Kristena Barnes – When Endurance and OCR is more than just a hobby

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Kristina Barnes has been quietly destroying OCR and endurance events with ease for a number of years now. So much so, that she recently designed and led her own rucking event.

Harnessing her first hand knowledge, Kristina is now looking at the community in a broader scope, looking to bring that same excitement she feels to others that may not have had the same opportunity.

Athlete Profiles: 003 “Until I found OCR, I was a bit lost and bored with life.”

Athlete (and we are all athletes) Profiles:

Check out more details about why we do this and even submit your profile HERE.



Name:

Stephen Geppert

 

DOB:

11/14/1972

 

Location:

Columbia, SC

 

What is the best thing about your hometown?

Blue Crabs! (My hometown is Baltimore, MD although I’ve lived in so many different places I don’t really have a true hometown). .

 

Athletic history:

I “accidentally” started running when I was 7 years old because I wanted to do the same fun run my 14 year old brother was doing. It’s kind of a funny story, because my parents thought I was missing until they found me sitting on the curb at the finish line waiting for my brother to catch up so we could cross the line together. After that, I didn’t run again until middle school where I ran track and cross country through high school. I also played baseball until I was 13, when I felt pressure to choose between baseball and running track. I played a lot of intramural sports in college but decided not to run competitively in order to focus on school. After that, I was in and out of fitness. When I was 33, I decided to learn how to play soccer and played in a rec league for several years. It was a humbling and extremely rewarding experience.

 

Current athletic passion:

When I turned 40, I did a local mud run (Project Mud) in Charleston, SC. It didn’t seem too bad, so I signed up for a Spartan Race the following April. I ran the first mile at 5K pace and then failed three obstacles in a row. Needless to say, I got crushed and barely finished! Since then, I’ve been hooked and have been getting a little bit better each year. I was fortunate enough to qualify for and run in this year’s OCR World Championships and recently qualified to run it again in 2017. That was a truly amazing experience.

 

Who or what in the world is inspiring you right now?

Prior to starting with OCR, I was 30 lbs heavier and drank way too often (mostly out of boredom). After three years of mostly focusing on the fitness side of things, I recently completed the 90 day OYNB challenge (mentioned in one of your podcasts). What is inspiring me now is how good I feel both physically and mentally as I’ve gone through this journey and how much better I am as a parent, husband, and business professional.

 

What is your favorite single workout or physical challenge that people can try today?

Aside from trail running, my favorite is to find a local playground with monkey bars and a football goal post. You can do traditional monkey bars, lateral monkey bars, Tyrolean ladders, and pull ups on the monkey bars and Tyrolean traverse, overhead beam traverse, and lateral beam traverses on the goal posts. I usually run back and forth between the monkey bars and goal posts between sets. I also live near a state park, so I like to run through the park and hit all of the nearby playgrounds, trees, etc. to do the same exercises during the run. It’s basically like creating your own obstacle course race in training.

 

Why do you consider yourself an athlete on fire?

When it comes to athletics, I’ve always been pretty competitive, so I have always thought of myself as an athlete. (Even when I was 30 lbs heavier and not taking care of myself, I still had the mental image of myself as an athlete). I am also a bit of an introvert, which I think makes it easy for me to go to an event and stay in that competitive athletic mindset because I find it hard to socialize. That being said, one of the things that I unexpectedly love about the OCR community is the completely welcoming atmosphere shared by everyone who participates, from the super-fit elite racers to the less fit first timers who have never done an event before. I have literally never seen anyone make fun of another person at one of these events, and I believe that if someone did, they would be immediately called out and probably shamed off of the course. Everyone is constantly encouraging everyone else. I think this community truly embodies the notion that everyone is an Athlete, regardless of their physical ability or appearance. If you are on the starting line, you are an athlete. It is very common to see people stopping to share food or help someone else who is struggling. I know I have become a lot more social at these events over the years, and now I always bring extra food to share during a race just in case someone needs it. I would never had thought to do that three years ago when I started.

 

What would you say to someone who hasn’t found their passion in sport or life yet?

Keep looking! You don’t know what you don’t know until you do, so just try as many new things as you can until you find what connects with you. It’s out there somewhere.

Until I found OCR, I was a bit lost and bored with life. Now I wake up every day with a purpose beyond the daily routine. It has driven me to make better positive choices and to try to be a better person in all aspects of my life. It just makes everything better overall.

 

Where are you on your athletic journey? Flicker, Flame, or Fire?

Fire

 

What keeps you up at night?

Getting injured! I have learned a great deal in the past three years about how NOT to train and what NOT to do nutritionally. I ran incorrectly, I ate incorrectly, and I trained incorrectly. As a result, I’ve had IT band syndrome, heat exhaustion, dehydration, “bonking”, and this year a broken 5th metatarsal in my right foot. I am now an avid podcast listener and have completely changed my entire training program based on what I’ve learned. We’ll see how this year goes with my newfound knowledge!

 

What’s your favorite healthy recipe that anyone can try today?

I am not a big cook, so I go for simplicity. One of my favorites is grilled chicken in a small soft taco shell with chopped cilantro and white onions, a pinch of lime, and La Victoria Salsa Brava hot sauce. It is super easy and really good!

 

NOTE FOR Stephen:Thank you so much for sharing part of your story with the Athlete On Fire community. Thanks for sharing the awesome workouts and attitude!  OCR is such a great sport. You are inspiring us as much as we are you! You are definitely an inspiring Athlete On Fire!  

 

Remember. I am, you are, everyone is an athlete on fire!

Listen to some inspiring athletes here!

AOF:187 Great white sharks, sea lice, and big time open water swimming.

Eliza Cummings is a young athlete who is competing in some of the biggest open water swims in the world.  We learned so much from her and enjoyed the passion she brought on a sport we really haven’t covered. On the show There is repellant for sea lice, larva of jellyfish Painting stripes on your […]

Read More

AOF:186 "Life is either completely daring or nothing at all."

On the show.  Noah Kaufman of American Ninja Warrior fame and longtime rock climber.   Noah Kaufman is no stranger to pressure.   Competitively he has excelled as a ninja on the popular American Ninja Warrior in front of millions.   He has been scaling rocks as a climber for over twenty years where the […]

Read More

AOF:185 March Madness without my dad, unpredictable spring, and fallen innovators.

On the show: Legend Lost The late and great Royal Robbins passes away at age 82.  He was a pioneer in rock climbing as the sport we know it today.  Go watch Valley Uprising.  It’s an amazing and inspiring look at the roots of the sport.  Our host, Scott was born just 30 minutes away in […]

Read More

AOF:184 An ultra runner named Jeffrey and his bus named Earl.

Jeffrey James Binney is a comedian, actor, and now, ultra runner.  Why does he intend on living in a bus?  How was his complete failure more stressful than usual at the Leadville 100?  Did he ever finish an ultra?  Plus, some bonus content featuring parts of his comedy special from the experiences.   Thanks for […]

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AOF:175 Laura Messner on the key to happiness, OCR myths, and a fitness test you can try today.

This OCR athlete wants to star in the theatre.  Huh?

 

Yep, and like many endurance athletes she got hooked just by trying it out like the rest of us.

She shares her thoughts on

  • How we should relate with food
  • A great workout any of us can use to test and retest our fitness this offseason
  • What it means to create your own art
  • The keys to her happiness
  • Her biggest weakness as an athlete
  • What she can’t skip to do well in OCR
  • The meal she would make if the president (not the elected) came over

Follow Laura’s kickass Instagram feed.

 

 

Want to test and retest your fitness for the first half of 2017?

Download the chart and basics of the fitness test Laura mentioned on the show.

The chart is free and will help you see your improvement until race season!

 


Download the Tracker

It’s not always a great day racing.

More Inspiring Athletes

AOF:187 Great white sharks, sea lice, and big time open water swimming.

Eliza Cummings is a young athlete who is competing in some of the biggest open water swims in the world.  We learned so much from her and enjoyed the passion she brought on a sport we really haven’t covered. On the show There is repellant for sea lice, larva of jellyfish Painting stripes on your […]

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AOF:186 "Life is either completely daring or nothing at all."

On the show.  Noah Kaufman of American Ninja Warrior fame and longtime rock climber.   Noah Kaufman is no stranger to pressure.   Competitively he has excelled as a ninja on the popular American Ninja Warrior in front of millions.   He has been scaling rocks as a climber for over twenty years where the […]

Read More

AOF:185 March Madness without my dad, unpredictable spring, and fallen innovators.

On the show: Legend Lost The late and great Royal Robbins passes away at age 82.  He was a pioneer in rock climbing as the sport we know it today.  Go watch Valley Uprising.  It’s an amazing and inspiring look at the roots of the sport.  Our host, Scott was born just 30 minutes away in […]

Read More

AOF:184 An ultra runner named Jeffrey and his bus named Earl.

Jeffrey James Binney is a comedian, actor, and now, ultra runner.  Why does he intend on living in a bus?  How was his complete failure more stressful than usual at the Leadville 100?  Did he ever finish an ultra?  Plus, some bonus content featuring parts of his comedy special from the experiences.   Thanks for […]

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AOF:171 The Texas Water Safari, Ultimate Suck, and other feats of unique endurance.

Our guests are two of the most accomplished and intense endurance athletes in the world.  One, the World’s Fittest Man and event director, the other a two time Ultimate Suck Champ and all around athlete.  Listen to a few of their most recent adventures and you might even find a few little tricks in your own adventure.

On the show:

  • The Texas Water Safari is no joke.  Hear about the teammates adventure in the Texas heat.
  • What is the Ultimate Suck? What does it take to win?
  • Hear about the newest series from Endurance Society.

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Brothers

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Vacation…just kidding. 50 hours in that Texas heat is no joke.

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Endurance is a family affair.

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Gut Check Fitness…The culmination of a lifetime of passion to get people moving.

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AOF:187 Great white sharks, sea lice, and big time open water swimming.

Eliza Cummings is a young athlete who is competing in some of the biggest open water swims in the world.  We learned so much from her and enjoyed the passion she brought on a sport we really haven’t covered. On the show There is repellant for sea lice, larva of jellyfish Painting stripes on your […]

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AOF:186 "Life is either completely daring or nothing at all."

On the show.  Noah Kaufman of American Ninja Warrior fame and longtime rock climber.   Noah Kaufman is no stranger to pressure.   Competitively he has excelled as a ninja on the popular American Ninja Warrior in front of millions.   He has been scaling rocks as a climber for over twenty years where the […]

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AOF:185 March Madness without my dad, unpredictable spring, and fallen innovators.

On the show: Legend Lost The late and great Royal Robbins passes away at age 82.  He was a pioneer in rock climbing as the sport we know it today.  Go watch Valley Uprising.  It’s an amazing and inspiring look at the roots of the sport.  Our host, Scott was born just 30 minutes away in […]

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AOF:184 An ultra runner named Jeffrey and his bus named Earl.

Jeffrey James Binney is a comedian, actor, and now, ultra runner.  Why does he intend on living in a bus?  How was his complete failure more stressful than usual at the Leadville 100?  Did he ever finish an ultra?  Plus, some bonus content featuring parts of his comedy special from the experiences.   Thanks for […]

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AOF:168 AOF:168 Chicken of the Forest, the adapting athlete, and a podcast launch.

Margaret Schlachter of Dirt In Your Skirt joins us to talk edible forest food, saying goodbye to beast mode, and entrepreneurship.
 
Our guest has been in the world of OCR since it started, quite literally.  She competed in the first ever Spartan race and her life hasn’t been the same since.
 
Now, she reports on all things OCR as the Editor in Chief for Mud Run Guide and continues to grow her Dirt I Your Skirt brand for a resource for amazing women everywhere.
 
We settle in to talk about anything and everything about starting a podcast, how we always evolve as athletes, and her time unplugged in the Adirondacks.  Enjoy the show!
 

Mushrooms!

Margaret’s fiance trying to figure out if he will survive eating this mushroom!

Podcast

She recently launched Dirt In Your Skirt, the Podcast! Find it on her site.

 

Mushrooms

Chicken of the Forest. nom nom nom.

Mountains

Unplugged!

More From Athlete On Fire

AOF:187 Great white sharks, sea lice, and big time open water swimming.

Eliza Cummings is a young athlete who is competing in some of the biggest open water swims in the world.  We learned so much from her and enjoyed the passion she brought on a sport we really haven’t covered. On the show There is repellant for sea lice, larva of jellyfish Painting stripes on your […]

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AOF:186 "Life is either completely daring or nothing at all."

On the show.  Noah Kaufman of American Ninja Warrior fame and longtime rock climber.   Noah Kaufman is no stranger to pressure.   Competitively he has excelled as a ninja on the popular American Ninja Warrior in front of millions.   He has been scaling rocks as a climber for over twenty years where the […]

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AOF:185 March Madness without my dad, unpredictable spring, and fallen innovators.

On the show: Legend Lost The late and great Royal Robbins passes away at age 82.  He was a pioneer in rock climbing as the sport we know it today.  Go watch Valley Uprising.  It’s an amazing and inspiring look at the roots of the sport.  Our host, Scott was born just 30 minutes away in […]

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Jeffrey James Binney is a comedian, actor, and now, ultra runner.  Why does he intend on living in a bus?  How was his complete failure more stressful than usual at the Leadville 100?  Did he ever finish an ultra?  Plus, some bonus content featuring parts of his comedy special from the experiences.   Thanks for […]

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Garfield Griffiths – Swapping the foggy Tyne for the humid Keys.

Garfield Griffiths has been the mastermind behind events for a long, long time. Cutting his teeth in marketing and DJ-ing, he eventually found OCR where many people now know him.

Swapping the fog on the Tyne in the north of England to the somewhat warmer climate of Florida, he’s always busy plotting either a race or a new obstacle, but who is the man behind the Geordie smile?

Cookie from Team SISU caught up with him recently and discussed OCR and endurance and how it stands in today’s world.

The Race Guy

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Neely Fortune – The beauty and the Beast (inside)

Neely Fortune has done a great job of leading a double life in recent times. When not taking part in endurance events and OCR races, she’s winning beauty pageants and becoming Miss Vermont.

Quite literally a beauty with a beast within, Neely took time out of her busy schedule to catch up with Cookie and Team SISU to share some thoughts on what she does, and why she does them.

Note: Due to a last minute schedule change with pageant commitments, Neely will make her Iron debut in 2017.

Picture credit: Anthony Matesi

SISU:RADIO:20 Ashley Seeger – Fighting back to fitness

Ashley Seeger is well known in OCR and endurance circles as being one of the toughest and grittiest competitors in the community today. Harnessing that determination is what is making her return to fitness prove to be a little easier – or at least a little less difficult – then most.

Last seen supporting the racers at the TPK Endurance event despite nursing her braced leg, she took a moment to talk to Team SISU about how she’s getting along. What drives her? What motivates her? Why does a little thing like a major leg injury not phase her?

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UltraDirt:04 Michelle Ford on PERIODization, humanism, humor, and longevity.

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Michelle Ford is a co-founder of Fraser Street Run Club and a personal trainer who believes in the power of one’s strength, inside and out.

Her first marathon was in in 2013 and has since finished three other marathons, four 50k and a handful of local trail races . When she is not working with clients or organizing communities runs with Fraser Street Run Club, she’s busy training for her next 100m, carrying 60lbs sand bags up mountains prepping for an upcoming obstacle race, or running wild in the forests of the north shore with her two dogs and husband, Jesse.

UltraDirt is a new Athlete On Fire Network member and you can find more of them at Motivus.ca