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Featured Athlete: Mike McKenzie


* Name: Mike McKenzie
* Age: 33

* What is your day job, and do you have other hobbies?:
Product Manager for a large international company. Formally Managed a Web Design and Development team. I am an Art, Sci-Fi and Fantasy geek. I enjoy doing design and development stuff, whether it be the New England Spahtens Logo (shout out to DJ for initial drafts) helping with the website or just doing my own thing or freelance work.

* When did you start obstacle course racing? Tell us about your first race
My First OCR was the first Spartan Sprint in Amesbury MA in 2010. I “knew at the finish line” and my wife and I were hooked ever since.  I had not done anything competitive since High School and when I had a top 25% finish I felt like I had something I could get back into again.

* What was your biggest accomplishment at an obstacle course race? What made it your biggest accomplishment (overcame a fear, injury, disability etc?)
I dont have any stories of overcoming challenges in my life – I was just Lazy, and had become complacent with that life style. That Sprint in 2010 sparked that fire again to get up out and be competitive again. Id say my biggest accomplishments thus far would be earning the trifecta last year, as well has having a 38th place finish in the elite heat at Amesbury in 2012.

* What attracts you to obstacle course races? Why do you keep coming back?
To me, Running was super boring and a road race even more so. Running an OCR made the running fun, to get to the next obstacle… to tackle the next thing as quickly as I could. It helped make running outside of an OCR mean more to me, to get ready for that next OCR. I Think it comes down to the Danger and Endurance aspect of it. You dont have to be the fastest.. you have to be the toughest, thought full in what you do and mentally tough. Thats what draws me to these, and even trail races.. over pounding the pavement down and back.

* What are your training and/or diet routines? Do you have other athletic pursuits?
My wife, Personal Trainer and GroupX instructor will tell you my training is completely lacking. However when I am on her schedule. 2 Days of Running, 1 a long day, 2 Bootcamp style classes and a tabata style class a week.
Diet is pretty much whatever my wife makes, cause I cannot cook to save my life. It pretty much follows a plan of eating FOOD and not eating PRODUCTS. we try to avoid “food-like” ingredients, avoid processed sugar etc.

I am a pretty decent Soccer Keeper as well. Have done that since I was 6.

* Were you always athletic? If not, what athletic changes have you made to keep up the obstacle course race lifestyle?
I played soccer and baseball growing up like most kids. In HS I played Soccer, Wrestling and Track and Field. I was a pretty good Wrestler and a 400m and 110m Hurdler. Once I hit college that athletics went to the wayside.  Once I got into these OCRs I found a lot of old techniques, balance and dexterity came back pretty quick which really lent itself to treacherous trail running or obstacles.

* Who, alive or dead, would you invite to run an obstacle course race with you?
Abe Lincoln. As a vampire hunter I am sure he could handle is own.

* Tell us a fun fact about yourself that we may not know!
If it wasn’t for my wife Id be a messy, untrained slob. Any success I have in anything fitness will be due to the fact I have a live-in personal trainer and dietitian. aka : Aurelie McKenzie.

* What are your goals? Next race, next season … what’s in your future?
Get better each race, not fall off my training in the winter. get into more OCRs and Trail races / Start to take on more “Endurance Race” Challenges and get some high place finishes.

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