Next up in my Bad Ass Kids of OCR article series, meet Hanah Zamko. After watching her dad push his limits, break barriers and accomplish some truly amazing goals, she decided to join him in the mud and ran her first obstacle course race. Like most of us, she was hooked. Not only is she a beauty, but this girl is a beast.
Please tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Hanah. I’m 14 years old and I’m an only child. I like adventure and traveling.
What first sparked your interest in running OCR races?
From watching my dad race when I was little.
Please tell us about your first OCR race?
My first race was Rugged Maniac and I ran it with my dad and a lot of people from Grit Farm. I remember it being extremely hot, but a lot of fun.
As a younger participant in the sport, what do you find your biggest struggles are?
Trying to find an age appropriate race that challenges me.
Do you prefer to run in the competitive waves or in open heats?
The competitive waves because I like the challenge of competing.
How do you train for your obstacle course races?
I started training at the ninja gym and then moved to rock climbing, running trails and lifting weights.
What is the biggest obstacle that you are working to overcome?
My biggest obstacle is trying to train properly so I don’t keep re-injuring myself.
Do you play or participate in any other sports? If yes do you find this helps with your obstacle course racing?
The other sport I am involved in is volleyball and it helps because it keeps me active and there is also a lot of jumping and teamwork.
As a younger athlete, who inspires you and why?
I have five people that inspire me – my dad, Allison Tai, Lindsay Webster, Ryan Atkins and Joel Forsyth (Joel makes everything so fun).
What has been your proudest OCR moment to date?
Winning two back to back races at the Grit Farm Corn Maze race and receiving the Bull Head.
What has been your scariest OCR moment to date?
Having trouble breathing while running Rugged Maniac.
What big race goal are you working towards?
Trying to qualify for OCRWC age group.
The OCR community is a family. Do you find that when you are racing you see people helping each other out on course?
Yes, I do. I find in every race people are physically helping people and motivating them to keep going.
Have you ever done an obstacle course race with a parent or sibling? If so tell us about it?
Yes. I have run Rugged Maniac with my dad and it was awesome.
Do you see yourself participating in OCR 5 years from now? If yes tell us why.
Yes, because I love it so much.
From your perspective, what can race directors / OCR companies do more of to entice kids to run the course?
For the big races like Spartan and Tough Mudder, it’s hard for some kids because we are too big for the small races in our age group and we are not able to run the big races even though we are capable of it. The big race directors need to look at allowing kids to run the adult courses if they can prove they are able to do so.
What is one takeaway you have learned from running OCR races?
It’s taught me how far I can push myself.
Is there anything else you wish to share with us?
I'd like to thank you for letting me share my love of OCR.