wondered why it wasn't around when I was growing up.
What’s Your Most Memorable Moment In OCR?
AHHH, oh boy, so many.. I'm going to go with a shared moment with Team HEXT and some friends because it stands out the most in my mind.
At the Montreal Beast/Ultra Beast it was so hot and Spartan Race ran out of water, early. It was probably not later than 2pm, and a lot of racers were still out there, suffering from the heat and dehydration.
We had a cottage on the hill and the racers passed right beside us. As soon as we recognized that the racers had been going without water for such a long time we decided to get all the water bottles available to us, filled them with water and stood at the course to refill people's hydration packs or Give them a drink. We ran back and forth between the house for water and the racers to make sure everyone had some until Spartan racer brought more water to the stations.
It was such an amazing feeling to help these racers. We even had some racers tear up because they were so overwhelmed and thankful. It was the most rewarding experience at a race.
Any Goals Or Race Stats To Share?
Race Age (30-34) Gender (F)
Polar Hero Ottawa 1st 3rd
Ragnarok Run 1st 1st
Spartan Race Quebec (Sprint) 7th 18th
Spartan Race Quebec (Super) 7th 25th
Spartan Race Ottawa (Sprint) 3rd 14th
Spartan Race Ottawa (Sprint) 3rd 19th
Spartan Race Toronto (Sprint) 1st 5th
Spartan Race Toronto (Super) 3rd 15th
Spartan Race Montreal (Sprint) 3rd 17th
Badass Dash Ottawa 3rd 4th
Crohnies Dash Ottawa 1st 1st
Finished 11th in my age group (with band) at the OCRWC.
Qualified, but did not attend SRWC
My current goals are to gain strength in my lower body to help me run and climb hills easier. (I'm more of a runner, so my races would suffer when it was hilly). I also want to work on my flexibility to help prevent injuries. This year I would like to complete my first Ultra Beast.
In general, I would like to do better in my gender placing. I want to be a consistent top 10 at the Spartan races.
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