This week, I spoke with Antonio Alletto, race director and founder of Grit OCR.
Antonio starts by telling me all about Grit OCR, from the format to the obstacles and everything in between. We talk about the two different race distances they offer, and how that poses a challenge as a race director.
I ask him about how he chooses which obstacles to include, which leads us to a discussion about what he loves about rucking and why it's an important part of his race. Antonio shares what factors go into making it different each year, and we have a discussion about obstacles.
He then tells me about the most difficult parts of putting on an OCR, and the most rewarding parts. We then talk about the new second location, and Antonio shares his goals for Grit OCR.
This week, I spoke with elite OCR athlete Ashley Heller!
We start with talking about her most recent Spartan race in Montana, and about how much we both love that course.
Ashley tells me about her recent injury, her recovery process and how she dealt with it. We talk about her return to racing, and she shares advice for athletes dealing with injuries.
We then talk about Elevate OCR and its mission, which leads us to talk about what we love about the sport of obstacle course racing. Lastly, Ashley shares with me her plans for 2021 and what races she has her eye on.
Matt B. Davis of Obstacle Racing Media joins me on the podcast for a special bonus episode this week!
We start with talking about endurance running and training, and then discuss OCR podcasting through 2020, and how the OCR competition has changed over the past year.
Matt then asks me some questions about myself and what I've been up to the past year, and we talk about his live coverage over at ORM.
We discuss the championships later in the year and speculate on attendance, and Matt tells me about his upcoming "last man standing" race in July.
Lastly, we share what we love about ultras, and I get real with where I've been over the last year and my return to OCR and podcasting.
Oh hey we're back! This week I spoke with elite OCR athlete Alex Walker who took third place at Hildervat this past weekend.
We start with talking about the race itself, and her likes and dislikes from the weekend, which leads us to a short discussion of men's weights versus women's weights.
Then we talk about her 2021 race season, and the state of OCR competition after the big 2020 break. Alex shares her goals and plans for 2021, which leads us to talk about her running preferences and the benefits of running trails over road running.
Lastly, we talk about her goals for her training, and the value of training itself.
Hey everyone, I'm back! I spoke with elite OCR athlete Javier Escobar this week all about his 100-mile outing at World's Toughest Mudder last fall, his training, and how he stays motivated.
We begin by talking about his 2019 WTM experience, and how it felt to reach 100 miles. He tells me about his progression from 35 miles at his first WTM to 100 miles at his latest.
He talks about how his training program has improved his performance, and the specific training and movements he's been working on.
Javier and I discuss how he stays motivated during this time, he tells me his least favorite thing to do during training, and we chat about our rivalry during Toughest Mudder West last year.
He then tells me about his experience running the UltraVirus 12 Hour Race, and he may or may not have convinced me to run the next one.
Back with a brand new episode all about the Spartan World Championships in Tahoe!
I start with giving my own race recap about the 10k Trail race on Saturday, then share my experience racing in Age Group at the World Championships on Sunday.
Then I talk with Kris Brown, winner of Saturday's Ultra race and an experienced ultra runner who is also a member of Spartan's Trail Race team.
Lastly, I have a great long interview with Spartan Pro Ashley Heller, all about her top 10 placing at the World Championship, how she handled the elements, how she's been performing all year, and much more.
We begin with Mr. J'ean telling me about his background, and then all about how he got involved with Spartan. We talk about burnout, and how he gets through sending off thousands of racers every race day.
He shares the challenges of his job as the start line emcee, and also tells me about his favorite part about it. He also tells me some stories of some of the most memorable experiences he's had and what they meant to him.
We end with Mr. J'ean telling me all about his podcast Transparency: What's your Story?, and we discuss the idea of transparency and transparent moment.
You can find his podcast here: https://thealivexperienceonline.com/podcast-2/
And his motivational CD here: https://thealivexperienceonline.com/product-category/music/
This week's episode is full of live interviews from the Spartan weekend in Monterey, California last weekend!
I spoke with:
This week's episode is all about hiking! At the beginning of this month, I hiked the Cactus to Clouds trail up to San Jacinto Peak, where I met three hikers in the midst of hiking the entire Pacific Crest Trail.
I start by sharing my experience with the grueling Cactus to Clouds hike, then dive into the interviews with Stripes, Mr. Snuggles and Dink (their PCT trail names).
I spoke with them all about what motivated them to start this long, arduous journey, and we talk a bit about Cactus to Clouds.
I ask them each what they're most looking forward to, how and what they decided to bring, and the logistics of their trip.
We talk about the terrain for a bit, then end with discussing their next big goals once they complete the PCT.
This week's episode is full of live interviews from the Spartan USNS Beast and Mountain Series Sprint in Big Bear, California! I spoke with athletes all about the crazy hills, the cold dunk wall on Sunday, and everything in between.
On Saturday at the Beast, I spoke with:
On Sunday at the Sprint, I spoke with:
-Matt B. Davis of Obstacle Racing Media
Ultra marathon athlete and former World's Toughest Mudder champion Trevor Cichosz joins me this week to tell me all about his experience at Everest 135, an intense 135-mile ultra marathon where he took third place.
We begin with Trevor telling me all about how he heard of this race, all the race prep required and the training (and lack thereof) that led up to it.
He tells me about the race prep in the days leading up to the race, and walks me through his entire race experience, from the issues to the checkpoints, to the altitude and all that climbing. Trevor shares some wild stories, from hallucinating a village to holding onto donkeys so he wouldn't get kicked off the treacherous mountain trails.
We talk about how it compared to his race across Scotland last year, and Trevor talks about the lessons he learned and what he'll do to prepare next time.
We end by talking more about ultra marathons, what's next on his schedule, and his next crazy adventure.
Want more? Read about Trevor's experience in his own words, on his blog here: http://www.groundpounder.org/2019/05/13/everest-135/
Live from Snohomish, Washington, I grabbed a ton of interviews with some of the top athletes who ran the Seattle Spartan Championship Super. We spoke about the challenges of the course, the weather, the competition, and more!
I spoke with:
This week is full of live interviews and my own review from Tough Mudder's opening weekend in California! I was there Sunday to run the course, and I got interviews from some key members of the TM community, including:
-Tough Mudder CEO Kyle McLaughlin
-Two of the three founders of Assist 100 Mudders, Joey Ta and Ed Groleau
-Tough Mudder emcee and community favorite Sean Corvelle
Jack Bauer, the mind behind the massive Spartan ranking system, joins me on the podcast to talk all about the top women in the elite field.
We begin with talking about the "Fab 5" elite women and who it has consisted of, and how it might be changing. We have a long discussion full of stats about most all of the top women currently in the field, and where we think they'll end up by championship season. This leads me to ask for Jack's opinion on whether the wide variety of course types in the Spartan USNS will affect the top placing.
Jack then gives me plenty of head-to-head stats from the women's field, and I ask him if he thinks that some of the slower starts this year are due to the fact that the series started so early.
We get briefly sidetracked by some of the men's competition, and we then discuss the women that dominated the field years ago, and how they would stack up against the top women's field today. Jack goes one to tell me which women had the most podiums each year.
We then get into the topic of dark horses, and Jack gives me some names to look out for this year.
Lastly, we end with a discussion about the recently announced OCRWC ranking system, and how we both feel about it.
Elite OCR athlete and Spartan Pro Team member Veejay Jones joins me on the podcast to talk about his win at the Spartan U.S. National Series race, how he trains and what he focuses on in his training, and about the upcoming show he's on, Million Dollar Mile.
We start with Veejay telling me about his win in Alabama, and I ask him about his proficiency with obstacles. He then explains to me why the Spartan U.S. National Series isn't on his radar, and I ask him when he'll start to focus on winning Beasts. I also ask him whether or not he feels as though he's underestimated by the elite field.
Veejay also tells me about his training with Richard Diaz, and how that's affected his performance at races.
We then talk about the upcoming show Million Dollar Mile, and Veejay explains the premise of the show and the layout of the course. He tells me about what is like to work the other pros on the show, and I ask him how it compares to some of the other OCR-related shows we've seen.
Lastly, Veejay tells me about what he will be focusing on, and the his goal races for the year.
Kressa Peterson joined me for a bonus episode this week to talk all about her product Shower Toga, appearing on Shark Tank, and how the values of OCR got her to where she is today.
We begin with Kressa introducing herself and telling me about when and how the idea for the Shower Toga was born. She then tells me about the process of getting on Shark Tank, and we compare it to an endurance OCR. That leads us to a discussion about the lessons and confidence OCR has given us, and how it affects every aspect of our lives.
Kressa tells me more about future plans for the Shower Toga, including working with disaster relief and finding ways to make it more biodegradable.
She then talks about what it was like being on the show and being her authentic self on the show, which leads us to another discussion about discovering who we are and the strength we have. We also talk about the teamwork and camaraderie of OCR, and how it instills empathy.
Lastly, we circle back to Shark Tank and talk more about the her investors.
You can order Shower Toga here: https://showertoga.com/
You can watch the Shark Tank episode here: https://abc.go.com/shows/shark-tank/episode-guide/season-10/14-episode-14
We've got more live interviews for you this week from the Spartan San Jose Sprint! I spoke with athletes all about the course, the competition, how it compares to previous years, and what's ahead for them.
I start by giving my own recap of the Sprint race, and then speak with:
This week's episode is full of live interviews from the Spartan Sprint and Super weekend outside Las Vegas (technically in Arizona), and my own recap from the race.
I spoke with Veejay Jones all about his race, racing against Cody Moat and Hobie Call, and a little bit about the upcoming show Million Dollar Mile.
I also spoke with Hobie Call about his return to racing this year, and Cody Moat about racing neck-and-neck with Veejay, and I ask them both about their Sprint race and what races they'll be at this year.
I wasn't able to grab an interview with Cera Edgley at the venue, so I gave her a quick call on the road and Cera told me about her podium finish at the Sprint on Saturday, and more about the disqualification she and Timmie Brann received on Sunday.
Elite OCR athlete Ryan Kempson joins me this week to talk all about his win at the Spartan US National Series Super in Jacksonville last weekend, the series as a whole, the sport of OCR, and how he trains for such a long season.
We start with Ryan giving me his background and how he got into OCR. We then dive into Jacksonville and Ryan break down how his race went and the competition.
We discuss the new obstacles, and then dive into the topic of officiating at races, and how Ryan feels Spartan is doing in that respect. We talk about penalties, and the degree to which they should or perhaps shouldn't be penalized, especially when compared to other sports.
Ryan then tells me about how he trains for such a long OCR season without burning out, and we talk about the diversity of the courses in Spartan's US National Series and how it may affect the competition.
I ask Ryan about his race preferences, and he tells me more about other OCRs he has run and how they differ from Spartan.
We end with Ryan sharing his goals and the races he's focusing on this year, and how consistency is key in the sport of OCR.
This week's episode is full of live interviews from the Spartan Sprint/Super weekend in Arizona! I spoke with some of the elite athletes there all about the terrain, the cold, and the competition.
I spoke with:
Founder and Race Director for Grit OCR Antonio Alletto joined me on the podcast this week to tell me all about his race, how and why created it, and the challenges and success he encountered along the way.
We start by Antonio introducing himself and telling me about his background with OCR. We then dive into Grit as I ask him why he wanted to create an OCR, and he tells me how he started it.
Antonio walks me through the process of creating an OCR and creating the course, and tells me all about how he built all of his obstacles. He talks about the biggest challenges he faced in creating his own OCR, and we talk about last year's inaugural event and what he learned from it.
He explains the format of the race, and I ask him why he chose penalty loops over mandatory obstacle completion. He also explains how the competitive system works at his race.
We end by discussing expansion and different race formats, and Antonio tells me what kind of person Grit OCR is trying to reach.
The 2019 Spartan season kicked off in Chino, California last weekend and I spoke with some of the elite athletes who hit the podium all about the course, what they thought of the new obstacles, the competition, and the year ahead.
I spoke with:
Live from Platinum OCR's first time trial of 2019, I spoke with some of the top athletes there all about the time trials, their training, and their plans for the upcoming season.
I spoke with Omar Padilla who placed first, Faye Morgan who placed first for women, Platinum OCR owner Nicole Kifer and second place female Evelyne Ruiz. We discuss the challenges they faced with the course and the obstacles, and how it relates to Spartan and other OCR races.
I also ask them about their training, their goals, and what their plans are for 2019.
A great short episode to send you into your weekend!
Spartan's VP of Product David Watson joins me on the podcast this week to discuss all the changes Spartan made to their championship qualification system, and their championship weekend, and why they decided to make them.
We start with some clarifying questions about the qualification system and the roll-down weeks that follow the last U.S. National Series race and the North American Championship in West Virginia.
Then we dive into the why: I ask David why Spartan decided to change the the qualification system to only 6 races in the season and if they took into account those racers that might find it especially difficult to qualify for the World Championships because of that. That leads us into an interesting discussion about raising the standards of championships and legitimizing the sport.
I ask David at what point Spartan will give more spots to international competitors, and we discuss the international competition.
We then talk all about the new format of the Spartan World Championship weekend, and I dive into all the questions I have about Sunday: why they cut the open wave, whether they think it's realistic racers will stick around to spectate on Sunday, and what the competition will look like.
After talking about the championships, I ask David about the new obstacles Spartan will be debuting this year which leads us into a discussion about obstacle standardization between the race formats, and further into distance standardization as well.
And lastly, I ask the question that's on everyone's mind: will the Spartan World Championships ever leave Tahoe?
This week, I invited Matt B. Davis of Obstacle Racing Media, Josh Chace of the New England Spahtens podcast, and Mike Stefano and Katelyn Ritter of the Obstacle Running Adventures podcast on the show for a round table discussion about a whole host of OCR topics.
We start by talking about Spartan's addition of age group podiums: what Spartan's goal was, whether or not they acheived it, and how they affected the competitive field. That leads us to discuss the addition of numerous race series within Spartan, and their championship series.
We move on to talk about Tough Mudder's Tougher series, and then we talk about the two-loop format Tough Mudder tried this year (and why it failed).
That leads us into a discussion about the breakneck speed with which companies are adding race formats and making changes. We talk about the Spartan trail race series, and speculate on whether or not it will be successful in 2019.
We also have a quick talk about the festival areas and where or not they're getting better, and why that's important.
Amidst unrelated banter, we then talk about OCR-related TV shows, and what they do or don't do for OCR. We then go off on another tangent about podcasts and which ones we listen to, complete with plenty more banter.
We end our discussion by stating our goals for next year, both with podcasting and racing.