Photo credit: Bob Mulholland

Kate was brought to my attention for this article series by a friend of hers.  He noted to me in his initial email that she was a “cut above the rest”. I was intrigued and looked into Kate a bit before asking her to be profiled for my Badass Women of OCR article series. From the information I garnered from her friend and from Kate directly, I felt that she was a good fit for this series due to her strength, determination, and humility when it comes to being in OCR. She has tackled quite a few different types of races in her career, yet she remains down to earth and driven. I learned through further research that just recently at the New Jersey Beast/UltraBeast weekend,  she took 2nd overall, and then 1st masters at the Ultra Beast. I hope you will enjoy getting to learn more about this Bad Ass Woman of OCR, I know I did.

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I am a competitive person, I perceive my two biggest competitors to be myself and the challenges faced during races (Mountains, terrain, and obstacles, etc). I approach every race the same….my main goal is always completion, and if everything goes well on top of that, then I consider that a win-win.

I have kept this philosophy mainly because of the endurance based races. You’re out there for such a long time, and so much can happen during that time. You have to rely on experience and trust in your training. It takes a great deal of patience and confidence in yourself to succeed at these events. I focus on what I have control over when I’m racing, this approach helps me to not feel overwhelmed or pressure during the races and lets me run my own race.


What has been the main draw for you in terms of the OCR world?

I love the adventure and the unknown of OCR racing….you go to the start line and you never know exactly what you are about to encounter. Each race series is different and each race within any organization is different, you never know what exactly is going to happen out there along the way. In addition, you get to meet and interact with so many different people and go through these incredible experiences, sometimes, with perfect strangers and form lasting bonds and friendships along the way. ….so for me, it’s one big journey and in the end, you get to feel that incredible sense of accomplishment.


If there is one started OCR race that you would recommend to someone just starting out, what would it be and why?

I am a fan of Savage Race, always have lots of fun with their obstacles, and for someone just starting out, it allows you to experience the obstacle course racing with the typically less difficult terrain.


What is your proudest achievement in the OCR / racing world to date?

The two races that stand out are the win at Mountain Creek (4/29/17) that was an incredible moment, the competition was so strong that day, it made me appreciate the success that much more. Also, completing the Ultra Beast at Killington (9/17/2016), that was a really physically demanding race, I believe the completion rate was only somewhere around 27%. There were times that day I could not even wrap my mind around how I was going to finish the race, but I just kept moving forward. I began to compartmentalize and just focus on one section, one obstacle, and one climb at a time. I also attribute my success that day to the spectators at Killington. They were, by far, the most supportive I have ever encountered at any race. They cheered, clapped and motivated me until the end, you could feel their energy, it was an incredible experience, and I am forever grateful to those strangers.

It’s often hard to put into words how much the support means on the course, sometimes I’m too tired to thank you as I run by, but the motivation coming from other racers and spectators is truly priceless.


There are times we all need to keep going when we don’t' feel like it. What keeps you motivated to continue to race and or work out?

I absolutely love training and working out, I certainly have a passion for it, but I do many different types of workouts to keep things entertaining for me; whether it's functional training, weight training, cardio, running, rucking, spinning, boxing etc.  However, make no mistake; there are days when I need tough love from the people around me. Those days I need my friends, my son, my trainer, and my workout partner, anyone… to help me pick me up and keep me going. They always help remind me what is important to me. There is nothing worse than being at an event and feeling overmatched or unprepared. I spend a lot of time training to make sure I never feel that way.


Is there a bucket list race / physical challenge that you would like to do? Which one is it?

I would like to do the Seal Quest Challenge in Louisiana. It is a week-long program for civilians modeled after the Navy Seal Training (but I have to save my money, it’s expensive ☺ )


What is the single best piece of advice you can give someone that is making the change to embrace a healthy lifestyle?

Same thing I tell myself….Just keep showing up. No matter if you have a bad day in the gym, horrible day at work/school, or you overindulge in your diet…just keep showing up, and you will continue to make progress. When you stop showing up, you have lost the battle


Is there a race / OCR event/challenge you won't do? If so what is it?

Unfortunately, exposure to cold weather continues to cause irreversible damage to my hands, so I have to stay away from cold-weather events.


Name one person that inspires you and why?

I really don’t have one individual; it’s more about the support system of people around me that that show up every day that inspires me. We are all fighting our own internal demons or battles,  whether in life, work, school, racing, etc…we have all been there…. we have all wanted to quit, but you just have to keep moving forward. The support system you build around you helps you hang in there during the lows, and remind you that the grind will be worth it in the end.


Is there an obstacle on course that you will not do? if so what is it and why?

Anything involving Electrocution, I’m just not ok with that


What are your big race goals for this year (or big personal goals)?

Complete 3 Ultra Beasts, a 50-mile Endurance Challenge, America’s Toughest Mudder, H12HR and an 8hr Team Endurance Challenge, and whatever else my friends talk me into, that is where most of my adventures come from.


Is there anything else you would like people to know about you?

I am absolutely an introvert. I am not necessarily shy, just normally very quiet. I find solace in being alone; it gives me a sense of peace. I don’t usually talk very much, and keep to myself, I think about and analyze everything, and I’m definitely socially awkward. I am much more comfortable in small groups of close friends… Crowds and parties easily overwhelm me, but I feel like once you get to know me, one of my best attributes is my sense of humor.


What is one piece of equipment you bring with you on every course, no matter what?

A BUFF….they are incredibly multi-functional…..they can help in many different ways on the course. I can use it to wipe sweat, or mud from my face or eyes, or I can use it to cover my hands to make some heavy carries less painful or uncomfortable. Also, it can be effective if ropes are slick from mud, it may offer a little bit of traction to just get you going.

If someone wants to reach out to you on social media, what is the best way to do so?

Facebook (Kate Crane Sidoli), Instagram (katesidoli) or Twitter (@KateSidoli)


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