Name: Dustin Radney
Resides in: Orlando, FL
Occupation: Computer Engineer
Favorite OCR Series: BattleFrog
Favorite Obstacle: Platinum Rig
Least Favorite Obstacle: Over/unders
Ideal Race Distance: 10 miles
2016 OCR Goals: Podium at least one major OCR series
Social Media: Feel free to reach out to me at http://www.facebook.com/dustin.radney
I’ve played competitive sports my entire life but after college and upon entering the workforce I started to travel a lot and lost my fitness routine as I was no longer working out for a sport. I decided to take up running in combination of a weight routine and slowly increased my distance over time. I ran routinely for years and got into excellent shape but was only training for fitness purposes which could get monotonous at times. I saw some ads for BattleFrog Central Florida and my friends encouraged me to sign up and after completing it I found that this was a great way to give my training a purpose. I then signed up for a couple of Spartan races which eventually lead to me being introduced to some great people in the OCR community.
Why do you compete in OCR?
OCR calls for a well-rounded dynamic athlete. Being a good runner will not get you far in a BattleFrog race nor will just being strong and able to lift a lot of weight. You must be able to run, lift, and carry your own bodyweight through a 10 mile course over grueling and unforgiving terrain. It’s both physically and mentally challenging and you have an amazing since of accomplishment at the end of every race whether you earned money or not. You find your strengths, you find your weaknesses, but more than anything you find some amazing people that encourage you the entire time even when they’re your competition. OCR is for people that love being outside and being active. It’s for people that want to challenge themselves and get better both physically and personally. When you see someone cheering you on that you don’t even know it encourages you to do the same thing. The community is really second to none.
Walk me through a typical week of you working out.
My typical workout week (when I’m home) consists of a 5 mile run per day followed by a high rep/low weight routine (typically shoulders, biceps / triceps, or chest depending on the day), and then a 20 minute core / ab routine. I also like to mix in some climbing / bouldering sessions at least twice a week at my local climbing gym. Climbing is a great way to work on grip strength for OCR but also a great outdoor activity if you have to opportunity to climb real rocks outside!
This year’s OCR World Championships will feature a short course (3 km) and long course (15 km), and the general consensus to featuring both distances has been positive. Would you like to see more race series continue this trend of offering multiple distances at their championship race?
While I certainly appreciate the thought behind offering multiple distances at the OCR World championship race I feel like it would be disappointing for other race series to offer different distances at their championship venue. I believe the race championship needs to be true to the series that it represents so the winner can call himself and herself the champion of that race. So in my opinion if the race series is typically 4-6 miles the championship should be indicative of that distance.
Your job seems very interesting since it involves a lot of travel. Tell me a little bit more about what you do to make a living.
I travel around the world designing perimeter and physical security systems for various facilities including international airports, US and foreign military bases, palaces, etc. I enjoy my work because I get to interact and engage with different cultures and nationalities as well as see unique places that I would never have thought to visit. I work from home (when I’m home) which can be difficult to separate work from personal time. I try to use my workouts and runs as my time without my phone or email to be completely disconnected from work for an hour or two in the day whether I’m traveling or at home.
Have you overcome any significant setbacks, such as injury, personal trauma, etc.?
Watching my father’s health deteriorate has been very difficult for me. He’s been a major influence on all of my athletic endeavors and to see him struggle to walk at times is hard to take. I mention this because it’s not something I can “overcome” but I use it to keep grounded and be thankful that I’m able to be active and compete. He taught me how to be a true competitor and work hard and not be afraid to break a sweat.
What is the farthest you’ve traveled to attend a race and what made you decide to do it?
I recently traveled to the UAE to compete in the Wadi Adventure Race. I decided to do it because I was curious to see what kind of obstacles and competition would be in the region and how it would compare to the races in the USA.
Most people know the three power couples in OCR: Ryan Atkins/Lindsay Webster, Marco Bedard/Claude Godbout, and Ken Corigliano/Rachel Corvington. However, your girlfriend Ashley Samples quietly made a name for herself on the female side last year. Do you see yourselves joining this group as another recognizable OCR couple in 2016?
Ashley and I like to think of ourselves as the older and slower Lindsay and Ryan. It’s hard to think of us joining the ranks of such couples as strong as you’ve previously mentioned but it’s not out of the question. Ashley is such an amazing competitor that it’s hard for her not to make waves whenever she shows up to an event. She’s a beast, there’s no way around it. Now I just need to do the same thing in the male division!
Do you and Ashley train together or do you like to do your own thing? (If you two live together) have you altered your house in any way to train for OCR (hung rings and nunchucks from the ceiling, throw a spear in the backyard, etc.)?
We definitely train together when I’m home. We’ve introduced each other to new gyms and workout routines that we otherwise may not have tried. Ashley goes rock climbing with me and I try to push her to do routes she’s otherwise not comfortable with. She recently completely her first 5.10 route clean which was extremely impressive. And we always like to bounce ideas off each about an upcoming race and how we will approach the obstacles. We also run together which mainly consists of her complaining about how far we’re going pre run and thanking me for making her do that long / hard of a run post run. It certainly makes for an interesting and unique dynamic in our relationship which ultimately makes us a stronger couple. When she’s nervous about a race I can say “we’ve done this 10 times before in training and you crushed it…you’ve got this!” and she can say the same thing.
Do you have any advice (OCR-specific or on a personal level) that you’d like to share?
I know OCR isn’t for everyone but I would encourage people to go outside and find something that will keep them active that they enjoy doing. Today it’s so easy to sit in front of a computer all day at work and then go home and sit in front of a TV at night until it’s time to go to bed. We’re all just big kids so if you see a tree that you want to climb go climb it and forget about work/life/finances/spreadsheets for a few minutes every day.
Last question. Pretend you’re a race director for a day. Describe the course you would design.
Tough question! I would design a course around 8-11 miles much like the ones today that challenge your endurance, strength, and speed but I’d also like to design an obstacle or two challenge your mind. Like a puzzle challenge that would give you an easy or hard way to complete the obstacle. For example if you can complete the puzzle you can proceed on with the course without carrying a sandbag, if not then you have to take the sandbag. Something along those lines that would add a mental dynamic to OCR.
As for the race festivals when I went to the Wadi Adventure Race they offered a buffet to the athletes that competed which was a nice change of pace from the standard water, protein bar, and banana. And I would try to offer options for the “free beer” ticket so the athlete isn’t stuck with tickets for cider or something that they won’t use. I think the post-race festivals would include mini challenges like sack races or water balloon tosses to keep the crowd involved and entertained and the winners could win race “swag” (AKA promotional race shirts / stickers / etc.). I would try to have some team awards at the awards ceremony because it’s great to see athletes hang around after the race where some venues provide medals to the “fastest teams” which keeps a lot of people around and doesn’t cost the event very much at all. I would also try and incorporate a photo booth or portrait studio that would upload immediately to social media so that people could tag themselves and have race pictures which provide instant gratification and also publicity for the event. In this era social media advertising is critical and the best representatives are those that attend your events so I would offer a discount for race merchandise when they “checked in” to my event.