* Name: Vince Rhee
* Age: 45
* What is your day job, and do you have other hobbies?:
By day, I’m a software solutions consultant for a mobile analytics shop, meaning I develop custom software solutions and provide data analysis for some of the big mobile operators in the country (think AT&T big). Could do without the 50-minute commute (one-way) into Westborough, but it’s a been a pretty good gig so far.
My main hobbies are photography (shocking, I know) and travel, and the two dovetail nicely. I’ve been fortunate to be able to travel this country and part of the world in my adult life, and for the past 10 some-odd years, it’s always been with a camera not too far away. Wish I had time to do both a lot more…
* When did you start obstacle course racing? Tell us about your first race
Technically, my first obstacle race was the Warrior Dash in 2011 at Amesbury. I say “technically”, as less than half a mile into the race, I was badly acquainted with a muddy slope and suffered a grade 1 strain of my hamstring… got to be carted down the hill on one of the gators and everything. End of race.
Realistically, my first race was the Spartan Sprint in 2011, also at Amesbury. Finished the race this time–even managed to get the spear throw!… and I hated every single minute of the whole ordeal. Never been more miserable. No sense of accomplishment, just finality–I’m done, give me my medal, and the f*** if I’m ever doing this again.
* What was your biggest accomplishment at an obstacle course race? What made it your biggest accomplishment (overcame a fear, injury, disability etc?)
Honestly, my biggest accomplishment has little to do with any given race itself, but rather just the fact that I’m racing at all. Overcoming the mental hurdle of my past miserable experience and now actively engaging in obstacle races–that’s the accomplishment.
Something more tangible? Ask me again at the end of 2013–the good stuff is yet to come. 🙂
* What attracts you to obstacle course races? Why do you keep coming back?
My main attraction has little to do with the obstacles or the races. The main attraction for me is the group I now run these races with. Not just one person or two people, but 10… 20… a hundred and more. It took me a while, but I finally came to understand why Sandy considered the New England Spahtens to be her second family… because that what the Spahtens are. Friends, supporters, eggers-on, pick-me-uppers. This team–beyond any individual accomplishment I may derive–is the reason I race. This team is my inspiration.
(Hallmark moment over.)
Granted, I have a newfound appreciation for the races themselves, but without the camaraderie, I don’t know that I’d actually enjoy them.
* What are your training and/or diet routines? Do you have other athletic pursuits?
My training plan is fairly uninteresting and possibly inadequate: Try to run 3 times a week, gym once a week (slacking badly on even this miniscule target) for some strength work, and soon to add at-home HIIT work a couple times a week.
Diet? Now that’s funny.
My only other athletic pursuit is very related to OCR, and it’s a rediscovered love of plain ol’ running. 5K, 10K, (more?), that sort of thing.
* Were you always athletic? If not, what athletic changes have you made to keep up the obstacle course race lifestyle?
Athletic? Not sure about that, but I did used to always find myself doing stuff.
As a kid and into high school, I played tons of soccer. City league mostly, but I did play for the high school team my freshman year. Then it was golf (* – saving discussions of golf as a “sport” for another time…) for three years on the high school team after that.
In college–especially in grad school–I picked up road racing for fun. Mostly 5K, 10K sort of stuff. Once I moved to Austin for grad school, I discovered that city had pretty much year-round running events, and I actually got pretty decent–5K in around 26:00, 10K in the low 50s. But once I left school, I pretty much stopped. Not sure why… kinda wish I hadn’t, though, but at least I’m now reacquainting myself with that past love.
* Who, alive or dead, would you invite to run an obstacle course race with you?
My dad, bar none. Back in the day, he was an athlete himself (national-caliber gymnast), and he’s always been doing something. When I comes to pretty much anything sports, he’s the one who taught me.
Courtesy of a horrific car accident back in 2000 that nearly killed him, he doesn’t get around as well these days (though I know he still wants to get at it). But whether it would be running with my dad of old or just slowly working my way through with my dad of today, I’d do it in a heartbeat.
* Tell us a fun fact about yourself that we may not know!
I own CDs by both ABBA and the Bee Gees. Does that count as fun?
* What are your goals? Next race, next season … what’s in your future?
As of the time I’m writing this (late July), I have two main goals: (1) Complete the Spartan Sprint (Amesbury) in August and the Super (Tri-State) and Beast (VT) in September for my 2013 Spartan trifecta… from loathing my one and only Spartan to date to knocking off the trifecta, that would be something; and (2) Complete the Smuttynose half-marathon in October–my first half-marathon ever and the longest single road race I’ll have ever run (so far?).
2014? Who knows… but I’m sure it will be fun.