Most recently, Morgan Mckay placed 3rd in the World’s Toughest Mudder event in Las Vegas Nevada. I was quite intrigued by this third place win and to be honest wanted to know more about her. I did some quick research online, but wanted to know more about who she is as a person, and what kind of challenges she has faced. I reached out to her and was happy when she responded positively to my request for an interview. It was quite neat to “get to know” her better from a quick email interview.
What was your first OCR race?
My first OCR was a Spartan Sprint in Ottawa in 2012. My cousin convinced me to go with her and some friends. I was terrified because at the time I was not athletic, I was in a 2 pm open heat in the blazing sun. I felt like absolute death climbing the ski hill, and thought to myself “what have I got myself into!?” Once I finished the race, it was the first time in my life I felt truly proud of myself. I felt so accomplished pushing through that race, I have been hooked ever since!
What has been the hardest race you have done?
The hardest race I have ever done was the Spartan Death Race. It was a 60-hour non-stop race that pushed me to my breaking point multiple times. We were not allowed to sleep, at one point in the race I didn't have water for 6+ hours and I was carrying a slosh pipe up and down a mountain. I started hallucinating that mascots were running around in the forest!!! I felt like absolute death. By the end of the race, I had trench foot from being in wet shoes for 3 days. It was by far the hardest race I have ever competed in. That being said, It was the most rewarding thing I have ever done. I discovered that I can keep going even when I think I am completely done. At one point I was at the top of a mountain, and I decided I wanted to quit! I was exhausted and in an incredible amount of pain. I wasn't able to quit, there was no one around to transport me to the farm (out base camp) I had to find the strength to get myself there. By the time I made it back to the farm, I didn't want to quit anymore! I realized how insanely mentally tough I am if I am completely focused on a goal.
That being said, It was the most rewarding thing I have ever done. I discovered that I can keep going even when I think I am completely done. At one point I was at the top of a mountain, and I decided I wanted to quit! I was exhausted and in an incredible amount of pain. I wasn't able to quit, there was no one around to transport me to the farm (out base camp) I had to find the strength to get myself there. By the time I made it back to the farm, I didn't want to quit anymore! I realized how insanely mentally tough I am if I am completely focused on a goal.
If you have to look back on your OCR career, what is one thing that has scared you?
I was pretty scared in 2013 at the Survival race in Nicaragua. I got lost descending a volcano (I'm good at getting lost). I found myself in a bad situation, I was alone, out of water and the sun was starting to go down. I was also surrounded by screaming monkeys, and I was scared they might attack me. I didn't know what I was going to do, so I just kept moving forward slowly. I started yelling for help and eventually some locals found me and lead me back to the trail.
Is there a specific goal race / or challenge you have in mind that you are training for now? If so what is it?
I would love to come back to Worlds Toughest Mudder 2017 and win for females.
What’s one random fact about you that you would like to share?
I am a huge believer in the power of positive thoughts and the law of attraction. I have been making vision boards (goal boards) since I was 18. I will write down everything I want to accomplish, and I will brainstorm ways that I will make certain goals happen. So far I have accomplished everything I have ever wanted. Sometimes it takes years (WTM was a 4-year goal) but there is always a way to make things happen if you are passionate and willing to put in the hard work in.
What is the one piece of OCR gear that you cannot live without?
MudGear socks! I absolutely love them! I wore MudGear socks when I won Battlefrogs 24hr race and I didn't need to change my socks once! Also Yancy Camp training, I would not be the athlete I am today without Yancy Culp.
Who inspires you?
Hands down Deanna Blegg. I think she is the strongest woman I have ever met. She has a beautiful soul and I think she is amazing. I heard about her a few years ago when she placed at WTM, I assumed she was just another gifted athlete, until I read her story. She talked openly about battling HIV for years. I thought to myself, wow this lady has true-life battles and she faces them with a smile. I really appreciate how open she is about her life, it isn't all sunshine and rainbows, but she remains positive and I think the world of her.
Any fun or quirky nicknames you have?
Some people at the gym call me “More-Gainz” but most people just call me Morgs or Morgan.
What drives you to continue to race / OCR – is it a need to “feel the fear”, a competitive streak within yourself or?
I am motivated by overcoming my fears. Ex) I was absolutely terrified of the cliff at Worlds Toughest Mudder. I had to dig deep to overcome it, and it makes me feel like I can do that with regular life too. I love OCR because it makes me stronger as a person in life and I love to inspire and motivate others to do the same with their life.
If anyone wants to reach out to on social media, how can they contact you?