Brenna Calvert has been in obstacle racing for a few years. She has recently made her splash in the industry with a number of successful results. Most recently she took home a win last weekend at Savage Race.
How did you get involved in your sport?
I started a little over 2 years ago when my brother invited me to run a Spartan Sprint with him in Atlanta for fun. I had never heard of the sport until he mentioned it.
Were you always an athlete?
Yes, I played basketball from the time I could walk and through high school. I also ran high school track. I stayed active with hiking and running after school.
What are some of your athletic achievements?
-SC Battlefrog 15k June 2014 (1st ELITE race, 1st place female)
– Hawaii Spartan Trifecta weekend August 2014 (Elite Super: 3rd female, Beast: 1st female)
– Miami Battlefrog 5k (1st place elite female)
– Atlanta Sprint March 7, 2015 (3rd elite female)
– Houston Battlefrog March 28, 2015 (2nd elite female)
– Dallas Battlefrog April 11, 2015 (3rd elite female)
– Georgia Savage Race April 18, 2015 (2nd elite female)
-Ohio Savage Race June 13, 2015 (1st elite female)
What are your goals for the upcoming season?
One of my biggest goals is to join a pro ocr team with an established race series. I also have a goal of taking 1st place at a Battlefrog race and Spartan Race before the end of the season.
Who is/are your inspiration?
I’m inspired by many female athletes in our sport. Everyone of them being so different and diverse in training, their skills, and lifestyles. Rose Wetzel-Sinnett, Amelia Boone, and K.K. Stewart-Paul are at the top of my list.
What is your most proud moment in sport?
After running this sport for 2 years I was so proud when I got the chance to run with my 4 year old niece in her first OCR. We ran the Spartan Sprint together and since then she has now completed a Bullfrog Mile at Battlefrog, and the Kids Savage Race. I hope I can be inspiration to her to continue growing in this awesome sport.
What is your most proud moment in life?
This is a tough one, to be honest I’d have to say I was most proud when I realized competing at an elite level was something I could turn in to a reality. Battlefrog South Carolina was my first elite race last year. I only had the guts to try elite because my good friend Patrick said he knew I could do it. It was scary to me to think I was an “elite” athlete in this awesome sport with so many talented competitors. So when I finished in 1st place at that race it made me think, hey maybe I really can do this and make a name for myself as an athlete. When I made it home later that day my mom had decorated my apartment for me congratulating me with balloons and streamers and she was there waiting to hug me and say she knew I could do it and that she was so proud of me. That did it for me right then and there. We all know our parents are proud of us no matter what, but hearing it and truly feeling it for a specific task just makes it so real. Making my mom proud is something I strive for. She taught me well and its an honor to make her proud on a daily basis.
How do you overcome a bad race or training day?
No one is perfect, and we all have our bad days. I might get upset and be hard on myself at first, I find that natural, but then I just remind myself I am fortunate to do what I love. I find motivation in the bad race and use it to fuel me to be better and make sure I don’t fail in that way again. Train harder on the obstacle at hand and strive to be better the next time. Learn from my mistakes and mistakes of others.
What is your training routine like?
One of my favorite things to obstacle racing is that no one race is the same. With that said, I don’t have a “routine” that I stick to. I find it best to train and cross train in many ways. I am usually training 1-2 hours a day, 6 days a week. I always try and get a good run in for the day, either distance, sprints, or do a medium run with some body weight exercises thrown in with it. Then I add in strength training days, yoga, rock climbing, spinning, and always working on the grip strength. I like to keep it fun and functional at the same time.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in your sport?
Obstacle racing targets many different athletes and just the general public in different ways. For those just starting, I would say set a first goal of just finishing a race completely, all obstacles and/or penalties included. Then from there, keep it fun and work on the running portion and I think beginners should focus on grip strength because it’s not something most people work on in their average workouts. It will definitely help them in the ocr world though.
What is your favorite pre-race and post-race food?
Pre-race: I always have a cup of coffee, a banana, my protein shake (Beverly International UMP and water), and some vanilla greek yogurt with berries and a bit of granola. This combo never fails me. Post-race: Oh my goodness, I am a fat kid at heart and I LOVE FOOD! So after a race I treat myself big time. I have to have my beer, and usually it’s a delicious fattening burger. I love spicy, so something with bacon, jalapenos….the works. And let’s not forget the fries on the side. I can’t lie either, there’s usually a sweet treat to follow too.
When not training and competing what do you do with your down time?
Between training, competing, and working there isn’t much down time at all. When I get the time I love spending it with my very supportive boyfriend and his son. We like to have fun outings such as the water park, Dave and Busters for the arcade, concerts in the park, or on that rare occasion that there’s time we enjoy it at home together practicing some sport in the front yard and playing with the pups while cooking out on the deck. Now if we find a night that it’s just the adults we like to try out the local breweries and pubs around town.
What is your favorite quote to motivate you?
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
What is the best advice a coach ever gave you?
It doesn’t matter whether you win or lose, it’s how well you played the game. I just love that because I can’t win every race, I would like to, but in all reality it’s more important how I approach each race and how I come out overall. Sure I didn’t win or even make the podium, but I learned something new and accomplished a difficult challenge put in front of me no matter what.
If you could share some advice to the next generation of athletes, what would it be?
Be true to yourself throughout your entire journey. Take a good look in the mirror and know that the one staring back is your only competition. Above all things make sure you’re having fun along the way, it’s not all work.
What is/are the races you are most looking forward to this year?
Pittsburgh Battlefrog, Wintergreen Spartan, Cincinnati Battlefrog, and OCRWC
Any additional information you would like to share:
I am currently studying the get my master trainer certification with ISSA so that I may help others find their way to a healthy fun lifestyle as I have. I found my passion in this sport, it excites me, drives me, and makes me a better person all around. My journey and adventure in the OCR world has been so amazing that I really just want to be an inspiration and help motivate others to find their passion in something one way or another, yes I might strive to win and be the best, but that’s not the important thing. Go out and find what you love and make it happen for yourself.