When receiving nominations for this ongoing article series, I always try and find a little quirk or spark that draws me to a person. It takes a lot to reach out to someone, ask them to be profiled, and then wait for how they choose to answer your questions. Tasha has to be one of the fastest responders I have had to date (which makes life easier). As someone newer to the sport, Tasha brings a fresh perspective, set of eyes and hunger to race as hard and as safe as she can.
To me, Tasha Overmiller is a badass because she knows that she wants to better herself as a well-rounded athlete, and OCR is part of her plan to remain strong and balanced.
Please tell us a bit about yourself.
I'm originally from Missouri, where I got my undergrad in Business Management/Marketing and Grad degree in Business Administration. My husband and I both ran track and cross country for Northwest Missouri State University. We moved to Portland in May of 2013 to venture out and try a new place where we can work out outdoors year-round. After gaining experience at a couple of jobs here, I've finally found my dream job as an Account Manager for an events production agency. Taylor trains me for OCR races through his business, Portland Outdoor Athletics, where he does mobile personal training. We have an adorable, athletic dog that steps in as my workout partner on some of my runs.
Did you always consider yourself athletic?
Yes, I have always done multiple sports starting at a young age.
How did you get into the sport of OCR?
My husband, Taylor, got into it before I did. I thought it looked fun but took a year to actually start myself because it was pretty expensive for the both of us to be racing. Once I did my first one, I was hooked. I've been a runner and I really enjoy doing more than just running and being more of a well-rounded athlete.
What was your first race like? Which one was it?
My first race was the Terrain Race this past June. It was definitely a butt kicker but I'd say the hardest part was the rig, and mainly because it was wet from the rain. Once I got through that, I was pretty sure I had a good shot of finishing well, especially since multiple people were losing their bands at the rig. I ended up being the third woman through the finish so that was a nice surprise to start my OCR career!
Tell us about the races you have done so far.
I've done the Terrain Race, Rugged Maniac, Spartan Sprint Washougal, Spartan Sprint Seattle and a few other local more mud run style races.
What initially drew you into the world of OCR and adventure racing?
I really got drawn to OCR watching my husband, Taylor, race. I've always thought of myself as a strong chick so I thought it'd be really cool to test my strength while also running. I really like being functionally fit so that's an added benefit.
Do you feel that due to strong women like yourself, that others are more willing to push their own limits?
I'm not sure about that, I don't participate in these events specifically to inspire anyone but if I can in the process I hope to inspire all people and skill levels.
On course what has been your favorite obstacle and why?
I really love the rigs because they tailor to my strengths and forces me to stay more well-rounded. I would probably have to say the Terrain Race rig has been my favorite, even though it was the toughest. I didn't compete at the Inferno Race because I was sick but feel like theirs would also be in the running if I would have gotten to do it.
On course what has been your least favorite obstacle and why?
Definitely the swim during the Warrior Dash. Drowning is one of my biggest fears and I didn't know they added the swim so I wasn't mentally prepared. Plus, once I got there, they didn't have any safety precautions in place to ease my freak out so I almost had to drop out of the race. If it wasn't for my friend, Scott Brown, talking me through the swim I wouldn't have even finished and gotten my 2nd place finish.
Is there is an OCR or endurance race that you will never do?
I may not do the Warrior Dash again if I can't confirm they have added a life jacket as an option. I'm also not interested in doing any race that will take me longer than 2 hours because I'd rather have a higher concentration of obstacles/mile than just a lot more running.
If someone were to give you a plane ticket, and a paid race entry to any event in the world which one would you love to go and do?
I've never considered internationally racing because they've never been affordable, but the first thing that comes to mind would be either the Hawaii Spartan or OCR Worlds. We watched Worlds recaps on social media and the obstacles looked so awesome! We just didn't have the funds and enough planning ahead to get to go this year, even though we qualified at multiple races.
With so many amazing women on course this year, do you find yourself becoming more competitive, inspired or both?
Yes definitely. Taylor and I love watching the Spartan races and it's so inspiring watching all of the elite women kicking butt and passing so many dudes who start ahead of them. I'm always looking for badass women to train with and push me to be better.
What type of training do you complete for OCR training (ie crossfit, running ect). Tell us a bit about that.
I do Portland Outdoor Athletics workouts, which is Taylor's personal training business. He's great at Tayloring (get it?) workouts to what races I have coming up and what things I need to improve on for those races. In between those, I put in easy recovery miles with our dog (a basenji named Fawx).
For someone that is newer to the OCR sport, what is one solid piece of advice that you wish to pass on?
I would probably say to stop training alone. I definitely have to follow that advice. Not only is it better motivation, but it's great to have someone to push you to be better and get stronger. It's a lot harder to skip a workout if you know someone else is counting on you and you have someone to suffer with. No one who does these races well trains exclusively alone for a reason.
Who inspires you?
My mom has always been one of my biggest inspirations. She went through so much to make sure that my siblings and I had a great life growing up and always pushed us to be great. College was never a question for me and her encouragement got me through undergrad and on through grad school. She has always been an athlete and motivation for working out has never been an issue for her, which has also been inspiring.
What is one your one A race / bucket list race you want to do?
I really want to try Spartan and/or OCR Worlds in the next couple of years.
Is there anything else you want to share with us?
If any badass ladies in the Portland area are looking for a training partner for OCR, I'm still looking for another training partner (or multiple) at the right fitness level to where we would help each other get better (~8 minutes per mile long run pace) so if that's you feel free to reach out!
Whats the best way to reach you on social media if someone wants to reach out?
I check both Facebook and Instagram messages. My Instagram handle is @tashaovermiller.