Beyond the Course with Keith

posted in: Beyond The Course | 0

In this interview you’ll meet Keith. He is the “over achiever” on our team. What I mean by that is if Keith had the opportunity to complete an obstacle or the entire course again he would. Yes, he is that good. Keith very rarely fails at an obstacle and never skips them. Some of us want him to enter the elite waves to see how he compares to the professionals. Maybe one day he will, but for now he is a valued member of The Running Dead.


What is your current occupation?    

Currently I am a part time firefighter and carpenter. My goal is to become a career firefighter with a few part time firefighter positions on the side for my enjoyment and extra money!

How many years have you been doing OCR? 

I believe I have about 3 years in but I am not good with dates. That’s what I have my wife for….just kidding, but seriously she would know better than me!

What are some of your other hobbies besides running?

I enjoy working out and going to the gym (bet you all knew that). I enjoy being a firefighter and the training that comes with it. I like to build things with my hands and remodel my house. I also am into doomsday prepping and guns; maybe I should start a blog on that?

What is your “comfort” food?

PIZZA, pizza and then pizza. I love chocolate too but pizza is really what brings me “comfort”.

What would you say your nickname on the team would be?

Well, I’d say Jeff hit it with “The Muscle”.  I don’t believe that I am really strong or really fast, but I have a lot of will and determination to push myself past my limits every race.  Yes, I do work out a lot, but it also takes more energy to keep myself going throughout these long races. So at the end of the race I am very tired and I make my wife drive us home so I can sleep. 


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1.       What was your first OCR event? What did you like about it? What didn’t you like about it?

My first OCR I believe was the Spartan Sprint at Blue Mountain, PA. It was intense and still is to this day. I love the mental and physical challenges of these races. I don’t like to wait in lines to do obstacles. Sometimes this happens at different events depending on the way the race is setup.

2.       What made you sign up for another race? 

Again, it is the mental and physical challenges of these races. I like to talk to other people while I am doing the events and everyone is friendly and is willing to help each other throughout the whole race.

3.       How many races have you completed?

I think between 10 and 15 total. I could be way off but I just enjoy doing them and they all seem to run together in my head.

4.       Do you do other races besides OCR?

My wife got me into running, which is what lead to these style races, and Jeff asking us to try them. So Cait and I do some 5k’s around the Philadelphia, PA area. My longest race was the Philly Broad Street Run. It was 10 miles through the heart of Philly and it almost impossible to get into that race. I am not a fan of road racing and only do it if I am pushed into doing it. Also, I hate running in the cold.

5.       How would you say you train for these races? Do you feel it helps? 

Running is what you need to do and cross training. I have a 50lbs weight vest, which is also great for fire department training, and OCR training. I think working out at the gym is great but you need to think practically and I am not saying not to go to the gym. These types of races use muscles that you normally don’t train in the gym. So get a big tire and flip it in your yard or drag it up a hill. Go to the park and do the monkey bars and use the equipment to do pull ups. You can get a cinder block from your local home improvement store and carry it up a hill or the stairs. The world around you is your gym. You just have to think of creative ways to use it for free!

6.       What is the hardest (non-obstacle) challenge you face on race day? How do you overcome this challenge?

Not making my wife, Cait, yell at me. I try to push her to try hard and tell her she can do everything, but she gets mad and yells at me! Now if any other person said the same thing(s) she would be ok with it. I have learned to stop being so hard on her, but it’s the growing pains of being married!

7.       Which obstacle is your favorite to attempt?

I love the rope climb! It is such a great feat when you ring the bell at the top. I would like to be able to climb the rope with all arms no legs but it’s a work in progress.

8.       Which obstacle do you wish you didn’t have to attempt?

I love all of the obstacles! One that made me a little nervous was the King of the Swingers at Tough Mudder. You’re up 30ft above the water and you have to run and jump off a ramp then grab a bar that will swing you out over the water. You have to let go of the swing and propel yourself to ring the hanging bell. Following that is the 30ft drop into the water. I did it and was happy I did but it took a little time for me to jump.

9.       Which obstacle has been the hardest that you completed?  

I sometimes have issues with the monkey bars. A lot of the time it is either wet hands or tired arms, but it is an area I need to work on more. I’m planning on setting up monkey bars at the family farm soon. 

10.   Which obstacle have you not completed but are determined to overcome? 

I’m a boss I do them all! Sometimes I don’t make it all the way, but out of all the races I have done I have been able to complete every type of obstacle at least once. (I promise I am not cocky at the races of after)!

11.   What do you enjoy most about race day?

The workout you get from the event. You are pushing yourself hard all day and when you are done it is a feeling of accomplishment. I also love my team members and the way we all help each other get through the different obstacles.

12.   Would you recommend OCR to someone? What would you say to them about it?

I tell people about these races all of the time and I tell them about how I have seen every type of person there. Young, old, skinny, over weight it doesn’t matter. If you have the will power to try and either a team or sometimes a complete stranger there to help you they can push you when needed.

13.   Why do you run these races? 

I want a challenge that is both mental and physical. It’s something that I can do with my friends and wife while being outdoors. The races are the same, but different in so many ways and that’s what makes it the best sport out there!


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