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Featured Athlete: Julie Lewis

IMG_0061-2* Name: Julie Lewis
* Website:
* Age: 105

* What is your day job, and do you have other hobbies?:
Advertising Sales Director for Expose Yourself Public Relations
Gotta love the name 🙂

* When did you start obstacle course racing? Tell us about your first race
June 1st 2013 Tri-State NY Sprint. I had trained for about a year prior with the best trainer out there! Learned so much for which I’ll forever be grateful for. I went into this race with an injured lower back and was so nervous. Almost threw in the towel in the early morning hours because of the pain. Said many many prayers and my friend constantly reassured me that I’d be fine and would kick a$$. Arrived at the venue, geared up and the excitement set in. The energy was incredible! I couldn’t wait to go! Start time was 9:30. Made darn sure I was in the very front, prayed again and off I went like a bat out of hell not knowing what to expect. Long story short it was much easier than I thought. LOVED all the obstacles. BARBED WIRE being my favorite. Failed the spear throw and log hop and finished in 1:36:28 which is NOT good at all but I had a blast! A few days later I decided to transfer all of my other races to the ELITE heat so I could move faster, feel more challenged and not get stuck behind people. At 105 years old I’ve finally found my niche 🙂

* What was your biggest accomplishment at an obstacle course race? What made it your biggest accomplishment (overcame a fear, injury, disability etc?)
Conquering the BEAST! First, I threw my hydration pack/fuel in a bush in mile one. Too awkward and heavy- getting caught on the obstacles. My trainer thought I’d finish in 5+hours. WRONGO! And what a HUGE MISTAKE going solo! Again, went in with an injury. This time my left ankle. My competitive race was over shortly into mile 2 running down a steep forest path. Rolled the ankle so badly again I thought I broke it. Writhed in pain for several minutes while being comforted by several passersby. One girl would NOT leave my side. She sacrificed HER RACE for me. Wish I knew who she was. THANK YOU EARTH ANGEL whoever you are! They sent for medics but I decided I was NOT QUITTING. Didn’t care about the pain or if I completely busted my ankle trying to finish. I was going to finish! The course was grueling and unforgiving. Painful hours passed and then THE SWIM! Failed the water rope climb- life vest was in the way. Tried taking it off 1/3 of the way up but couldn’t hang on. Swam to shore, burpeed out and started to freeze immediately from the wind. Got to the traverse wall and failed. Fingers were frozen- 30 MORE. Freezing and trembling. Wind was nasty and I was desperate to get warm. I curled up in a ball face down next to a sign that was partially shielding the wind with ZERO intention of getting back in the water! For 1.5 hours I shook uncontrollably. Moaning and groaning involuntarily. Several times the medics wanted to take me in but I refused. Yet another EARTH ANGEL came to me and covered me with a foil blanket which provided a little warmth. Then Felix and Bryan, 2 of the nicest guys on the course, found me. Felix was just as cold as me so I took him in under the foil. YEP…snuggled with a perfect stranger! Bryan seemed to be unaffected. We weren’t getting much warmer so I said “Guys. We have to go back in. It will be warmer in the water than out here in the wind.” To the shore we went with the crowd cheering us on! After 10 minutes of delib
erating we took the plunge and the crowd roared! It was amazing! I was screaming the whole swim ” GUYS! WE DID IT! WE bleeping DID IT!!!!” And neither of them could swim! I will NEVER forget them! The best part….HOT CHOCOLATE awaited us! Keeping it short since I could write all day about it, we/I continued on, failed a couple more obstacles, nearly fainted twice due to lack of calories- actually laid down on the course, ears ringing, cold sweats, pounding heart and blurred vision. Received water, super beans, some other candy like fuel from other male racers who stayed with me until I got up and started moving again. SO MANY ANGELS and did A LOT of praying that day. FINALLY finished in 8:18:09. The feeling of accomplishment was overwhelming. Physically I knew I could do it but I proved to myself MENTALLY that I have what it takes to conquer ANYTHING!

* What attracts you to obstacle course races? Why do you keep coming back?
Mainly it’s the mental/physical challenge. I’m addicted. It’s the energy, the sense of accomplishment. It’s done wonders for my self esteem. But MOSTLY it’s the people. I have met so many incredible, kind and compassionate men and women and have made many new friends. We flow. We’re compatible. We “get” each other. It’s a beautiful thing!

* What are your training and/or diet routines? Do you have other athletic pursuits?
DIET: Paleo.
TRAINING: LOTS of RIKING (running/hiking) up and down the slopes and trails of Wachusett. I only run once a week (5-10 miles) and do upper body 2-3 times a week. Lots of pull ups, push ups, BURPEES, up right rows, lat pulldowns, bi and tri. Anything that’s a pull and push exercise and simulates the obstacles. Do some ab work but not much and need to increase my leg strength. I’m sure I’m missing stuff, lol!

* Were you always athletic? If not, what athletic changes have you made to keep up the obstacle course race lifestyle?
I was a dancer and gymnast. Did track in high school. Weight trained for many years. Never seriously ran a day my life until 2.5 years ago. My trainer introduced me to OCR and I’m so thankful he did! It’s my passion!

* Who, alive or dead, would you invite to run an obstacle course race with you?
My children. Ethan, 11, has begun his racing “career” and is very eager to do more! I am hoping my other 2 boys, Jordan- 16 and Ben-14 will join soon!

* Tell us a fun fact about yourself that we may not know!
I love to drive around BLASTING John Denver and other favorites signing my heart out. I think a lot of people do this though, lol! Also, I live to love. Not very fun but it’s the truth 🙂

* What are your goals? Next race, next season … what’s in your future?
To become stronger physically. I want to build over the winter and get the legs I’ve always wanted so I can conquer the ULTRA BEAST in 2014! AROO!!!!