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Featured Athlete: James Mariano

James Mariano

  • Name:

James Mariano

  • Your website:

  • What is your day job, and do you have other hobbies?:

Currently I’m just a student at the New England Institute of Art studying Sound & Motion Picture Technical Arts. When i’m not in class i’m constantly studying up on Bodybuilding, Dieting, Supplements, & Information regarding training. There is also Music, Movies &, random as it may be, Cooking.

  • Age:


  • When did you start obstacle course racing? Tell us about your first race.

I started Obstacle Course Racing in June at the Tri-State Spartan Sprint in Tuxedo, NY. A friend of mine had approached me maybe about 2 months before the race and thought it would be a cool idea to give it a try. I was already training for my first Bodybuilding competition on July 7 in white plains for Musclemania, so the need to alter my training wasn’t really necessary at the time. We were schedule for the 7am heat and ended up thoroughly enjoying the course. I ran the course in 1:23:09 on a course that i knew i could do better at. i placed 203 overall, 198 for males, & 45 in my age group. I immediately fell in love with Obstacle Course Racing and have been doing everything to continue to improve at this up and coming sport.

  • What was your biggest accomplishment at an obstacle course race? What made it your biggest accomplishment (overcame a fear, injury, disability etc?):

This year alone (since its my first year) i’ve competed in 13 races – 7 Spartan and numerous others. My biggest accomplishment has to be my weekend at the Fenway Park Spartan Time Trial. Running both Saturday and Sunday, i was determined to destroy my time from Saturday. Saturday i ran a 43:47, placing 35 Overall, 33 Male, and 6th in age. Realizing i could do better i came back Sunday with a fire under me determined to beat my time. Sunday Morning at 11am after being a Gladiator at the finish line all day (another amazing experience) I ran a 37:53. I crossed the finish line and literally fell to my knees from exhaustion to catch my breath. I pushed myself someplace i have never quite been before and it ended up being one of the best experiences I’ve had at a race. I placed 6th overall, 5th male, and 3rd by Age. This was by far the greatest day for me in all of my Obstacle Course Races.

  • What attracts you to obstacle course races? Why do you keep coming back?:

The overall Experience. I’ve been able to meet so many people that i’ve been able to relate to on numerous levels. When you get the chance to interact with people all doing something that you enjoy doing it makes that experience so much better. Being a Spahten, training with fellow competitors, & adventuring with these new found friends has made my racing experience one of a kind. I also love the competitive nature of doing these races. I’m not the greatest runner its all new to me, but being able to conquer mountains, challenges, obstacles, and a new frontier each time makes me want to return for more and travel further for each race.

  • What are your training and/or diet routines? Do you have other athletic pursuits?:

Coming from a Bodybuilding background majority of my training is based on that. I do split routines Monday-Friday, dedicating each day to a specific collection of body parts. Now that I’m getting further into Obstacle Course Racing, I’m beginning to incorporate more cardio based work outs several times a week. Soon i will be throwing in 1 day of Cross-Fit on Saturday’s just to start getting myself accustomed to that style of training. Dieting is probably one of my hardest categories to follow. Like anything else it requires a serious amount of dedication. I try to eat and follow a clean High Protein, Low Carb diet majority of the time. I’ve been reading up on “Paleo for Athletes” and soon i will begin doing a modified version of this to see what benefits i can get out of it in the long run for my pursuit as both a Competitive Bodybuilder and Obstacle Course Racer.

  • Were you always athletic? If not, what athletic changes have you made to keep up the obstacle course race lifestyle?:

As far as i ran remember I’ve always been doing something athletic. Growing up i played baseball, basketball, and soccer. Later on i started skateboarding, snowboarding, wrestling, and beginning to lift weights. The middle of high school i stopped doing everything else and started focusing strictly on lifting. its something i love to do and can’t picture any days without training. Its a Lifestyle.

  • Who, alive or dead, would you invite to run an obstacle course race with you?:

This has to be the most random of the questions. I’m not entirely sure i would want someone to run with me. I would love for my family to be able to make it out to an event i know I’m going to do well in. They hear all the stories about the races when I get the chance to tell them but they’ve never actually witnessed an event. That would definitely be important to me instead of having someone run with me.

  • Tell us a fun fact about yourself that we may not know!:

Other than the obvious, I’m originally from New York. I’m not really from Boston. Just kind of picked up and moved to the area to start over with school and everything that comes along with it.

  • What are your goals? Next race, next season … what’s in your future?:

My goals for the next season is to improve. I want to become one of the top racers associated with Obstacle Course Racing. This is something I’m extremely passionate about and i want to be able to conquer this world along with my bodybuilding world. At least once this year i would like to place on the podium at an OCR and i would like to take home a trophy from a Bodybuilding competition. My future is unclear but my goals are not. I plan to do whatever it takes to get to where i want to be. On the road I want to help, motivate, and inspire others to do the same and reach for their goals, if not, just improve where they see fit.

1 thought on “Featured Athlete: James Mariano

  1. […] are it is Monday night and you are at Harvard Stadium for Spahten Elite Fitness training with James Mariano (aka, Sgt. Cuddles?). You can’t miss it, the monolith of imposing gray concrete, layered in […]

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