Check the bottom of this interview for some information on how to help Steve fundraise!
* Name: Steven DellaCroce
* Age: 37
* What is your day job, and do you have other hobbies?:
I am a dad first and student second. I was overseas as a contractor and was injured in Oct. 2011. I am currently enrolled in NE Tech’s nursing program which I graduate in March 2014. My hobbies are reading, CrossFit, hiking, mediating and anything outside with my Princesses, Aaliyah and Jaydin.
* When did you start obstacle course racing? Tell us about your first race
My first OCR was Amesbury 2012. I went with my CrossFit team and was instantly reminded of my military roots. I found a piece of me that had been missing since my days in the military. I loved the challenge, the mud, and the camaraderie. I was fortunate enough to have no clue what to expect, I arrived right before my heat was to begin. I got off the bus, got my number, went to the starting line, and I was off before I ever caught my breath. The race was challenging and all new to me. I was hooked instantly like so many fellow Spahtens before me. I seemed to take forever to finish and when I did I was beat up and tired. Now I run several laps, some with weight! I have come a long way since then.
* What was your biggest accomplishment at an obstacle course race? What made it your biggest accomplishment (overcame a fear, injury, disability etc?)
Just getting out there and challenging myself is an accomplishment. I have gone on to run 5k’s, 10k’s, Half Mary’s and this past weekend I had the nerve to finish a full marathon. This year I also got my Spartan Tri-Fecta. None of this compares to the challenge I am about to embark on. The Carry the Fallen Ruck March on November 10th will be the most strenuous and fulfilling challenge I have ever been part of. Myself and nearly 200 others around the world will be “rucking” from 6a-6p with a weighted ruck sack to raise money and awareness for the epidemic that is Veteran’s suicide and Veterans suffering from PTSD.
* What attracts you to obstacle course races? Why do you keep coming back?
I am attracted by the challenge. I want to push myself and accomplish whatever I can. OCR’s marathons, and whatever else is out there. I love being part of a team, giving back, and just being out there. Sitting idol is torturous to my soul. I am drawn tot the type of people who participate in these events. I like to surround myself with likeminded and driven individuals. Everyone in this community pushes me to compete, not to beat them, but to beat myself. I come back to these races to support the people who have supported me. I want to see if I can improve and I want to be an example and role model for my Princesses.
* What are your training and/or diet routines? Do you have other athletic pursuits?
My diet and training are weak at best. I like to CrossFit and run on my own. Being in nursing school and sick the past two months has reduced my training to zero. I ran the Marine Corp Marathon and only had 19 miles of training prior to and my results reflected that.
My only pursuit is to continue to challenge myself, motivate others and not become complacent. I’m signed up to do the Dopey Challenge in Disney (5k, 10k, half Mary, and marathon on back-to-back-to-back-to-back days) and surviving this sounds like a great goal.
* Were you always athletic? If not, what athletic changes have you made to keep up the obstacle course race lifestyle?
I was always doing something. I played hockey growing up, football and baseball in high school but I would never be confused with an athlete. I never ran more than a couple miles outside of the military and never liked it until recently. I have changed my diet and my exercise routine to be more focused and in line with my goals. They are FAR from perfect but at least now I’m aware of my training and diet and how the translate to my performance.
* Who, alive or dead, would you invite to run an obstacle course race with you?
My grandmother would be the easy choice. She was a beast! I was her “Little Angel”, imagine that! She was tough and went through a lot in her time and I would do anything to spend an afternoon running up hills and playing in the mud with her.
* Tell us a fun fact about yourself that we may not know!
I can’t/won’t pee in urinals and I’m the youngest of 13 children. And those who have raced with me know if I’m not complaining on raceway there is something wrong!
* What are your goals? Next race, next season … what’s in your future?
Next season? Does the season ever end? I have no clue. I’m signed up for the Dopey Challenge, Boston Marathon (again), and the Rangler Relay. My goal is to constantly vary my races to see what I like/dislike. I made a promise to myself and my little Princesses, from now on, when I run I will support a cause and do all I can to bring awareness to that cause. I also want to do all I can to motivate the people around me with words of encouragement, a helping hand or a slap on the ass if need be.
* You may have seen Steve running with an American flag, and a second flag full of child’s handprints – I asked him what the story was, and how we could support his fundraising.
The American Flag has been with me since 2003. It was on my first deployment to Iraq 03-05 and has been to Baghdad and several bases around Iraq. It has also flown with the 1st Calvary, 4th Aviation Div. Blackhawk and Apache Unit on a couple of missions all over Iraq. It was also flown over our firehouse, Rescue Station One, and several of the palaces. It also came with me when I return in 2010. It was flown on Sept 11, 2010 over Station 3 in a ceremony for 9/11 and returned to the Palaces to be flown. It was flown at “The 2 House”, my rescue house on special occasions until I was injured Oct 2011.
The “Hands Flag” is a flag my daughter’s kindergarten class made for “The 2 House”. We adopted them and they adopted us. The hands are the hands of each classmate and their teacher and the “stars” are their thumb prints. This flag was up in our Rescue House since the day we received it until the day I left in October 2011.
If you want to support Steve, check his ActiveHeroes profile – collecting money for Veteran support and suicide prevention, the link to fundraise is still active, even though he compeleted the associated Ruck.