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Obstacle course racing is becoming a professional kind of sport worldwide. Countries form national teams for the World and European Championships. Currently the OCR is the most developed in the USA and Canada, where races start every weekend during the high season. Bronze medalist of the Spartan World Championship, winner of many obstacles races and member of the Spartan Pro Team Alyssa Hawley has helped us to get a glimpse into the sport life across the ocean and shared her small secrets with us.
How did you become one of the most famous OCR athletes in the world? What was your first sport?
I grew up playing all sports and I would defintely say that I am a natural born all around athlete. However, I decided to focus on softball and went on to play Division 1 softball at Stony Brook University in Long Island, NY. After graduating in 2012 I started working and stopped partaking in athletics and fitness until a couple years later. After I started working out again I wanted a goal to focus on and found a groupon for a Spartan Race in the NY Mets stadium. I placed 1st in the overall and really loved it and thought I might be good at it. So after I moved back home to Washington State in the summer of 2015 I signed up for a “real” Spartan Race in Washougal, Washington. I placed 13th but I was very disappointed in myself. Becuase of that I decided to work really hard and train for the Seattle race in September and to my surprise I won. From there I continued to do well in a couple more races and podium and then was asked to be on the Spartan Pro Team in the spring of 2016. That year I took 4th in the US Championship series and 4th in Spartan World Championship. And in 2017 I also placed 4th in the US Championship series and then was able to snag a last second 3rd place at Spartan World Championship. This year of 2017 I also completed 5 trifectas and had the honor to compete in the first ever Sparta, Greece race where I took 2nd, 1st, and 1st.
What is the Spartan Pro Team?
The Spartan Pro team is comprised of 10 females and 10 males. We race against each other but we are all sponsored by Spartan to represent the brand. A lot of our promotion is on social media as well as being at the races. We are paid and required to race at all of the top races. We get travel money to go to the US Championship series races and the World Championships as well as other races of our choosing and we are required to race in all of our gear sponsored by Reebok. The majority of us also have our own individual sponsors that have different contracts associated with them.
Does the USA help organize the training of the member of the Spartan Pro team?
My country does not organize or help in the training process. We have a “manager” who we can go to for help but they are not our trainer per say. We all live in different places, we train differently whether it’s self coached or by a coach, and we all have our owen schedules, and families, and jobs we must balance as well. I do not hold any training camps and I don’t know that any of the other team members really do either. My training background has to do a lot with speed, strength and agility from softball training regimes but now I focus a lot on running, especially in the trails, an functional strength workouts – think push ups, pull ups and heavy carries.
What does your training look like?
My weekly training routine will be mainly running based. Speed day, tempo day, long run day. I do a lot of trail running, climbing, and I will also have 2 days of just upper body like push ups and pull ups and carries. Usually one day a week I’ll do a full day that mimics a race with fast running, heavy carries, pulls and push ups. I also do quite a bit of work in the stair master, airdyne bike and treadmill.
What do you think of Spartan Race being part of the Olympics?
I really hope that Spartan is in the Olympics one day. I think the goal is to get it there by 2020 but there are a lot of factors that go into that process that I do not know the details about. I know a lot of it has to do with standardization which is hard because the base of Spartan Race is on the element of the unkown.