On a glorious sunny summer day amongst the beautiful trees (and mud!) in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, I was sitting in the Rugged Maniac after-party with my wife and a few friends. We were having a good time jamming to the music, enjoying some food and our finisher beers.
While I was shamelessly asking someone to give me their free finisher beer, I thought I heard my name called over the loudspeaker. No one else at my table heard my name called but I jogged over to the stage anyway to find out if they even called my name and ask what was up.
Before that day, I always thought mud runs were just for fun, a chance to play outside, act like a kid, get dirty, and drink free finisher beers with friends. I liked the mud runs so much I tried ‘em all. I got tough in the mud, dashed like a warrior, battled like a frog, endured like a survivor, dashed like a dirty pig, and even channeled my inner ancient Greek. Through all of them, my goal was simply to have fun, finish and to get as many free finisher beers as possible. I never thought of any goals bigger than that.
For some reason that morning I had signed up for the Rugged Maniac >50 Elite wave. I had mud run experience but realistically, the thought never crossed my mind that I could win. I was officially over the hill, pretty slow, and hadn’t trained to race anything. And I’d been hitting the finisher beers and beers in general pretty hard for several years.
When I got to the stage they said, yes, they had called my name and to my surprise they invited me up onto the stage. I was shocked even more when they told me to get up onto the podium and announced that I was the Top Finisher of the Over 50 Elite race that day. I was so stoked, I had signed up for the Elite wave on a whim and somehow I won! What’s more Rugged Maniac gave me the coolest huge Top Finisher medal and an entry into the next year’s race!
That win sparked a change, I thought, what if I really train for next year’s race? What if I focus on better nutrition, better sleep and doing all the stuff we’re “supposed to do”? What if I refuse to act like I’m over the hill?
That’s exactly what I did. I changed my mindset. I started reading about and studying how to get fitter and faster. I began a run training plan and started some weight training. I started practicing obstacles as much as possible at a local park and school. I got a fitness tracker and cut back on finisher beers (mostly). I started to compete to be the best version of myself.
That win proved to me being over 50 isn’t over the hill. It inspired me to begin focusing on how to be stronger and healthier.
That Rugged Maniac race win helped change my mindset and my life. It’s contributed to:
Super fun events to enjoy with my wife and our kids
dates on the calendar to look forward to and train for
a purpose and structure to my training, nutrition and sleep
a sense of accomplishment including:
a Rugged Maniac Portland three-peat >50 Top Finisher in 2021, 2022, and 2023!
But wait, there’s more…. that Rugged Maniac win started me on a path to realize a much bigger goal, a goal I would have never imagined possible:
I get to represent USAOCR Team USA! I’ve been invited to Belgium to compete in my age group at the OCR World Championships this year!
Get Rugged, it might just change YOUR life too!