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Featured Athlete: Rob Gagnon


  • Name:

Rob Gagnon

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

By day I am a REALTOR and Kettlebell & Group Fitness Coach.  My hobbies include being with friends and family, running, kettlebell lifting, crossfit, Biking, Photography, being outside in NH and of course Obstacle Course Racing!

  • Age:


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

April of 2012.  My first race was an Adventure 5K held on Mcintire Ski Area in NH.  For me, It was supposed to be nothing more than a warm up and learning experience for the upcoming Tough Mudder in May of 2012 in VT as I had never done ANY kind of race before.  I figured there would be a good learning curve to the sport and wanted to test myself prior to taking on TM.  I suspected things like equipment would/could be a big factor in completing something like TM and I wanted to make sure I was properly prepared so I signed up to do this little 5k first.  Having never done ANY kind of race before I had no idea what to expect.  I instantly fell in love with probably every aspect of it from the electricity that’s in the air during packet pick up, to the anxious moments while waiting for your wave time, to the adrenaline rush I get when toeing the starting line.   When I was done, I was muddy, cold, and soaking wet.  I’m pretty sure I had a smile from ear to ear.  That was pretty damn AWESOME!  For me the rest was history.  I had found a new sport that I loved!

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

It’s hard to pick a specific thing as i feel that there certainly were a few.  Things like, the anaconda at TM & the distance itself at TM were both things that made me a little nervous which I was able to overcome.  I’d NEVER run before I started training for TM, so the idea of running 10+ miles straight was a bit daunting.

Then there were accomplishments such as PR’s like how well did I do in a given race.  After having run 13+ races in 2012, my best finish was 1st age group/8th place over all at the September Adventure 5K in 2012 Candia.  Again, given my prior experience of 0 I was pretty proud of this.

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

I like many things about OCR.  From the personal challenges & camaraderie to the feeling of adventure, the competition and overall atmosphere of being at or in an OCR.

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

I train pretty regularly and fairly hard.  I am in the middle of an 8 week program right now that has me doing strength and conditioning every other day along with various types of running (track, trail, road) with a 3 days on, 1 day off rotation.  I typically do Yoga or stretching at home on my “off” days.

My dietary program is to basically eat as cleanly as possible and to graze 5-6 small meals every day.  I do not eat much dairy or breads and try to eat as many fruits & vegetables as possible.  I’m certainly not perfect though and admit my biggest weakness is a healthy sweet tooth!

In addition to OCR I also like to train for Kettlebell Sport Lifting and plan to do my first competition in September 2013 in the Long Cycle Clean and Jerk.

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

As I kid in high school I played baseball, basketball and football.  After school I continued to play some unorganized basketball for a while.  I eventually got caught up in “adult life” and became fairly sedentary for a number of years, which led me to get seriously out of shape.  In Sept. of 2011 a friend of mine passed away of a heart attack right in front of my while playing basketball.  He was a young guy at only 47 and it really woke me up.  I started looking for a cool way to get back in shape, something I’d stick with.  I found Crossfit and Kettlebells and fell in love!  Shortly after starting Crossfit I found OCR.  I’ve tailored my WOD’s and have been continuing to train for OCR ever since.

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

I always like reading peoples answer on this question.  Like so many others, I’d love to be able to race with my dad, he is my hero.  In a VERY close 2nd I’d love to have my son join me one day.  Other than that, I really enjoy running with pretty much anyone who enjoys the sport.

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

I used to be a sales manager for a womens shoe company; Benjamin Walk.

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

My  goals for 2013 are:

1) To achieve the Spartan Race Tri-Fecta.  In doing so I will again be facing and overcoming some “distance demons” with the super and beast distances.
2)  I also want to be a more competitive racer (at least in my age group).
3)  Lastly to meet new people, have some epic adventures and another great year in 2013!

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