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Featured Athlete: Tom Turck


* Name: Tom Turck
* Website:
* Age: 49

* What is your day job, and do you have other hobbies?:
System Administrator, Microsoft Application Server specialist. Firewall and F5 dilettante I’m the “internet guy” the “e-mail guy” and sometimes “the firewall guy.” I have worked at IT for a few organizations in Boston, but now I work for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts at the Department of Revenue.
I love oudoor activities like hiking, camping, paddling. Also very intersted in traditional living skills, history and study the natiive language Abenaki-Penobscot. I put some of that together and do “Native” re-enacting as it is known in the re-enactor world.

* When did you start obstacle course racing? Tell us about your first race
Warrior Dash New Hampshire Sept 2012 was my first OCR. I started training for it in August by doing the Tough Mudder bootcamp and trail running in the Middlesex Fells. I went to the back of the wave, everyone looked so fit and buff… Well you know I charged up the hill and began passing people, younger people, ripped dudes with no shirts on. Near the top I was neck and neck with a really thin, fit looking 20 year old guy. We hauled ourselves over the wall and he about collapsed. I took off and never saw him again. By the time I went down the mudslide I was in love, it was everything I loved about rugby, except getting hit by a couple 200 lbs 6 foot dudes.

* What was your biggest accomplishment at an obstacle course race? What made it your biggest accomplishment (overcame a fear, injury, disability etc?)
Running the Tough Mudder at Gunstock this year Saturday and Sunday. Saturday I tagged along with a team and it took like 5 hours, but Sunday I just ran it and it only took 3. I absolutely doubted I could even do one when I registerd for the Mudder in the fall of 2012. I have serious back problems and had a corrective operation when I was 16 and I always allowed the back pain to limit myself.

* What attracts you to obstacle course races? Why do you keep coming back?
Getting dirty, bruised, cut up, banged up, bug bit, sun burned and worn down makes me happy! I also like the functional fitness aspect of OCR’s where it helps to have whole body fitness instead of just one area. I keep coming back for the fun atmosphere at the races.

* What are your training and/or diet routines? Do you have other athletic pursuits?
I eat a pretty paleo-friendly diet no refined carbs, lots of fiber and lean protien. I eat dairy and corn. We have a farm share and I try to use it 100% so I get a lot of quality rabbit food. I cheat a little on the weekends and eat a pizza and a pastry. I also use a lot of supplements, Isopure Zero Carb Whey Protein, creatine, bcaas, glutamine, hmb, zma, glucosamine, chondroitin.
Working out: M-W-F I use the Spartacus Workouts from mens health, except I insert burpees, ski jumpers or jump rope where it says “rest for 2 minutes” Often I try to do two differnt Spartacus routines with an ab workout to seperate them. Thurs, Sat and Sun are running days when I try to get a long run in, My favorite place to run is the Skyline Trail in the Middlesex Fells with Bear Hill.
I really enjoy running and trail running. I just finished my first marathon and I am dreaming of Leadville.

* Were you always athletic? If not, what athletic changes have you made to keep up the obstacle course race lifestyle?
As a kid I was very active. I played soccer, and I wrestled. When I was 16 my back pain became really severe and I underwent surgery for Spondylolisthesis which is a displaced vertebrae. The doctor read me the riot act: no contact sports, minimal exercise, nothing weight bearing like backpacking or lifting. Thus I let my nerd flag fly and became increasingly a sedentary computer nerd.
Four years ago I weighed in at about 235 lbs and had two epic raiding toons in the World of Warcraft. I suffered a lot from back pain, fell asleep after lunch, got a lot of sinus infections, saw stars when I turned my head. I saw the light and cut some weight. For a long time I was at a reasonable 180 lbs and my weight would go up and down. Then it became clear, I was a dude with problems and I liked it that way. So I decided to make my problem that I work out too much, that I spend too much on supplements and race registrations, had too many athletic shoes. Instead of accepting “good enough” to ramp it up and learn to love the pain in the gym, on the trail and that was a good problem to have. Well that attitude got me from 180 to 168 and from size XL to size Medium. It gives me endless energy to take care of my kids and play with them.

* Who, alive or dead, would you invite to run an obstacle course race with you?
Remember the Apocalypto movie? Those guys!

* Tell us a fun fact about yourself that we may not know!
I am good at starting bow drill fires and flint and steel fires.

* What are your goals? Next race, next season … what’s in your future?
Spartan Beast Saturday and Sunday this year and the Trail Animals Ultra in the Middlesex Fells this December.

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