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writers OCRkids

Gavin Caballero Kid OCR Runner

Mike Murphy Elite Racer South East Region

Nabilah Fountain NASM Certified Trainer Nutrition Coach

Arnel Banawa

OCR Athlete / Certified Trainer Team Dynasty

Muddy Mommy

OCR Athlete / Blogger

Roger Smith, PhD.

OCR Athlete / Prolific Author

Whats inside this issue? “Over the Wall” Roger Smith, 1 OCRkids Gavin Caballero.......................... pg 9

Athlete Spotlight Mike 11 “Perfect Practice Makes Perfect” Nabilah 13 Team Dynasty Arnel 19 “Salomon Fellraiser Trail Shoe Review” Muddy 23

Why would you ever want to climb over a six foot

hallmarks of mud running that makes it so exciting

wall? Escape route after stealing fruit from your

and attractive to people. So do not be shy to ask for a

neighbor’s tree? Running from your girlfriend’s dad?

boost if you can’t tackle a wall on your own.

A starring role on Cops (whatcha gonna do when

4 Foot:

they come from you)? Raise your hand if you have done any of these.

These small walls are meant to warm you up for the bigger ones. They challenge you to pull, push,

So how prepared are you when you come face-to-

and jump your way through. The way over is to put

face with a mud run 4’, 6’, or 8’ wall? Or the dreaded

your hands on top and pull while jumping one foot

quarter-pipe Colossus at Savage? Most people have

to the top. Then swing the other foot up and hop

no technique for conquering these; they just throw

down the other side. One of these is not so hard, but

themselves upward and hope for the best. But there

5 in a row can wear you down. As you become tired,

are some really effective techniques that can make

just slow down and be especially careful on your

the process more successful and less bloody.

landing. More people get hurt coming down than

To begin, you should know that it is ok to get help from a friend to get over a wall. Many of these obstacles are made specifically to build


going up. 6 Foot: If you are six foot tall or more, you may be able

camaraderie between runners

to get over this wall without any special technique.

who need each other to

You can just jump up, grab the top of the wall with

complete them. This emergent

both hands and do a pull-up. From there you have

teamwork is one of the

several choices. The most common is to pull one leg

sideways to the top of the wall so you are hooking it with three appendages – you’re a monkey. Then you pull with your leg and arms until your upper body rolls over the top of the wall. There is no need to sit up on the top unless you are posing for a picture. It is less work to stay in your roll, take yourself over the wall, reverse your grip on the top of the wall and let yourself down the other side. Let at least one foot slide down the wall as you descend. It takes weight off of your arms, prevents knee scrapes, and lessens the impact the ground at the bottom. There is also “Parkour” approach to getting over these walls. You can actually run part way up a vertical wall. This is tricky to explain in words, so you will want to watch it on some of the video links provided. Run up to the wall and place your first

Running. You start by running at the wall

foot on the wall between knee and hip height with

specifically to get some momentum up a few feet of

your knee bent for a spring. Then push in on the

the wall. Most people are just shooting to get high

wall while your upper body energy is still closing

enough to grab the first knot on the rope. But some

on the wall. When combined properly, these two

elites use this run to launch themselves all the way

energies will propel you upward. When you get the

to a top grab. It is a beautiful thing to watch. You

mix wrong your foot will just slide down the wall, or

should arrive at a race early to watch the elite waves

you will push yourself backward away from the wall,

do this because it won’t happen much in later waves.

or your face will keep going toward the wall. Watch

But, back to your run. If you have practiced the

the videos and practice, practice, practice. This

Parkour method above, it can be used to get a lot

“walk up the wall” technique is essential if the wall is

more height on this wall as well. If you can combine

too high for a boost or a jump to catch the top.

your forward momentum with the right push from

Pipes Many races have a quarter pipe wall, usually including ropes hanging from the top. These can be 15 or 20 feet tall and are usually the grand finale of the course, such as The Colossus at the Savage Race.

your foot you seem to defy gravity and just keep running up the wall. You won’t be able to do it just because you watched the video. This takes real practice. Clambering. Once you have a grip on the rope

These take a different approach. They combine (1)

you are ready to clamber. This is not a rope climbing

running, (2) clambering, (3) rope scaling, and (4)

exercise. Get your feet under you and stand up on


the wall with your body making an L-shape with the wall – legs out, body upright.

Rope Scaling. Using your hands and feet together walk up the rope and the wall at the same time. It is

8 Foot: The eight foot wall is where things become really

just a few feet to the top edge. This requires that the

fun. You can get over it with any combination of

wall provide some traction (like Savage). If the wall

height, strength, and technique. The more you have

is slick as glass (like Superhero Scramble) you will

of one, the less you need of each of the other two.

not be able to walk up it because your feet will slip

Summiting. Congratulations, you have reached

straight out from under you. In this case, you need to pull with your arms and hop outward with your feet. Each hop will take you a couple of feet up the wall. Hop-pull, hop-pull, until you are at the top. Six foot walls are rare on courses. Most designers

the top of the pipe. It should be simple to pull yourself over the edge and onto the platform. But by this time you are probably exhausted. Summiting is a real chore. There are at least four ways to get up. First, the Parkour method. Switch your hands

prefer many four footers or a single eight footer.

from the rope to the top edge and hang back so

Tall, springy people will use the same technique at

that your arms are straight and your legs are bent

six feet that they did at four feet. Grab top. Pull up.

under you. Then jump out with your legs and pull in

Jump. One foot on top. Second foot on top. Hop

with your arms at the same time. This will put your

down the other side. The only difference will be that

chest on the top of the wall. From there it is an easy

your hanging leg will want to bang against the wall

crawl to get the rest of your body up. The second

when you jump. You want to point your foot, pull

method is to switch your hands from the rope to

the toes back and take this bang on your foot instead

the top edge, pull up to your chest, and bring one

of on your knee. That will eliminate one bloody

foot up to the lip like you did on the eight foot wall.

scrape from your race.

Use all three to roll yourself up onto the platform.

For shorter people or those with little hop in their step, this is where you get help. Ask another runner for a boost. They generally offer this with a hand cradle to step in. Another good option is for them to put their back against the wall, bend their knees, and let you use their thighs as a step stool. Occasionally you will see someone get down on all fours and let a partner step on their back. This is not a great idea – too prone to injure the human footstool. If you need a boost on the six footer, you are going to need the same thing on the eight footer.

Third, all arms. Just pull yourself up, get your chest up on the platform, push up with your arms, and step onto the top. Fourth, reach out to the helping hands of the volunteers who are right there ready to make you succeed. Any of these will work and all are acceptable. Even after dozens of races I have occasionally needed those helping hands to finish a course when I was too exhausted to do all of the work myself. That’s it. Now all you need is practice … and more practice. So when you see the helicopter search light, feel the breath of a uniformed officer behind you,


and hear “whatcha gonna do when they come for you”, no wall is going to slow you down.

Checkout YouTube for some great tips. Camp Rhino 6’ Wall Climb: Camp Rhino 8’ Wall Climb: Jesse La Flair Parkour 14’ Climb-up: Simple Parkour Climb-up: Tapp Brothers Parkour Wall Climb:

Dr. Roger Smith is a researcher at Florida Hospital, author, and avid mud runner. He competes with the old guys in every mud run around Central Florida. This column was drawn from his book The New Blueprint for Fitness: Mud Run Edition, which is available at


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I am Mike “Blaze” Murphy 42 years young and I

that we “runners” would not beat him on an obstacle

am an OCR Addict! This sport has become the new

course. To make a long story short he ate his words

passion in my competitive life. I ran competitively in

three times over when a high school runner, my coach

High School and College where I was an NAIA All-

and myself (who won it) all beat him. I loved the race

American in the 3,000m Steeplechase in 1993. After

and especially loved the after party and camaraderie of

college I coached college athletes for a couple of years

the runners as it is much different than the road race

while trying to finish up my degree and working full

circuit. Still after Warrior Dash I wasn’t sold on OCR

time. Then life kept pitching me curveballs and I got

events so I did the road race circuit for a couple of

away from anything outside of working hard to feed

years and concentrated on my 5k PR and qualifying for

my family.

Boston Marathon.

In February of 2000 my life changed forever

Now fast forward to summer of 2013 and my

and with that a new fire in my belly started to rise

new addiction to OCR. I needed something to get me

again. That’s when I got hired by the Sanford Fire

going, something that was different yet challenging

Department and was introduced to the testosterone

but that would still keep me running so that I could

fueled brotherhood of professional Fire Fighters. One

re-qualify for Boston. I found it on Facebook… “The

thing you should know about me is that I am one of the

Intimidator” at Rock on Adventures. I knew Jonny,

most competitive individuals you will ever meet. In

and how intense he is from Track Shack and I was

the fire service there is never a shortfall of challenges,

keeping up with the progress of his signature race

challengers, obstacles, or competition. From pulling

The Highlander. So I knew he wasn’t blowing smoke

hose in the station, intestinal fortitude food challenges,

when he marketed how grueling and challenging The

rope rescue competitions, Guns-vs-Hoses sports

Intimidator would be. Nobody knew I was entered

events, extrication competitions, stair climbs, and the

for the race or knew who the heck I was when I got on

fire fighter Olympics we have everything. Eventually

the starting line but those 11+ miles, and the people

this all led me back to my roots of running.

I met at the race made me an addict. I busted up my

I did my first OCR in 2011 at Warrior Dash in Tampa. This race was actually just a social event my Track Shack training group and coach wanted to do for


fun, but that all changed when a very well-known competitive triathlete told one of our members

feet on that course and remember more than once thinking “when is this race ever going to end”. I loved the challenges it possessed and the satisfaction I got from beating back the demons in my head the last four miles. To top it all off I met Quentin, Troy, Jose, and OCR’s most humble genuine down to earth champion David “Der T Runner” Blanchard that day and it

sealed the deal. That night after talking to those guys, sharing war stories, a couple of brews, and a few laughs I signed up for the Tri-Fecta (HogWild, Monster Challenges, and Highlander) plus this little race called the Mile of Pain. Then the next day I got a message from Damion to become a member of MRF Elite and I whole heartily accepted. The next month was a blur of facebook messages, call-outs, and just good competitive fun with a bunch of guys and gals from MudRUnFun. I actually started writing down goals and keeping a training log again. My passion for competition started coming back and it grew stronger and stronger the more Troy and Dave would tell me this guy or that guy is going to be there to challenge you. I did very well in those races aside from a disappointing DNF in the Mile of Pain and along the way I forged some great relationships with some of the greatest people I have ever had the pleasure to be around. Oh and I did re-qualify for Boston 2015 in October thanks to OCR getting me back on the horse. Now I just need to get healthy so I can forge ahead and conquer new goals.

In closing I can say that I have competed

against Olympic athletes, ran on national stages in cross-country, track, and on the roads but I never felt like my heart was in it until I started competing in OCR. Thanks to the MRF family and your OCRGrinders you will see me toeing the line at an event near you and as always MURRUNFUN will be my chant! -Blaze

Perfect Practice Makes Perfect by: Nabilah Fountain When it comes to exercise, form is everything. I see it all too often, people picking things up just to put them back down with no real rhyme or reason as to what they

Instead, try for a challenging but manageable number to ensure a killer workout that doesn’t beat down your joints. Improper progression: Sadly this is a major factor in

are doing. What they fail to realize is the more times they

a lot of gyms today. People walking in that have never

perform at that level they are putting unnecessary wear

worked out a day in their life doing Olympic lifts before

and tear on ligaments and tendons they shouldn’t be

they learn how to perform a functional squat. It’s common

straining in the first place. Eventually over time, this will

sense to master something before you move on to the

result in muscular imbalances that will lead to dysfunction

next level. This is why babies learn to roll over before they

and ultimately injury. There are many common reasons

crawl; crawl before they walk; and walk before they run.

people perform a less than perfect rep. Let’s take a look at 2

It’s part of our progression. You cannot perform a perfect

and see what impact it has on the body.

rep with weight if you haven’t performed it without. Your

Excessive rep count: Performing too many reps of one exercise does not only lack in efficiency but it’s downright reckless. Believe it or not the body has its limits and needs time to recover before performing again. THE RECOVERY IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS THE WORK.

best chance at perfecting any exercise is to start from the origin of the movement then work your way up. Jumping right into an advanced move will increase your chance of spending more time recovering and less time working. Workouts aren’t just about

With that being said, when performing an exercise

difficulty; they are designed to

muscles are being recruited to execute the movement.

increase performance safely

Over repetition will result in fatigue of the primary

and effectively with proper

muscles forcing the body to rely on the smaller muscles

technique and form. Practice

around them to perform the exercise. These muscles are

doesn’t make perfect. Perfect

simply not built to take on the brunt of the work. Over

practice makes perfect.

use of these smaller muscles increases your risk of injury.


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Team Highlig h

t Before I even begin to tell you what Team

help people achieve their goals, and live a healthy

Dynasty OCR (Obstacle Course Racing) is all about,

and fulfilling life and that goal remains the same

I have to first tell you where it all started, and how it

till this day! As more men joined our fitness team,

all began. I remember the day when I finally decided

we decided to come up with a general name to

to start my fitness journey back in September of

fit not just the women on our team, but also the

2010, I would have never have thought that my first

men “because let’s face it, what type of guy wants

day of P90X would eventually lead to becoming a

to be called a Bombshell” =), so thinking about

Beachbody Coach and helping thousands of people

our options, we decided on a name and Team

all over the world reach their ultimate health and

Dynasty was born. As OCR started to gain massive

fitness goals, but to also test those results out on

popularity, more and more of our fitness coaches

a plethora of obstacle course races from Florida,

were getting more involved, and saw this as an

Canada to California, and everywhere in between.

opportunity to help motivate the people who wanted

Here’s something that a lot of people do not know about us, but Team Dynasty OCR wasn’t always about Obstacle Course Racing. Our team first got the name from our original Beachbody Coach Team back in 2010, which was called the BOMBSHELL DYNASTY =). The Bombshell Dynasty (based in Tampa, Fl) was founded by my very good friend, and Coach Lindsay Matway. Our main focus was to

to not just look good in front of a mirror, but to also get outside and really test their fitness abilities, and what better way to do this by participating at one of the most, if not the best overall fitness events in the world….Obstacle Course Racing! And again… we came up with an OCR specific group to do just that - Team Dynasty OCR! Our exclusive coaching team has grown from 5 coaches in 2010 to over 9,000+ coaches and growing faster every day! The

most amazing part is that this number doesn’t include the countless numbers of people who run with us because they are inspired by our mission. And again, our team is not just about Obstacle Course Racing, we do not pride ourselves with being the most hardcore competitive team out there, it’s NOT about that, it’s about helping people in all aspects of their lives whether that be fitness or financial, and that’s why I believe that we are growing so fast. Team Dynasty OCR (www.fb.comTeamDynastyOCR) believes that everyone was born to be athletes. It doesn’t

matter how slow you are, if you have a disability, or if you are in shape, out of shape, from a different country…. we welcome you as part of our family. We actually welcome first-time OCR racers to run with us because we know how nervous people can be, because we’ve been there =). And what’s always accommodating to the people who run with us is that we NEVER LEAVE ANYONE BEHIND. Team Dynasty OCR does run competitive at some races, but it is never about being the BEST, it is always about trying to help other people become better than we are, which brings us back to what we are all about, and what our mission is “Helping People Achieve their Goals and Live a Healthy and Fulfilling Life”. This is only the beginning for Team Dynasty OCR. We are all about giving back, and we are currently working on projects such as UAR Global (, which is focused on “charity based” Global

Strength Running events. This project was started to help build “strength� around the world, and and to help end the trend of obesity. Our team consists of people from all walks of life and backgrounds. We take pride in building a team based on integrity and positivity. If you are passionate about health and fitness, want to start a fitness journey, and love helping others, than we welcome you to run with our team. For more information, please contact Arnel Banawa: or any member of the Team Dynasty OCR group. You can also check out our OCR Challenge site where it is focused on Fitness Challenges to help anyone train for life, as well as OCR. See you at the next race!

22 Product Review: Salomon Fellraiser Trail Shoe Just a few months back, while slipping and sliding

When my shoes arrived, I fell instantly in love. I even wondered initially how I’d ever bring myself

through an awesomely muddy course with a few

to get them dirty! They are rugged and sturdy, yet

friends, I made the comment that I really needed

still girly enough to make a momma who runs in the

to invest in a good pair of trail shoes. As much as I

mud in her spare time feel fashionable. The purple

love my Mizuno Wave Rider‘s for training and road

and mint green design is visually appealing, yet you

races, they just don’t provide the grip that I’d like

can tell from holding them that these are shoes that

to have when tackling slick hills and slippery, wet

mean business out on the course.

obstacles. I needed something that was made for

The Fellraiser’s are lightweight and very

mud, that would give me the traction I needed while

comfortable. The shoe itself fits like a glove, and

out on the course; It was time to make a change in

provides cushioning that makes your foot extremely


comfortable while not adding additional weight.

The mud running shoe genie must have heard my lament, because I arrived home later that day to an email from a representative of Salomon, a company specializing in hiking and trail running shoes, offering to send me a pair of their Fellraiser trail shoes to test out. I immediately agreed, and


They are specifically designed to provide quality grip in both mud and snow. Since receiving them, I have had the opportunity to test them out in several different style mud and obstacle races, and also took them out for a 10 mile trail run. Each race they have impressed me, as their performance is stellar. Their grip while climbing

eagerly awaited the arrival of

muddy slopes and shimmying up ropes has been a

my new shoes.

godsend. After slogging through water, they drain

quickly and efficiently to prevent heavy, sloshy shoes that weigh down running on dry ground. During trail running, they maneuver turns and attack hills with stellar performance. And if that’s not all, they are incredibly comfortable. Long story short, I love these shoes. And now that I’ve been spoiled with such a fantastic trail shoe, I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to go back to simply running in my recycled road shoes. So if you ever find yourself shopping around for a trail shoe that’s not just dependable, but also sturdy, comfortable, and good looking, look no further than the Salomon Fellraiser, I guarantee you won’t regret your decision. A huge thank you to the folks at Salomon for providing me the opportunity to test out such a great pair of shoes! It is greatly appreciated! ~Holly

















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Magazine 2014 February  

Keep up to date with your Obstacle Racing Course Community. Write ups from Muddy Mommy, Roger Smith PhD., our favorite little OCRkids and mo...