Team MudGear Blog

Team MudGear 2016 Open Call Winner #2: Ryan Bowyer March 09 2016, 0 Comments

Ryan Bower Spartan Race OCR
Photo Credit: Spartan Race

After going through 300+ qualified applications to our open call for Team Mudgear 2016, it’s time to announce our second winner.

Team MudGear is proud to announce our latest addition, Ryan Bowyer.  Ryan overcame physical obstacles to achieve his dreams of earning medals and trophies from Spartan Races, Rugged Maniacs, and Warrior Dashes.  He has channeled his competitive spirit into encouraging students and co-workers to break through their own obstacles as a community coordinator and mentor at Coastal Carolina University, where he has brought many into the sport for the first time.

“I was born club footed in 1987. I spent the first year and a half of my life in extremely difficult casts. As a result, I absolutely have to run on the forefront/balls of my feet because I physically am not able to efficiently run heel to toe. My father used to joke that every runner in a race could be wearing the same uniform but that he could pick me out of a crowd. He always said that running heel-to-toe seemed difficult for me, and it was true. I overcame those limitations and have had an incredibly successful collegiate and post-collegiate running career.  

In my office at Coastal Carolina University, I hang the medals and trophies that I receive from racing. These are often conversation starters with students as they come in and out of my office. All of my student-staff and co-workers know how important being physically fit, active, and racing is to me. Over the years I’ve gotten numerous co-workers and resident directors to race with me.

The obstacles in our races are more than physical barriers – they represent what so many of us have gone through in life. A typical road race often does not have the ability to stop us in our tracks like OCR races. As a result, overcoming and succeeding in these races appeals to so many people. The more people we get to challenge themselves in one of our races the better our world becomes.”

Team MudGear would like to thank all the amazing athletes who applied to be on this year's sponsor team.  Please be on the lookout for more opportunities to join our team later this year.  Thank you for supporting MudGear!

 

 


Team MudGear 2016 Open Call Winner #1: James Schissler March 09 2016, 0 Comments

James Schissler Team MudGear 2016

After reviewing over 300 qualified applications from the phenomenal OCR community, it's time to announce our winners. This was no easy task considering the many, many inspiring stories you submitted, but there were two that stood out as examples of people using OCR to build up themselves and those around them.

Team MudGear is proud to announce our latest addition, James Schissler of Gloucester County, NJ to our 2016 roster of sponsored athletes. He’s a trainer from South Jersey OCR, and is also heavily involved in his community by helping the homeless, veterans, and more.

James has been recognized for his works with a national group called Active Heroes, helping raise awareness in suicide among US military veterans. You can read about the impressive fitness challenge he led to raise awareness.  

As a former corrections officer, he also ran 117 miles to honor the lives of 117 police officers killed in the line of duty in 2014. We admire his dedication to helping others overcome obstacles, and are proud to have him part of the team.

“I'm the standard everyday 9-5 working individual that's into fitness and giving back to the community. I mainly train for obstacle course races (Spartan Race, Tough Mudders) and have competed on all levels since 2010.

I stay active and fit for not just for myself, or the thrill of obstacle course racing, but to help others lift themselves off the couch and realize that they can do anything they put their mind to. I want to spark inspiration to people that'll ignite a passion to change themselves for good, fitness and health is a lifestyle and a journey that lasts a lifetime.”

Please join us in welcoming James to Team MudGear! 


Open Call For Team MudGear 2016: Become A Sponsored OCR Athlete! February 25 2016, 0 Comments

Hi, it’s Malko here from MudGear.

The moment is now. If you’ve got dreams to be a sponsored OCR athlete, you can now take that first step in making them come true.

Team MudGear is looking to fill our 2016 roster with two more sponsored athletes from the OCR community. Whether you’ve been racing for years or just joined, everyone is welcome to apply. 

Who Are We Looking For?

Most importantly, we’re looking for someone that embodies the spirit of OCR, pushing themselves to new limits, and strives for the best every time they’re in a race. We also need people who can help us spread the word about MudGear. Does that sound like you? If so, we’d love to learn more about you.

What Perks Will You Get?

As a sponsored athlete with Team MudGear, you’ll get perks such as free swag and gear, access to our private Facebook group, and of course, the right to brag to the world that you are a sponsored OCR athlete.

How To Apply?

1) Please fill out the application form below. It shouldn't take more than five minutes and you'll be on your way.

2) We'll be announcing the winners on March 8th, 6:00PM EST on our blog here and social media pages. 

When Is The Deadline?

The deadline to apply closes on Tuesday, March 1st, 2016 6:00PM EST.  If you’re looking to take that first step towards being a sponsored athlete, fill out the form below to apply. 

Good luck, and I look forward to seeing your application!

Malko

 


Applications are currently closed.  Enter your email address below to receive an email alert the next time applications are being accepted.

 

 

 

 


Kevin “MudMan” LaPlatney: OCR Expert and Evangelist February 22 2016, 0 Comments


Kevin is the founder of the premiere OCR race review website The Mudman Report, and has been a long standing member of Team MudGear. The Mudman Report is a comprehensive guide to the best races across the country based on his personal reviews of each event. Known as the “Mudman”, he is also a critical figure in driving the exponential growth of OCR over the past few years.

  • Nearly 100 races
  • Founder of The Mudman Report
  • Magazine author and contributor to the MudGear Blog

From Long Island NY, Kevin has been running OCRs since 2010 and is now closing in on 100 total races completed. In 2015 he managed to complete 22 races and podium at a few despite dealing with injuries. He also finished the BattleFrog Elite season ranked #36 in the country. We are proud to have the Mudman on our team, and look forward to having him represent MudGear on the course.  

 

 

For free OCR training tips, get this powerful free OCR Guide: Warrior Strong - How Elite Athletes Become Resilient to Injury in Obstacle Course Racing

 


Meet Elliott Megquier: World Record Holder for the Most Spartan Race Podium Wins February 21 2016, 0 Comments

MudGear is proud to announce Elliott Megquier as a 2016 Sponsored Team MudGear Athlete. Elliott was the first elite athlete to wear MudGear on the race course 4 seasons ago, so we are thrilled to have him back for 2016. Over his career, he has completed over 127 Spartan Races and placed on 53 Spartan Elite podiums, the most in the world. In 2015, he ran 27 Spartan Races with 8 podiums and 2 wins. Elliott also won both snowshoe races that he entered.  

 

  • 127 Spartan Races...more than any other athlete
  • 53 Podium finishes
  • First athlete in the world on podium wearing MudGear
  • US Army Strong
  • Genuine badass...to the max

In the 2014 Carolinas Spartan Sprint, Elliott took 2nd place wearing MudGear trail socks and base layer briefs. When told the base layer briefs were meant to be worn under shorts, he said he didn’t give a shit. From that moment on, he has been one of MudGear’s favorite racers. We are proud to continue having Elliott on the team, and look forward to see him crush more races this year. 

  

For free OCR training tips, get this powerful free OCR Guide: Warrior Strong - How Elite Athletes Become Resilient to Injury in Obstacle Course Racing

 

 

 

 

 


Meet Laura Lunardi: OCR & Ultra-Marathon Crusher February 20 2016, 0 Comments

MudGear is proud to announce Laura Lunardi as part of Team MudGear. She’s been a star athlete since her college days, a Division 1 athlete in both field hockey and lacrosse. Now working in geriatric physical therapy and a mother to five kids all under the age of 9 - she still manages to find time crushing OCR races and ultra-marathons. In 2015, she completed over 35 races with over 20 of them in OCR. With a podium finish to every race except one, she’s a true inspiration for all OCR athletes.

  • 10 Elite Spartan podiums in 2015
  • 14 Elite Masters Spartan podiums in 2015
  • Top 3 Female in 3 ultra marathons in 2015
  • 2015 Elite Masters: #1
  • 2015 Elite Female Spartan: #10
  • Podium finishes in all 2015 races from 10K-15K distances

 

For free OCR training tips, get this powerful free OCR Guide: Warrior Strong - How Elite Athletes Become Resilient to Injury in Obstacle Course Racing

 

 


Meet K.K. Stewart-Paul: Obstacle Course Dominator February 19 2016, 0 Comments

  

 

MudGear is proud to announce K.K. Stewart-Paul as part of Team MudGear. As a Crossfit endurance enthusiast, mountain runner, and former equine trainer - she now dominates OCR courses around the country. In 2015, she won 1st place in over ten races, and looks forward to breaking new records this year. 

  • 2015 Arizona Spartan Race (back to back days): 1st
  • 2015 Atlas Race SoCal: 2nd
  • 2015 Atlas Race SoCal: 1st
  • 2015: Atlas Race San Antonio: 1st
  • 2015: Battle Frog Dallas: 1st
  • 2015 Colorado Spartan Race (back to back days): 1st
  • 2015 Pac-West Spartan Sprint: 1st
  • 2015 Breckenridge Spartan Sprint: 1st
  • 2015 Dallas Battlefrog: 1st  
  • 2015 Atlanta Battlefrog: 1st
  • 2015 Miami Battlefrog: 1st
  • 2015 Orlando Battlefrog Championships: 4th
  • 2015 Obstacle Course Race World Championship: 3rd

 

For free OCR training tips, get this powerful free OCR Guide: Warrior Strong - How Elite Athletes Become Resilient to Injury in Obstacle Course Racing

 


Meet Brakken Kraker: “I Am OCR” February 18 2016, 0 Comments

MudGear is proud to announce OCR pro Brakken Kraker as part of Team MudGear. Since 2014 Brakken has been a full-time OCR racer, but his beginnings started at the Illinois Spartan Sprint in 2011. At that race, he discovered how bad his fitness was and the misery of burpees. Since then, he’s pushed himself to become one of the leading figures in the OCR community. Brakken currently lives and trains in Colorado Springs with his wife, his brother, and two kids.

      • Spartan Points Series 2015: 3rd
      • 7 OCR wins in 2015
      • 20 races completed in 2015
      • 16 races with podium finish in 2015

 


For free OCR training tips, get this powerful free OCR Guide: Warrior Strong - How Elite Athletes Become Resilient to Injury in Obstacle Course Racing


Meet Robert Killian Jr.: “The Captain” February 17 2016, 0 Comments

MudGear is proud to announce Robert Killian Jr. as part of Team MudGear. Robert has a distinguished career in the US Army Special Forces, routinely working with coalition allies throughout the world. He’s also placed top 3 in the grueling three-day Best Ranger 2015 competition. He also has the highest ever finish by an American at the World Military Orienteering Championships, being nominated for US Army Soldier-Athlete of the Year in 2015. His records in OCR for 2015 are just as impressive:  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • 2015 Spartan World Championships: 1st
  • 2015 Longmont Triathlon: 1st
  • 2015 Colorado Mass Start Winter Biathlon: 1st
  • 2015 US Army Best Ranger Competition: 2nd
  • 2015 OCR World Team Championships: 3rd
  • 2015 Spartan Beast Breckenridge Race: 3rd
  • 2015 Spartan Super Pennsylvania: 3rd
  • 2015 Spartan Super New Jersey: 3rd
  • 2015 Warrior Dash World Championships: 9th

 

For free OCR training tips, get this powerful free OCR Guide: Warrior Strong - How Elite Athletes Become Resilient to Injury in Obstacle Course Racing


Meet Jackie Landmark: OCR Addict & Supermom February 16 2016, 0 Comments

MudGear is proud to announce Jackie Landmark as part of Team MudGear. A self-professed OCR addict, she currently lives in Deerfield, MA with her husband and five kids. In less than two years after her first OCR race, Jackie has already bagged over a dozen podium finishes across multiple races:

  • Charlotte Spartan Sprint: 1st
  • Bone Frog Challenge NJ: 1st
  • BoneFrog Challenge NE” 1st
  • Spartan SC Beast: 1st
  • Spartan SC Sprint: 1st
  • Tri State NY Sprint (1st Weekend): 1st
  • Tri-State NY Sprint (2nd Weekend): 1st
  • Citifield Stadium Sprint: 2nd
  • Boston Super: 2nd (Saturday), 1st (Sunday)
  • Savage Race PA: 2nd
  • Spartan AT&T Stadium: 2nd
  • Spartan Fenway: 2nd
  • SoCal Spartan Sprint: 3rd
  • Spartan VT Beast: 3rd

Jackie looks forward to breaking her own records in 2016, and we at MudGear are proud to have her be a part of this elite team.

 

For free OCR training tips, get this powerful free OCR Guide: Warrior Strong - How Elite Athletes Become Resilient to Injury in Obstacle Course Racing


Meet Janet Barry: Rising Star February 15 2016, 0 Comments


MudGear is proud to announce Janet Barry as part of Team MudGear. She’s a 25-year old athlete that competes in both OCR and road races. In her first OCR race at the DC Spartan Sprint. she placed 5th and realized this was a sport she could excel at with hard work and dedication. Since that sprint she “climbed the podium” over the next three races, finishing as the third, second, and finally first elite woman. In 2016, she intends to compete with the best athletes in OCR.   

  • 2015 Alabama Spartan Race: 1st Place
  • 2015 Spartan Sprint: 2nd
  • 2015 Asheville Spartan Super: 3rd Place Female (Overall)
  • 2015 Spartan Race: 5th Elite Woman
  • Numerous 5K road race wins
  • Division 1 collegiate track athlete

     

    As one of the youngest members of Team MudGear, we look forward to seeing Janet crush future races and pushing herself to new limits.

    For free OCR training tips, get this powerful free OCR Guide: Warrior Strong - How Elite Athletes Become Resilient to Injury in Obstacle Course Racing

     

     


    The #1 Question To Ask Yourself After A Race January 20 2016, 0 Comments

    A pro tip from Team MudGear Athlete Laura Lunardi

    In the world of GPS, heart monitors, time clocks, and OCR rankings – we spend so much of our time worrying about the numbers. How was today’s run? Did we reach our target heart rate? Was that a podium finish? Did you PR? As competitive athletes, it’s naturally in our blood, spirit, and mind.

    But are we missing something bigger?

    Perhaps we’re too concerned about the numbers. Now we quantify just about everything from nutrition, fitness, and races. We also have to remember so many passwords, access codes, social security numbers, and PINs. 

    As competitors, it’s definitely hard not to pay attention to all of these things. Yes, they are important, especially if you have set goals in certain areas. But are they so important that we forget why we run (or race) in the first place?

     

    Nobody ever asks: “How did you feel after your race today?”

    I’m the first to admit that I have lofty goals for just about every race I enter. I usually have a specific finishing time or overall gender placement I’d like to reach. Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to achieve most of my racing goals.

    However, along with all of the “good” races, I’ve certainly had my share of bad ones. There have been times where I’ve finished with a PR, but didn’t feel “right” during the race. I’ve also had morning runs where the successful time doesn’t reflect how physically awful I felt. So really…how important are the numbers?

    In my last race of 2015 (the Palm Beach Marathon), I finished as the 2nd overall female.  

    Great, right?

    Truth is, I felt miserable the whole time. It may have been the worst I’ve ever felt in a race (probably nothing related to my 3rd place finish the previous day at the Spartan Miami Sprint…). Was it satisfying to stand on the podium at the awards ceremony? Honestly, no.

    Sometimes the most enjoyable runs I’ve taken were the ones where I left my GPS at home. Or when I don’t look at my watch until I’m back home running up the driveway. Runs where I ran based on how I was feeling - not by what the numbers on my watch were showing.

    Does this mean I will stop counting my cumulative miles? Abandon my GPS watch? Forget about the clock? Not worry about placement? Ignore the numbers on my training schedule?

    No. But it does mean I will savor the times when I can run without the distractions of numbers floating around in my head. I will enjoy the feeling of strong, swift legs and easy breathing, not necessarily the feeling of a PR.  And hopefully with the perfect mix of the two, there will be even more happy running in 2016.

    Laura Lunardi

     

    For more OCR training tips, get this powerful free OCR Guide: Warrior Strong - How Elite Athletes Become Resilient to Injury in Obstacle Course Racing

     

     

     

     

     

     

     


    Team MudGear Race Recap – Vermont Spartan Race World Championship September 26 2014, 0 Comments

    The Spartan Race World Championship in Killington, Vermont is the pinnacle of the obstacle racing season for many elite racers. Training begins months in advance for the brutal runs and carries that take participants up and down black diamond ski slopes over a total of roughly 16 miles. 
    Successful athletes must combine extreme endurance with raw strength to complete a barrage of obstacles dreamed up by legendary course designer Norm Koch. The course rewards well rounded fitness and strong legs, and it breaks down athletes who excel in only one or two areas. This year’s race featured a long swim and a double 45 pound sand bag carry up and down the mountain that took most athletes a full half hour or more to complete.

    Over 600 athletes from across the globe gathered for the elite heat competition including world class marathon runners, mountain bikers, and triathletes. Thousands more racers and spectators joined to witness the weekend’s other big events including a short course sprint, and a Sunday Ultra Beast race.

    The Team MudGear Athletes were among those accepting the challenge and throwing down incredible performances on this epic weekend. These are their stories and highlights in their own words:

    Team MudGear Athlete – Brakken Kraker
    The highlight of the weekend for me was twofold:
    1. The short course. This was an awesome form of Obstacle Racing and had incredible competition. The action was non-stop and the race came right down to the final obstacle. I was fortunate enough to go from 6th to 2nd on the last two obstacles, making for the most exciting OCR finish I've ever been part of. It was really cool to have the crowd so into the race. It was by far the most fun I've had at a race and the best atmosphere for a race yet!
    2. Competing with and getting to know the international racers. There were some incredible athletes from outside the US in this race, and they were all so friendly. It was a great experience to spend time with such incredible people.

    Team MudGear Athlete - Laura S. Lunardi
    Saturday- The World Championship Beast
    Having just finished only one year of obstacle course racing, this was my first taste of the glorious mountains of Killington, Vermont. I honestly had no expectations going in to the race - only to finish as strongly as I could. Easily the toughest terrain I have ever stepped foot on, the Vermont Beast also offered obstacles I (and many others who only race in the United States) had never seen before. In addition, many familiar obstacles were either encountered twice or altered enough to provide an added challenge. Although easily my worst finish of the year (50th among elite females) as far as placement, I am glad to have without injury or any issues at all, for that matter. I now know what worked and what didn't work. I already feel more educated and confident, which will only help me for next year!

    Sunday - The Vermont Sprint 
    After racing the Beast on Saturday, I wasn't sure how I would feel about scaling the mountains again the next morning, but I geared up and headed to thee start line for the sprint. The initial ascent and trails were the same as Saturday's course, with the split coming at the Transverse Wall. Thankfully avoiding the lake swim and Tarzan ropes, the sprint course veered and headed up the mountain, cutting out a huge portion of the Beast race. As indicative of the name, this race was fast and furious, and pretty much over in a flash compared to the previous day. The final uphill through fallen trees and logs was greeted by a sweet descent to the fire jump, signifying the completion of my racing weekend. A much more fulfilling outcome, I was the first female to cross the finish line in this race, maybe slightly making up for Saturday's end result. Finding the way to the podium is always nice, but getting there via the mountains of Killington was even more gratifying.

     

    Team MudGear Athlete – Morgan Mckay
    “Where to start with this weekend? Well, I knew I had a good chance to place at UB again if I didn't do the beast championships, but I want to grow as an athlete, and part of that is knowing how I stack up against the absolute best in the world. I am very pleased with placing 23rd for woman, I know how hard I need to work to be on the next level and I'm excited to work extremely hard over the winter to get there!

    The beast: I started near the back of the pack and paced myself. As the race progressed I made my move and picked up the pace and started to pass people. This race was amazing. I felt so honoured to race against so many athletes I really respect. Everyone was so encouraging and supportive. The highlight for me was digging deep in the last 2 miles, which made a huge difference in placement. I passed around 10 girls in the last 30mins. Cramps were a major problem. Screaming people suffering from bad cramps in the last barbed wire crawl surrounded me. I was also hurting but just kept rolling!! At the end of the race I felt great, which means I could have pushed a lot harder.... But it was hard to know how much energy to reserve. 

    The sprint: So because I was feeling so great after the beast, I got peer pressured to enter into this sprint course against some of the girls who placed top 20. It was filmed for TV. It was approximately 1/2 mile x 4 laps. The course consisted of: walls, cargo net, log carry, Hercules hoist, monkey bars and spear throw. I looked at the girls I was racing and thought, "I'm going to get absolutely crushed, but I'm going to try anyways!" I surprised myself and held my own against the best. I placed somewhere in the middle of the pack. Oh! I also had to borrow clothes from some guy friends because I forgot to bring a change of clothes; it's going to be slightly embarrassing on TV! 

    The ultra beast: This was quite the challenge, more mentally than physically. Physically I knew I could do it. I have ran 3 ultra marathons this year and I know my body can handle the distance. I honestly just wasn't that into it. It was the same course as the day before, the start line was a mess, half the elite woman started with the elite males, so many had a 15min head start on me... which made it almost impossible for me to race against them because I had no idea what their pace was, or where they were. I saw so many people cheating; it was ridiculous, and very disappointed to see. I've never seen this much cheating in a race before. I could go on and on and complain, but that's not me. So the race became more of a personal mission, to run a true honest race and push myself. I am very proud I beat the demons in my head that told me to quit. I refused to quit even when at times I felt the race had no merit. I proved to myself again that my body will follow my mind and I pushed it to the finish line. I’m discovering more and more how mental these races are, and how to master my emotions when everything seems to go wrong. I ran with integrity, and I'm very proud. I know despite the cheaters, I'm in the top 10, not exactly sure what my pacing is officially yet. 

    All in all I am very happy that I was able to pull off 3 different races in 2 days. It gave me a lot of confidence about WTM Nov. 15-16, 2014. My goal is to win and I feel very prepared and focused for it.”

     

    Team MudGear Athlete – Kevin Mudman LaPlatney
    “Such a wild and amazing weekend. I headed to Philadelphia Friday night to run the stadium Spartan Race in Citizens Bank Park early the next morning. Finished 14th among Elites in a relatively easy and short course, but then had to rush back to NY for work that day. Then Saturday evening I drove 5 hours to Vermont so I could also run the Spartan Beast the following morning. On almost no sleep, without dinner or breakfast before, and stiff from all the driving (and the race 24 hours earlier), I managed to take 5th overall in the elite heat, my best Spartan finish of the year! So many memorable moments during those hours on Killington Mountain, but the best had to be completing the "Tarzan" obstacle that tormented me and so many others from a year ago- swim out to a rope ladder in the middle of a chilly lake, climb to the top and then traverse across 4 or 5 short knotted ropes hanging from a bridge, to finally ring a bell at the end. Still easily the toughest single obstacle I've had to take on in ANY race of my life.”

     

    Team MudGear Athlete – Matt Kempson
    As I was coming through the final barbed wire, with my legs cramping to the point I wanted to pass out, a few spectators, volunteers, and the competitors I was battling with spontaneously broke out into a verse of "Build me up buttercup" and continued to sing the entire song through the crawl. Highlight of my race career.

     

    Team MudGear Athlete - Elliot Megquier
    The Journey 
    Wow what a weekend. It started out Thursday night. I was supposed to get out of work at 9 PM and immediately start my journey to Killington, VT. I had not sold one mattress or anything all day Thursday when a customer walked in around 7:45 PM. I finally sold them on the right mattress and adjustable base they wanted, but then had a hard time entering their finance info due to my inexperience with the system. Anyways, I made the sale earning just under $300 when all products are delivered. So, a great way to start the weekend even though I didn’t hit the road until 10 PM ish. Then I proceed to make wrong turns and hit almost every light getting out of Virginia Beach and yeah have a 10 min or so delay on tunnel #2 (of the Chesapeake Bay). Anyways I start to make good time and hit the lights right. I am somewhere on the New Jersey turnpike around 3 AM ish. I stop to get gas and take a nap because I can hardly keep my eyes open. After struggling to get comfortable I finally fall asleep and I think I sleep almost 2 hours. I wake up and the sun is rising. I continue my journey stopping for some amazing Burger King crossonwiches, chocolate milk, and a banana near Tuxedo, NY. I arrived at K1 around 12 PM ish and immediately run into my Spartan Staff buddies Curtis and Patrick. Then the reunion continued, I see friends from all over the country and even other countries. I headed to my condo for the weekend and meet my friend James Appleton and am introduced to 4 other British athletes and one from the Netherlands. We head back to K1 for the press conference and dinner. After the conference I jog down to the Killington Resort Ball Room to get first in line for dinner. Oh yeah I won and got the first plate! After dinner with some good friends I notice none of my roommates are at the dinner and since they drove I have no transportation. I also don’t have my wallet, watch, or well phone with me. haha. After borrowing a friends smartphone to retrieve the address I start what should be a mile and change walk to the condo. Well you know me of course I had to take what I thought was the short cut and 5 miles later I am on Route 4. I luckily run into a security guard doing checks and he takes me back to my condo. Thank you so much whoever you are! Anyways I get to bed at a decent hour and get good sleep since I am very tired. I woke up Saturday morning knowing it is going to be cold and a hard race.

    The Race/Aftermath
    So I am the first person to the wall just before the starting line and I anxiously await the start. I get my pre-race bear hug from MC TC Carson and I talk to a bunch of friends and make a few new ones. Some of the top contenders are announced and they hop over the wall, then there is a mad rush to get over. I tried to be careful and not get injured in a mad rush just to get to the start line. I am maybe 3 rows back, but this means nothing since I planned to go out at my pace and not crush myself up the first climb. Off we go and I settle in maybe 100th place, guys I know, some foreign athletes jet on by. I start to gain some positions at the first sand bag carry and first bucket carry. I get to the dreaded tarzan swing and fall. I do my 30 burpees and soon pass Alec Blenis who actually made the obstacle. I run with Alec for a bit and he warms up from the cold water (it didn’t affect me at all) and he takes off. I pass him again at the log carry and we head into the log hop together. I struggle but after borrowing Alec’s technique of putting your hands on one plank make it across and take my sweet time standing up so I don’t fall off. I gain my balance and hop safely across the last four logs. Wow that was a challenge. I reach the summit of the mountain and see the memorization board and spear on a rope which I got to help demo a few weeks back in New Jersey. It is very windy and I miss to the left. After my 30 burpees I make a decent and I see a women there, not seeing her pass me I tell her she’s lost. It turns out she is from Quebec and her English is hard to understand. I try to tell her she’s either in first place or lost. She backtracks a little and then she passes me again. Then more women start to pass me on the decent. I only recognize a few and I cheer my friends Claude Godbout and Corinna Coffin on. At the second bucket carry I begin to think boy this race is probably the easiest Beast I have done in Killington. Boy was I about to eat my words. I little bit after the second bucket we get to the second sand bag carry. I begin to think wow I’m about to crush some dudes. But we have to carry two bags which I’ve heard were around 45 lbs. each. I throw one on each shoulder but I do not get very far before I have to stop. Next I try one on the shoulder and one I grab by the duct tape and hold like a purse. I get to the section where it gets the steepest and the tape breaks. I resort to throwing one at a time up the mountain. I run into my good friend Mr. Ricciardi and he cheers me on and really gives me a lift seeing a friendly face at my darkest moment of the race. I start to drag one of the bags like a tractor pull by it now exposed long neck and the other I put on my shoulder. I reach the top of the carry and make good time down the mountain to the end of the carry. My watch is saying 2.5 miles more if the 14.5 mile course is truthfully. It is not, at this point I really am not racing for anything. My only goal is to finish. Jenny Tobin passes me and cheers me on but I don’t have any drive to keep up with her. I get to the tyrolean traverse and breeze across it, but then I get the memorization test and miss it by one. My alpha letter was Tango then it was my birthday 827, so I only really had to memorize the last 4 numbers but I was one off. The volunteer said I was good when I was at 25 burpees, but I don’t cut corners and I knock at my last five. The rope climb is challenging with the thin rope that hangs out of the water. I make it up with no problem, but then I miss the spear again. My good buddy Alexander Nicolaus does the same I we have a few words of encouragement after the burpees. He says rough race or something but then I think, I have nothing to be mad about, I have full use of both my legs, I am not injured, I have the love and support of my family and friends, I just got offered a box ticket to Derek Jeter’s last home game ever, and I am doing what I love to do in the beautiful state of Vermont in the fall (technically it was still summer, but not so in reality) which is one of the most majestic times of the year. I proceed to fall off the pole traverse and at the 10 ft wall just before the barb wire a staff member asks me “Elliott did you run in the open heat today?” I reply no and continue on. It is really funny that someone thinks that, but it also indicates wow I am really stinking up the joint. I get the herculean hoist up and down then my calf locks up. Luckily I used to this happening in bed or driving and I’m able to work it out in seconds. Up the container climb and then on to the monkey bars. They are slippery and my grip is shot from the 2nd sand bag experience. I fall off and do my 30 burpees. One last climb and I see the finish line I start to run and then I hear someone coming up on me. I start to pick up my speed and I see some ignorant spectator walking right across my path, I yell at them and proceed to get beat out at the fire jump. I don’t really care it was a battle for what turned out to be 67th place. I don’t feel like getting my picture taken (sorry Rory Doyle) and give a few friends hugs and congratulate a few people before I head up to the athlete room. Boy am I beat but I am healthy and I finished. After an hour or so I bum a ride off some friends and say they can use the showers at my condo. However we are locked out when we get there. I tell them just to leave me and I hop in the jacuzzi for some much needed soaking. I happen to have my car keys and decide to head back to the venue. There Joe De Sena asks me to do the short course and I tell him yes only if I can get a free pair of shoes since I am wearing my dress shoes. It turns out there is no room in the men’s heat and Alex, Alec, myself, and a few others are regulated to the JV/scrub heat. I am excited to race by now after watching my friends and teammates in the men’s/women’s race. The scrub heat actually has around 80 or so podiums between the three of us, but they bail and by the end of the women’s heat I am the only one that wants to race. I take off by myself I get one lap in before they take the spears. I mock throwing the spears the last 3 laps and complete my 4 laps earn my shoes. Outback Pizza, more hot tub, and quick DD duty to the Pickle Barn to see some friends. During the race I had come to the conclusion that I had no desire to do even the charity sprint and that the only safe thing was to drive home Sunday morning after a good night’s sleep. That’s what I did, nothing notable other than getting honked at by a Virginia state trooper and yelled at to slow down. Then I go out to Hooter’s (never been there but I’ve got a gift card and I want a burger, fries, and cheese cake!) for dinner and I am in a bad mood. I ask the guy at the bar to move over so I’m not against the barrier. He does and he starts making fun of me for ordering chocolate milk and water at a bar. We get to talking and he is an E3 medic in the Navy, I tell him my story about just getting off active duty. We talk some more as the Seahawks hold on in overtime to beat the Broncos. Then I ask for my bill and the bartender tells me there is no bill. I think she’s joking and then after minutes of playing with my card impatiently to get her attention she tells me the dude next to me bought my meal. Never before has anyone I didn’t know bought my meal, what I nice gesture. I thank him and tell him he shouldn’t have done that. Wow what a roller coaster of emotions. Questions linger, do I really want to continue I job that has long hours and pay so dependent on commission where days go by you don’t sell anything, do I want to train harder to get back to the podium? The questions remain unanswered but I am still going to race. My next Spartan Race in the Winnsboro Beast/Super around a month from now. Then the next week I just bought my ticket last night for the Glen Rose Beast/Sprint. If you are still reading thank you and I hope you enjoyed it. Thanks to my sponsors Spartan Race, VPX Sports/Team Xtreme, and Mud Gear! Also to all the staff, volunteers, and spectators that cheered me on and helped build an amazing course! Oh and congrats to my new friend Jon Albon for pulling out a huge upset, Ryan Atkins, and Cody Moat for rounding out the podium. Claude Godbout, Corinna Coffin, and April Dee for being the women winners. Hunter McIntyre and Cassidy Walton for winning the short courses. And Isaiah Vidal, Cody, and April for podiuming in the Ultra Beast the day after running in the Beast you guys are unbelievable!


    MudGear announces new Team MudGear Athlete – Zack Kessell September 25 2014, 0 Comments

    Zack Kessell Team MudGear sponsored athlete
    • Accomplished stair/tower climb racer
    • OCR dark horse
    • 3 podium finishes at Battlefrog, and top finishes on several other OCR circuits

    MudGear Obstacle Race Apparel is pleased to announce the selection of Zack Kessell as a member of Team MudGear.

    Zack Kessell surprised the OCR community in 2014. He was an unknown athlete who showed up without fanfare, and threw down an elite level performance at the BattleFrog race series taking 2nd place to OCR's most well known athlete.  He proceeded to repeat that performance in three consecutive races, finishing second and beating several other top elite racers.  All of this was no surprise to F3 Nation, the free peer-led outdoor bootcamp movement that started in Charlotte, North Carolina. The group stands for Fitness, Fellowship, and Faith and seeks to pull men into vigorous early morning beat downs, and push them to be better community leaders. Zack was already well known as a genuine badass by the hundreds of F3 guys he routinely smoked in early morning races through the city parks and streets. For this he earned the nickname Bunny, a real tribute in a group where the toughest guys are often bestowed the softest nick names.

    Zack has a huge opportunity to excel in OCR, and plenty of hunger.

    "I am honored to be selected from among the best in the world, and I look forward to representing Team MudGear. I think MudGear and I are both still in our infancy in terms of what we are going to do in the sport of OCR. My goals are to win races and give everyone a good view of what MudGear looks like from behind."

     

     

     

     


    MudGear announces new Team MudGear Athlete – Brakken Kraker September 19 2014, 0 Comments

    Brakken Kraker Team MudGear OCR elite athlete

    Racing Highlights

    • Current World Ranking: 4th
    • 22 Wins and 41 Top 3 finishes
    • 2012 Spartan World Championships: 3rd Place (Beast and Ultra Beast)
    • 2013 Spartan Sprint Championship: 2nd Place
    • 2013 Spartan Super Championship: 1st Place

     

    On the eve of his 3rd Spartan World Championship effort, MudGear Obstacle Race Apparel is pleased to announce the selection of Brakken Kraker as a member of Team MudGear.  Brakken placed 3rd in the 2012 World Championships and is looking forward to taking on the course this year after modifying his training to combat leg cramping that struck him in the 2013 race.  He comes into this year's championship ranked #4 in the world.

    Off the course, Brakken teaches high school special education and coaches in West Allis, Wisconsin.  We look forward to watching Brakken compete and continue to make his mark in the world of OCR.  

    For Brakken, racing has always been about working hard and having fun on the course. "I'm really excited to be part of a brand so devoted to growing the sport of obstacle racing."

     

     

     

     


    MudGear announces new Team MudGear Athlete – Laura Lunardi September 12 2014, 0 Comments

    Laura Lunardi MudGear Mud Run athlete

    2014 Race Highlights

    • 5th Elite female at Virginia Super
    • 3rd Elite female at New Jersey Super
    • 4th Elite Female DC Spartan Sprint 7/26
    • 4th Elite Female BattleFrog 15K 7/19
    • 3rd Elite Female Pennsylvania Spartan Sprint 7/13
    • 1st Elite Female Tuxedo Spartan Sprint 6/1
    • 3rd Elite Female Austin Spartan Sprint 5/18
    • 4th Elite Female Indiana Spartan Sprint 4/26

     

    MudGear Obstacle Race Apparel is pleased to announce the selection of Laura Lunardi as a member of Team MudGear.

    Laura is currently ranked #13 Elite Female by Spartan Race and #1 Tough Mama by her 5 children, all of whom have now caught the OCR bug themselves completing the Jr Spartan Race in Pennsylvania.  Beyond that, Laura is a physical therapist, field hockey coach and referee.

    "I love racing because I learn something about myself with every race. OCR has lessened my fears and made me realize that I have the strength to accomplish a lot more than I ever thought I could."


    MudGear announces new Team MudGear Athlete – Matthew Kempson September 11 2014, 1 Comment

    Matthew Kempson MudGear OCR elite athlete

    Recent Race Highlights:

    • 1st Place Overall Tuxedo Spartan Sprint (Saturday and Sunday)
    • 1st Place Overall Mohegan Spartan Sprint
    • Ranked 2nd in Spartan World Rankings Age Group, 12th overall
    • OCR Coach at Advanced Movement Athletics
    • Badass Mechanical Engineer and product design consultant

    MudGear Obstacle Race Apparel is pleased to announce the selection of Matthew Kempson as a member of Team MudGear.

    Matthew Kempson is the young guy that haunts the dreams of today's older elite athletes. When they wake up, stand in front of the mirror and pluck gray hairs, they can still hear his footsteps creeping up behind them. And they wonder how long they can hold him off. But no amount of training or beet juice can stop the hands of time or the relentless pursuit of a man on mission. Matthew Kempson's mission is to be in the top 3 Spartan Race World Rankings and he has the drive to get there.

    "I am excited to race with Team MudGear. It's a great fit for me because all of my best training is done outside on the trails; in the sun, in the rain, in the snow, and in the mud."

    In addition to elite OCR competition, Matthew spends his time as an Assistant Coach for the UConn Alpine Ski Team and as a professional mechanical engineer. We look forward to watching Matthew's continued growth in the elite OCR world, and we are excited to tap into his product engineering expertise as we build the next generation of advanced gear and apparel for obstacle racing.


    MudGear announces new Team MudGear Athlete – Morgan Mckay September 05 2014, 0 Comments

    Morgan Mckay MudGear Obstacle race athlete

    Recent Race Highlights:

    • 1st Place Ultra Beast
    • 3rd Place 50 mile Beast of Burden
    • 2nd Place Spartan Sprint Tremblant
    • 3rd Place 50 mile Peak Ultra
    • 2nd Place Battlefrog NJ
    • Top 10 in over 15 other races

    MudGear Obstacle Race Apparel is pleased to announce the selection of Morgan Mckay as a member of Team MudGear.

    Morgan is an accomplished OCR elite athlete and a personal trainer at GoodLife Fitness.  When she's not coaching her clients toward their own fitness goals, Morgan can be found on the course and in the mud on most weekends.

    "I love being a part of Team MudGear.  I spend most of my time playing, training and racing in the mud! It's my life, and proud of it!!"

    Morgan is always up for a challenge.  She was a participant in this year's Peak Summer Death Race and expect to see her in this November's World Toughest Mudder competition.  Morgan will bring her experience and expertise to the new challenge of helping to design the first women's line of MudGear, the world's best obstacle race apparel.


    MudGear announces new Team MudGear Athlete – Dennis Welch August 15 2014, 0 Comments

    Dennis Welch MudGear Obstacle race athlete
    • Founder and "Mad Scientist" of The Endurance Project
    • Champion 50K Ultra Trail Runner
    • Spartan Elite
    • Tattooed, bearded, badass country boy from Oklahoma

    MudGear Obstacle Race Apparel is pleased to announce the selection of Dennis Welch as a member of Team MudGear.

    Dennis is well known for pushing the boundaries of elite athletic training with innovative approaches to conditioning and coaching. He has employed his techniques to transform himself from an ultra distance runner into a highly competitive obstacle race athlete, and he is often consulted by many of OCR's top athletes.  You can hear him on the Obstacle Dominator Podcast with Hunter McIntyre and Ben Greenfield.

    "If you're willing to do what it takes, there are no limits"

    MudGear is excited to have The Mad Scientist on Team MudGear, and we look forward to seeing what his innovative mind will help us cook up for the next generation of obstacle race gear and apparel. 

     

     

     

     


    MudGear announces new Team MudGear Athlete – Kevin "MudMan" LaPlatney August 14 2014, 0 Comments

    Kevin MudMan LaPlatney Team MudGear Athlete
    • Over 60 OCR events completed since 2010
    • Founder of the premier OCR race review website, "The Mudman Report"
    • Genuine Badass

    MudGear Obstacle Race Apparel is pleased to announce the selection of Kevin "MudMan" LaPlatney as a member of Team MudGear.  Besides the obvious name compatibility between Mudman and MudGear, Kevin is also a natural choice for being one of the pioneers of OCR.  His race review website, "The Mudman Report" is a comprehensive guide to the best races in the country based on his personal experience with each event.  Kevin has been a driving force in the exponential growth of OCR.  In addition to representing Team MudGear as an athlete, Kevin will also assume a strategic advisory role with MudGear and oversee activities of the Team MudGear program.

    "I'm thrilled to be accepted as a member of Team MudGear, representing a company that not only makes incredible apparel for the toughest of outdoor sports, but who also believes in supporting those athletes who live for getting down and dirty."

    MudGear is excited to have the MudMan on Team MudGear, and we look forward to working together to continue growing the sport of OCR. 


    MudGear announces new Team MudGear Athlete – Elliott Megquier August 08 2014, 0 Comments

    • Elliott Megquier of Team MudGear Obstacle Race Team91 Spartan Races - more than an other athlete
    • 41 Podium Finishes
    • First athlete in the world to podium wearing MudGear
    • US Army Strong
    • Genuine Badass

    MudGear Obstacle Race Apparel is pleased to announce the selection of Elliott Megquier as the first member of Team MudGear.  Elliott is the perfect choice to anchor Team MudGear as he became the first ever elite athlete to prove MudGear on the race course.  He took second place in the 2014 Carolinas Spartan Sprint wearing MudGear trail socks and base layer briefs.  When told the base layer briefs were meant to be worn under shorts, Elliott said he didn't give a shit.  From that moment on, he has been one of our favorite racers.

    "I'm honored to be named the first team member of Team MudGear, they parallel my values of hard work and grittiness."

    We are proud to have Elliott on Team MudGear, and we look forward to watching him crush more courses in our gear.

    Learn what it takes to be a Team MudGear Athlete and apply now.

     

     


    Apply to be a Team MudGear Athlete (deadline 8/16/14 *Now Closed*) August 07 2014, 0 Comments

    Join Team MudGear
    Do you have what it takes to represent MudGear Badass Obstacle Race Apparel? Be one of the select few to join Team MudGear for the fall race season. Submit your application by Saturday, August 16th, 2014.

    Selected Athletes will receive:

    • Exclusive Team MudGear Athlete Apparel
    • $100 gear credit for additional badassary
    • Promotion to grow your personal brand with profiles and highlights of your achievements on MudGear.com and social media

    How to apply:
    Applications for the Fall race season will be accepted until Saturday, August 16th, 2014.  *Now Closed* Follow MudGear on Facebook for updates on the next opportunity.

    What we are looking for:
    Team MudGear Athletes are hardcore outdoor competitors who are highly visible in the OCR community.  Top race results are important, as is the ability to help introduce MudGear to a wide audience through blogs, websites, and social media platforms.  Team MudGear lives by the ethos that real toughness is built outside, against fierce competition, where the fiercest is Mother Nature herself.  Athletes who race in yoga pants or ride elliptical machines need not apply.