Tough Mudder, Spartan Race, Warrior Dash—you know these mud runs for the headbands, fire pits, and beer, but obstacle course racing (OCR) is a rapidly growing sport which now even has its own U.S. sanctioning body. For an inside look at the future of the sport, Men’s Fitness caught up with Reebok-sponsored athlete Hunter McIntyre, one of the world’s top ranked competitors in the Reebok Spartan Race.
Men’s Fitness: How long have you been competing in obstacle course racing?
Hunter McIntyre: I ran my first one in 2012 but I didn’t really start do anything serious until the summer of 2012.
What have been your most proud accomplishments?
Racing in the World Championships, which aired on NBC, was something I was really proud of. To be side by side Olympians, world record holders, and national champions was something I was really excited about.
How many obstacle races do you do a year?
I run about 15-20 races a year. I got seven first places this season.
What is your training routine like?
I follow a CrossFit endurance model. My old coach, Brian Mackenzie, invented CrossFit endurance, which is a pyramid where you focus on nutrition, strength, conditioning, skill, and sport. I try to get in peak physical shape year-round and then sharpen my skills leading up to an event. On average, I train twice a day and six days a week.
How many miles do you run a week?
I run twice a week which adds up to less than 10 miles a week. One will be a sprint interval and the other will be a long distance endurance-building run.
What’s your favorite gear to wear on an obstacle course?
I often wear the Reebok All-Terrain series line and I love the All-Terrain series Super shoe. I’m also a big fan of wearing compression. Don’t wear cotton because it will hold a lot more liquid and stick to you.
What inspired you to enter OCR?
I was hanging out with my friends and they started yelling about doing a Spartan Race. We all signed up and I ended up being the only one to complete the race. I was like, “This is awesome. It’s a brutal, all out effort with climbing ropes and throwing things.” I was hooked right from the start and the sport blew up. I did research and started chasing the best athletes like Cody Moat and Hobie Call to see if I can go toe to toe with them.
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