James is an Obstacle Course Racer and enjoys getting muddy as much as he loves running. He talks to Sundried about ice baths, mud, and the challenges of this unique sport.
Have you always been into sport?
Yes, always. I was the kid at school on the running, tennis, rugby, badminton, golf, skiing, and cricket teams.
What made you decide to enter the world of Obstacle Course Racing (OCR)?
I have been trying to find 'my' sport and I've always thought army assault courses look cool. So, in 2015 I entered an Obstacle Course Race (OCR) and I was hooked! That race was just for fun, but these days I take them more seriously.
What’s been your favourite race to date and why?
That is really tough. I have three for differing reasons. The Nuts Challenge has to be included as it's the only race that breaks you apart piece by piece and I still come back for more every year. Any of the Nuclear Race series is amazing, well organised and challenging. Also Spartan has to included, as I love the spirit and those horrible carries!
And your proudest achievement?
That has to be qualifying for the OCR World Championships by completing 4 laps of the Nuts Challenge, 30ish kilometres (18 miles). This was especially impressive as this was early March 2018 and the ice was 2 inches thick!
Have you ever had any racing disasters / your toughest race yet?
Yes, I had a big disaster 2 years ago at the Nuts Challenge. I wasn't fit enough, I didn't prepare my nutrition right, and I didn't have the right clothes. Due to all these mistakes I got hypothermia and got carted off the course. It was a hard lesson to learn, but not a mistake I've made again.
How do you overcome setbacks?
Setbacks are part of life and it's the only way we learn. When I have a bad race, bad training session, or anything else, I think about what I could have done differently, think about any improvements I can make and then move on. The moving on is the most important part.
What is the best bit of advice you wish someone had told you before you started competing?
OCR isn't all about strength; a lot of it is about technique and having a cool head under pressure. Spending more time on the skills compared to lifting weights makes a huge difference.
What are your goals for 2018?
Compete at the OCR World Championships and retain my wristband by completing all the insanely difficult obstacles. If I can come in the top 50 in the world in my age group that will be a great bonus.
Who do you take your inspiration from?
Many people, but Jon Albon is right up there.
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
Sundried is an awesome company and I love the ethical stance on clothing. My favourite piece of kit is my cool tech t-shirt. It barely feels like I'm wearing anything, I love it!