I am really enjoying getting to know more and more Badass Women in OCR. I feel honored every time I put out a request for names of women for my article series that I end up with the names of family and friends of inspiring women to feature. My latest interview, Haley Mohn is no exception. Although she is relatively new to our sport, Haley is making her mark on course. She has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, placed 21st overall female in the Spartan Race West Virgina Super (during the Trifecta weekend), and has qualified in her age group division for OCR World Championships. I have featured her in this article series, as I am inspired by her accomplishments thus far in our sport.
Please tell us a bit about yourself.
I come from a running background; having run cross country and track & field competitively since middle school. I work full-time and I am in the process of earning my Bachelor’s Degree. My passions include running, rock climbing, OCR, camping/hiking; and I have an insatiable desire to travel.
What made you decide to embrace fitness / OCR as part of your lifestyle?
Fitness, or rather running, has always been a part of my lifestyle. I am fortunate to have grown up in a home where fitness was a part of everyday life. OCR stuck as part of my lifestyle after it re-lit my passion for running. After running miles upon miles for years on end, I was bored and didn’t love it anymore. Adding to the challenge of obstacles helped me become a better athlete.
What has been your biggest athletic / OCR achievement so far?
In my first Spartan Elite race, which was this August 2017, I placed 21st female overall in the Super held at the West Virginia Trifecta Weekend. I had low expectations for this Super; having toed the line for the Beast the day before. My body was tired and sore at the start line which made the surprise of feeling strong and only failing the spear throw that much sweeter. Qualifying in the Age Group division for the OCRWC race was also a highlight of my season.
How do you find balance in your busy life to train/race?
I do my best to make time before and/or after work to train. Some mornings I drag myself to the gym at 5 am, have a full day of work, and then go straight to the climbing gym. Other days, my motivation to workout is low, my body feels drained, and I think it is important to give myself those rest days. I am fortunate enough to work a Mon-Fri job, so taking time off to race is relatively easy with most races being on weekends.
What was one of the scarier moments you have experienced on course?
I wouldn’t say scary, but cramping on course brings me fear. Even if the muscle cramp goes away, it is still lurking, waiting until I jump an 8ft wall to strike again.
What was one of your worst race experiences?
America’s Toughest Mudder North East. I went into the race completely unprepared mentally to race for 8 hours overnight. The weather was cold and everything was wet which resulted in me failing obstacles I know I can complete, like Kong. I lost my motivation after the second 5-mile loop and didn’t go back out.
Is there a weakness you are currently training to overcome?
I am training to build power on hill climbs as well as grip strength.
Longer races often require us to go into a dark headspace. How you do train for the mental aspects of the longer races?
In OCR I am constantly telling myself to “make it to the next obstacle”. Your body will perform much longer than your mind will let on; getting into a rhythm with longer races definitely helps. I suppose I will truly learn how far my body will go when I attempt an Ultra Beast next year.
Is there any advice that you would like to share that you have learned on the course that applies to normal life?
Keep moving. There will be obstacles in the way but we must always keep moving forward.
In your own eyes, what makes you a Bad Ass in the OCR community?
This is a tough one! I would say that my improvement over this season so far contributes to my bad-ass-ness. In my first Spartan Race this past April 2017, I ran the NJ Beast, failing roughly 6 obstacles resulting in close to 200 burpees. Now, in August 2017, I finished a race only failing the spear throw (30 burpees).
What is your next biggest personal or OCR goal?
My next OCR related goal is to continue to build my endurance and strength. I will be training to complete an Ultra Beast in the 2018 season.
Do you find as the OCR sport matures that women are being taken more seriously than in previous years?
Since this is my first full season of OCR, I cannot compare to previous years. I do feel as though women competitors are taken seriously more so in OCR than compared to other sports.
Is there an aspect of training you struggle with? If so what is it and how do you overcome it?
I struggle waking up in the morning to do weight training. I (sometimes) overcome this by meeting Faith Elliott, fellow Badass Woman of OCR, at the gym. She holds me accountable to get my butt out of bed.
Is there a single person you look up to in our sport? Who is it and why?
I admire and look up to my entire team, The Crew OCR. It is difficult to put into words the impact The Crew has had on my life. They encourage me to become the best athlete I can be and I am inspired by their camaraderie. We have team members who race at all levels of the spectru, and no matter the outcome we are proud to support each and every teammate.
If someone wants to reach out to you on social media, where can they find you?
The Crew OCR (thecrewocr.com; FB/IG: thecrewocr)