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Featured Athlete: Mark Gearin

Name: Mark Gearin
Websitehttps://www.facebook.com/gearinm
Age: 42

What is your day job, and do you have other hobbies?:
By day, I am a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) that works in a large regional firm based in Lowell, MA. I have been a Manager for 7 years and still like the gig most of the time. During off work hours, I am a husband and father of 3. 2 boys and a girl (9,5 and 4). Some of you have met Colin at a few events as he ran The Wason Pond Pounder with me and made me proud.

Some hobbies include fantasy sports, Golf, and this new thing called OCR if any of you have heard of it. The fitness lifestyle is new to me and its been a great change for the better.

When did you start obstacle course racing? Tell us about your first race
My first race , of any kind, was the Spartan Sprint in Amesbury in 2012. I tried to form a team but didn’t get the people to commit so I signed up. After I registered I had one of those ”What the hell did you just do”? moments. I started boot camp and truly realized I was in for it but I signed up so I was going. I found out later that Mike Hastie and Scott Houghtaling had also signed up at different times but at least I wouldn’t be on the grounds alone.

I trained …. a lot … and I thought I was ready. The day came and up to Amesbury we went. Mike and I met Scott up there. We got to watch Mike go off for his 2:00 wave and thats when the race jitters hit me. I looked at that damn hill and it looked like Mount Everest. 2:30 came and away I went. I made my way along and took in every minute of it. I failed a few obstacles and did my burpees and finally made my way to the finish line in 1:17 …. and I didn’t die.

From that point on I was hooked. We all signed up for Fenway and Team Mike McNeil was born. Its been a great ride ever since.

What was your biggest accomplishment at an obstacle course race? What made it your biggest accomplishment (overcame a fear, injury, disability etc?)
One of the biggest accomplishments for me is getting through the Spartan fenway race clean with no penalty burpees. I ran well and placed well for my age group. I got up the ropes with no issues and had no issues with the walls or sandbags. It made me believe that all the hard work and training had paid off. I have learned that I can run these races and feel good about the experience.

What attracts you to obstacle course races? Why do you keep coming back?
The attraction to OCR’s is 2 fold. I love the challenge of the course and the idea that its not all about running but the other challenges thrown in. I try not to look at maps of courses as I like the suprise element of whats next on the trail. I also enjoy the Team aspect of these events. Knowing that I am running with a team that has trained hard to be here gives me the extra motivation to compete with them as well.

I ran my first OCR recently with my 9 y/o son and he made me proud. That will always keep me coming back as I can share those moments as a family. This also holds true for my TMM family. The trainings and fund raising are great but the bond that has formed is beyond awesome.

What are your training and/or diet routines? Do you have other athletic pursuits?
For training I attend Boot camp 3 days a week, I team train with TMM on most Sunday mornings and try to get to the gym or run on the other days. I enjoy the boot camps run by Best Fitness in Chelmsford. The Trainers keep it fresh and push you pretty hard. They also know when to back off on us. I am also takeing one of the NE Spahtens advive and ”just pushed play” on the P90x disks in my house. Its giving me a new perspective on my routines and I hope to get the results. Time will tell.

Diet is something that is a work in progress. I hope to hear that Pizza and beer is the new health craze but until then, I have tried to cut out the processed foods and eat better. Its a big change for me and I have much to learn but I’m determined to make it happen.

I do know that I could not have done any of this without support. I am grateful to have a wife that supports the training and work it takes to do this as well as Team Mike McNeil and the New England Spahtens to draw motivation and strength from. I have met so many new and awesome people that it is beyond what words can say.

Were you always athletic? If not, what athletic changes have you made to keep up the obstacle course race lifestyle?
I have never considered myself athletic or even had a shred of athletic ability. My wife is a Boston Globe ”all-scholastic” athlete so my kids have hope :). I do have the drive and stubborness to work had at things to get to a place where I want to be and I might have a touch of competitiveness in me to make it interesting. I have realized I need to train harder and work on the obstacle aspect more to cut off some time.

Who, alive or dead, would you invite to run an obstacle course race with you?
I have a list of people that I would like to run these races with. From AP and Jerry Rice to Ghenkis Kahn or the cast of 300. I have family and friends that I know that would love these races if they gave them a chance and I will continue to work on them. I am glad to run for a cause and know running with Mike McNeil would have been an experience beyond words.

The people that top the list are my Wife and kids. I have my 9 year old hooked as he did well at the Wason Pond Pounder and my youngest has no fear of anything. the challenge is to get my wife and daughter out on the course. There is time and plenty of races to be run so we shall see.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself that we may not know!
A fun fact that very few people know is I am a graduate of the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. At one point in my life I wanted to do sports radio or play-by-play for baseball or football. I came to a cross roads in my life and ended up back in school without ever doing anything with it. Life is full of choices and the wonder of ”what if”.

What are your goals? Next race, next season … what’s in your future?
When I first started, my goal was to survive these races. Now I want to compete in them. in 2013, I will get a Spartan Trifecta. In 2014, I want to run the Boston Marathon, get another trifecta and run the Ultra Beast. I also want to maintain the necessary balance to enjoy my family as well so finding the time to train and do all these things is the challenge.