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?
Three years ago, my neighbor told me I had to do a Spartan Race with him. He told me it would change my life and it did. I trained for 6 months to be able to complete the Spartan Beast as my first OCR. It was one of the toughest things I had ever done. But I fell in love with it right away.
That year, and every year since I completed the Spartan Trifecta and ran other races as well which include Terrain Race, Battlefrog, and Tough Mudder. I will be competing in my first World's Toughest Mudder in 2016. OCR is something that I always talk about, passionate about and really all I wear everyday. It's something that I will do until my body physically won't let me. But its going to take a lot to do that!
What Are Some Challenges OCR Has Helped You Overcome?
Like I said before, OCR has changed my life in a tremendous way. It gives me the will to test myself physically but more importantly mentally. After my first race I decided to eat healthier and try new work outs. I lost 25lbs and felt better about myself each day since. I talk about it a lot of Facebook which has gotten a lot of attention from other people. I love being asked about how i can help others and what I did to overcome my first race or even just signing up for one. Challenges are what makes life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.
What Does The OCR Community Mean To You?
In 2009, I graduated from Penn State University. It was my dream to go there since I was 7 years old. I met a lot of great people over my time there. People always say Penn State is a cult. That we love each other so much and what Penn State has to offer to us!
I always said we were just one big family, a community, and a group of students who work together towards the same goal. We all shared the same beliefs and helped each other through good time and bad times. Till this day i can always count on my Penn State family.
My Penn State community to help me through any challenges I may face in my personal or work life. That's the same spark I feel each and every time I attend a OCR. The OCR community is something special. Maybe not everyone will understand. I know for sure I didn't until I did my first race.
Now I'm in love with what I do and what I can do for my OCR community. By helping each other accomplish the same goals. Whether that's crossing the finish line or competing to win the top prize. We are a family, We are....OCR!
What’s Your Most Memorable Moment In OCR?
My most memorable OCR was defiantly my first race. It was the New Jersey Spartan Beast. I wanted to give up over and over again but my family, girlfriend and everyone I talked to about this race was waiting at the finish line.
I thought to myself, "Why in the world would I sign up for this?" Just as I was about to give up, My neighbor pushed me the last 3 miles and I completed the race. I remember the great Michael Jordan once saying. "Some people want it to happen, some people wish it would happen and others make it happen."
On that day I made it happen and I fell in love with OCR from that day on. I remember crying on my family shoulder, not because of the pain or my knee gushing blood because of a rock stuck in it. But because I pushed myself through a lot in my life and this was one obstacle that pushed me harder than anything before and I was so happy to overcome it.
Any Goals Or Race Stats To Share?
My goal each and every race is to not only cross the finish line. But to compete at a high level and push myself to be the best to my ability. I may not be the fastest or strongest person on the course. But I will make sure if you pass me on the course you better bring your best because I'm giving hell!
When I completed my first NJ Spartan Beast i was 1,677 out of 3072. But this past year I finished 407 out of 2,296 and I will only get better. I finished a sprint earlier this year coming in 34th out of 1544 competitors on Sunday. I also came in 26th out of 934 competitors during a Sunday Spartan Super.
In less than a week I'll be competing at WTM. I plan on achieving 50 plus miles. During a Spartan Race I was asked "Why I race". I race for those who can't. I always dedicate my race to someone so its not always about me. Each and every race I been getting better and I plan on getting a top 10 finish next year!
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Photos courtesy of World's Toughest Mudder, Spartan Race, and BattleFrog.