Meet the Team
Meet the man behind Rocket Race, David Baird, Race Director.
David took part in his first OCR in 2011, and has been hooked ever since! A former Army PT officer turned World Ringside Masters Heavyweight Boxing Champion, David dreamt big and set a new goal; combining his wealth of knowledge and experience with what he’s seen and learnt from the OCR world to create Rocket Race, a course that’s all about the obstacles. We took some time out from race planning to fire a few standard questions in his direction.
Name your top three OCR’s?
For me, Dash of the Titans is top of the pile, followed closely by the mucky pups at Nuclear Races. I’ve set some great times at Spartan too so pop that in third.
And your favourite obstacles?
I’m probably my happiest when up to my neck in mud, wading through a swamp or flying through the air. However I love the big adrenaline rush you get from Tough Mudder’s King of the Swingers and Fire in the Hole (that one was actually my inspiration for Rocket Race). A good old sandbag or log carry can separate the men from the boys, and you can’t beat a good, solid wall climb either!
If you could listen to just one song when training, what would you choose?
That’s a tough one, I love my music! There’s usually a lot of dubstep on my playlist and I really like artists such as Rudimental, Chase and Status and Muse. I guess if I had to pick one it though it would be Breath by The Prodigy perhaps that says something about the way I train!
What’s your race day breakfast of choice?
Easy, sausages, bacon, egg, black pudding, tomatoes, beans, mushrooms, hashbrowns and toast, washed down with a couple of litres of water and some iso fuel!
Finally for people taking part in Rocket Race, what tips would you give them?
On a practical level, wear some good, grippy trail shoes and prepare to get wet and muddy! It’s also going to be important not to neglect upper body and core strength when training as there will be lots of obstacles to climb. Probably more importantly, I’d say leave your egos in the car and pack a sense of humour as Rocket Race is all about a good bit of mucky fun! If you’re new to obstacle course running, prepare to meet new people, make new friends and quickly find yourself a part of one of the dirtiest, friendliest teams around, trust me, it’s an indescribable experience.
Space Cadet Kerry Bartlett aka Mistress of Marketing
Having been put under the spotlight himself, RD David took the chance to fire a few random questions of his own back at team member Kerry (think).
Ha ok, so how did you get involved in OCR?
‘You! It’s all your fault. I signed up for a couple of your bootcamps about 18 months ago and then after about a month of training, you laid down the gauntlet taking a team of 30 bootcampers to complete Tough Mudder! We did it, I loved it, and quickly signed up for another 6 races! Basically I was bitten by the bug from the off.’
What are you biggest loves and hates of OCR?
I tend to have a bit of a meltdown with any high obstacles. I’ve never liked heights and find that when I’m up in the air dangling about, my 5’9″ frame miraculously turns to jelly! Saying that, the more OCR’s I do, the more I’m battling to beat that fear! Loves is easy; I love the massive team spirit you encounter all over the course. I also love mud, quite a lot!
What’s on your bucket list for 2016?
‘Hmm well it’s always been a dream to travel across the States in a camper, driving some of Route 66. More insanely, and with more training and a few more OCR’s under my belt, it would be awesome to try and qualify for the OCR champs.’
What’s your greatest sporting achievement?
‘Up until this year I’d have said running my first half marathon for charity in 2013. However this year I won a couple of awards at my football end of season presentation, and most special for me was winning Players Player to be nominated by those around me on the pitch means the world.’
If you could bring 1 obstacle from another race in to Rocket Race, what would it be and why?
‘That’s a toughie; I loved the zip wire at Nuclear Rush, but would probably have to say a good fireman’s pole like the one at Pukka, perhaps down into mud though! Now I’ve got the technique, I quite enjoy a good pole slide!’
Finally what’s your biggest challenge with Rocket Race?
‘Rocket Race is going to be amazing. The course is perfect, the obstacles are a great mix of fun and challenging and the buzz that I’m going to enjoy between now and race day is like nothing else! The biggest challenge lies with our Race Director again! The ideas you come up with and the vision you have for the race is amazing, but getting them out of your head and in to an organised plan on paper is the challenge particularly at the rate you kick churn them out! Good job I love a challenge!’
Not wanting to be the only team member with a horrendous photo online, Kerry dragged techy wizard Kate away from the glow of her laptop for an intense conversation.
So I know why I’m here, but how did you get into OCR in the first place?
‘Looking back I think, no wait, I’m certain, I must have had a mid-life crisis! Why else would I be clambering over things and scrambling about in muddy ditches?! Having an enthusiastic trainer like David also helped he made an OCR sound like a must-do activity.’
Tell me about your favourite OCR obstacle?
‘Probably best we don’t even talk about heights, or jumping from heights, but I do love mud – let’s talk about that! Thick, gloopy, smelly – jumping in, crawling through, clambering over – I love to be mucky!’
What are the best and worst things about OCR for you?
‘Am I allowed to say that the best thing is sinking that first beer when you finish? No?! Ok, well beer aside, I really love the challenges that the variety of obstacles throw at you, and overcoming those challenges as part of a team is a great feeling. As for the worst, well that’s easy; the only thing I hate is jumping, from height, into water. I’m sweating just thinking about it! That aside, I’d run OCR’s for a living if I could!’
If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
‘What with a full time job, two children, two dogs and a cat and a husband to run about after, I’d love the ability to just snap my fingers and have all the housework done. Then I’d be able to get out and do more of the exciting things in life!’
What would be your top 5 tips for someone running their first OCR?
‘Ok a biggie – make sure you wear comfy pants! There’s nothing worse than rubbing, chaffing or losing them altogether over an obstacle! Investing in a good pair of trail shoes is also a great idea, particularly for running Rocket Race – you can expect lots of mud! Try your hardest to embrace your fears. OCR’s offer a fantastic chance to challenge yourself again and again, and the sense of accomplishment at the end is like nothing else. Be a team player; just when you think you’re struggling, a strange muddy hand will be there to help you carry on – make sure you offer than hand to others when possible! Finally, and this is a biggie, have fun! I love OCR because nobody really takes themselves that seriously, everyone works together as a team and you’ll come away with some amazing memories – enjoy every second!
Finally what’s your biggest challenge with Rocket Race?
‘Well if this conversation can be seen online at Rocket Race then I’ve overcome what I hope is the biggest challenge – building an OCR website from scratch in less than two weeks! Then, knowing what our adventurous RD has in store for Rocket Racers, I’m going to have to face the challenge of jumping in to water from height on race day. If I’ve achieved both I’ll be designing some special bling for myself!’