Welcome to OCR Over 40

Welcome to OCR Over 40


Hi, my name is Steve Southerland.  I’m 47 years old and live in Round Rock, TX.  This year, I was introduced to obstacle course racing (OCR) and absolutely love it!  Now just to let you know right from the start, I’m not a personal trainer, nor do I have any professional training of any sort in that area.  I’m also not some sort of super athlete that defies the limits of reality, or anything like that.  There are some amazing athletes I see on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc., all the time that blow my mind and leave me in awe.  I am nowhere close to that level, but I do have aspirations to continue to excel and would like to eventually compete at the national level.  But with only two races under my belt, I am a but a neophyte in the grand-scheme of OCR.  This site will share my journey as I progress and gain in experience.  I hope I can help others that are in their 40s (and beyond) that may be interested in learning more or just getting started in OCR.  I want to get them excited, inspired, and ready to race.  All it takes is strong will, dedication, determination, and a promise to yourself to never quit.

How It All Started

Me Rappelling at Seneca Rocks [photo by James McPheters]
My interest in physical fitness started in high school, and has remained a consistent part of my life.  I spent six years in the Navy and it was during that time that I really took things to the next level with my physical conditioning.  It seemed like everyone was into lifting weights, regardless of whether it was a shore station or aboard a ship (yes, there was a gym aboard the ship).  I was working out 6 days a week and was in fantastic shape, but my interest went beyond just weight lifting and I felt that I needed more.  I began branching out into other areas to further challenge myself and raise the bar.  Sky diving, scuba diving, rock climbing, etc.  One of my most memorable outings was my trip to Seneca Rocks, in West Virginia, with a couple of Navy buddies.  That place was amazing and beautiful beyond words… and rappelling down the side of a mountain was super exhilarating!  Even though I split my head open that day (from loose shale rock toppling down on top of me), nothing can tarnish the memory of such an awesome experience.

The First Two Races

My drive to push further into new areas of physical challenge continued, and in 2017, I ran my first OCR, the Navy Seal’s Bone Frog Challenge.  I was invited by a good friend of mine who had already done a few other races.  He hyped up the experience to a level that I just couldn’t refuse.  Little did I know that my first race would be what is

Spartan Super, Austin 2017, Sandbag Carry

considered to be one of the toughest of the OCRs — 10 grueling miles and 30+ obstacles.  I had no Idea what to expect, and no idea how to train.  Needless to say, I did finish the race, but it was BRUTAL!  My legs cramped up in the last mile to a point that I literally could not move because of such severe pain in my leg muscles.  I couldn’t do anything except sit there and wait until the pain subsided.  I eventually struggled to my feet and forced my legs to painfully keep moving all the way to the finish line.

I had a number of lessons learned from my first race, and in my second race, the Spartan Super, I was much better prepared with salt tablets, Gu gels, Camel-bak, etc.  No cramps and I felt great the entire race.  I finished penalty-free, meaning I completed all the obstacles successfully and didn’t have to do any bur-pees.  Bur-pees are the exercise of choice that is imposed when you can’t complete an obstacle, so no bur-pees is what you’re shooting for.

Reason for This Site and What Will Be Covered

And so, that leads me to the reason for this site.  It’s no secret that the older we get, we start facing new challenges with our bodies that are game-changers.  At 47, preparing for and running these OCRs is not easy for me and requires a lot of preparation in physical training, strategy, as well as equipment, provisions, and supplementation.  I want to share my passion, and the knowledge I’ve gained with others – especially those over 40 – who might be thinking about entering an OCR, or just curious about it and looking for more information.  It is such a rewarding and satisfying experience to be able to successfully complete the obstacles and ultimately cross the finish line.  You can do it too!  I plan to cover topics such as training, nutrition, supplementation, preparation, equipment, and provide some insight into what to expect with the different races.  I’ll also keep you abreast of what I’m doing and the races I have coming up and post video from them afterwards.  I hope you’ll join me on my OCR journey.  It should be a fun ride, so pull up your compression socks and strap on your camel-bak… cuz here we go!

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