Dirt in Your Skirt Athlete Series – Delaine Anderson
The Dirt in Your Skirt athlete series is about recognizing women (and maybe some men this year) in the sport of OCR. We recognize women at all levels working hard to make the sport better for us all. Today it’s exciting to recognize Delaine Anderson, is a definitely an OCR enthusiast! During the day she has her PhD from Florida State University and works as a Visiting Professor & Purchasing Agent. She is an ambassador with Reload Fitness and OCRGear.com as well as plays a large part in of the Georgia Obstacle Racers and Mud Runners (GORMR). More about Delaine in her own words.
How did you get involved in your sport?
I dabbled in running off and on since high school. I was not an athlete on an organized sports team in high school, so my motivation came from within. In 2010, I started running in local 5k races and enjoyed it, but it became boring. When I saw an ad on Facebook for Tough Mudder, I told my boyfriend that I wanted an entry as a Christmas present that year. He delivered, and my first OCR was the Tough Mudder in Cedartown , GA in 2011.
Were you always an athlete?
No. I played softball on a church league team and enjoyed running, but I was more of a scholar than an athlete. My playgrounds were my grandparents’ farms in East Tennessee.
What are some of your athletic achievements?
2012 Barbarian Challenge, Macon, GA: First place in 40 year old age division and my time would have placed me 4th in the 20 year old division.
2012 and 2013 – Spartan Trifecta Tribe… and on my way to earning 2 more Trifectas in 2014
2013 Savage Race – Second place in my age division
2013 GA Spartan Sprint – completed the course in 1:15 after spraining my ankle and tearing a ligament in mile 3
What are your goals for the upcoming season?
To successfully complete two Spartan Trifectas
To regain my speed and endurance from my injury in 2013
To complete a GoRuck Challenge
Who is/are your inspiration?
In our sport, I have a number of women who inspire me daily: Andi Hardy, Juliana Sproles, Margaret Schlachter, Sarah Pozdol, Stacie Preston, and Valerie Smith. Valerie Smith is my best friend, and her athleticism and determination continue to motivate me to dig deeper and push forward! Our daily conversations and friendship help with the everyday obstacles as well as those on the courses.
Other women who inspire me are my mom and both of my grandmothers. All three were and are fiercely determined women!
Pete Coleman, a Death Race finisher and back-to-back Vermont Beast and UltraBeast finisher (in one weekend) is a member of our Georgia Obstacle Racers and Mud Runners team (GORMR). While he is a majorly awe-inspiring athlete, he remains one of the most humble and giving men I know. He’s a proud husband and father and devoted friend. When I contemplate all he accomplishes, and he still has time to encourage others, I am completely humbled.
This year I was matched with a new inspiration, Connor Smith, through the IRun4 organization. Runners are matched up with a child with physical special needs. Connor is 10 years old and has a very rare disease called Juvenile Dermatomyositis. While Connor has endured years of treatments (including chemo), he is a bright, articulate young man with a huge heart and a love for writing and the great outdoors! Dedicating each of my races and my training to him pushes me to give no less than my best!
What is your most proud moment in sport?
My most proud moment in the sport occurred during a volunteer shift after I injured myself on a Spartan Race course. After I crossed the finish line, I grabbed my Biggest Loser Challenge volunteer shirt and ran back onto the course to assist with the BLC athletes. We weren’t assigned to participants, but I wound up gravitating towards a group of 4 women. These women knew they didn’t have to do the obstacles on the Spartan Race Course as their Biggest Loser Off Road Challenge, but most of them at least attempted each obstacle. They listened to my coaching to help them understand how to navigate the obstacles and were excited with each success! As we approached the halfway point of the race, we came upon another participant who was alone. We welcomed her to our group, and they formed their own “Fab Five”.
The slippery wall is one of my strongest and most favorite obstacles, so I encouraged the women to attempt it. The last lady to go had a look in her eyes of trepidation and uncertainty, but she grabbed the rope and started to climb. She slid back quickly, and fear took over. One of her teammates joined me on the backside of the slippery wall, encouraging her to try again. A couple of Spartan athletes were behind her and provided emotional and physical support. As she neared the top of the rope, I grabbed one of her hands. She so wanted to let go, but I told her I wasn’t letting go. “You’ve GOT this!”, I continued to yell! I was balanced precariously on the wall with her as my leverage. If her hand slipped, I would tumble backwards off of the obstacle. Something inside of her persisted; and as her left leg came over the side of the wall, tears of complete joy and elation came bursting out of my eyes! As we descended the obstacle, I was sobbing! The other ladies laughed at my tears as I hugged Peggy with all my might!
We finished the barb wire crawl and confronted the Gladiators arm-in-arm! That was when my season turned for the best!
What is your most proud moment in life?
Earning my PhD! I will never forget my Committee Chairperson, Dr. Ann Mullis, saying to me on our way back in to the dissertation defense, “Let me be the first to congratulate you, DR. ANDERSON!”
How do you overcome a bad race or training day?
I realize that not every race and not every training day will be my best. I allow myself time to rid myself of the anger and get it out of my system.. I’m human. Then I make a plan for overcoming the obstacle I encountered, and resolve to be better next time!
What is your training routine like?
My boyfriend (and biggest supporter) developed my workout routine at the gym for strength training. We do one day of upper body training, one day of lower body training, and a day of cardio; and we are at the gym 7 days a week. I also participate in spin class, go on trail runs, carry sandbags up and down Stone Mountain, and do the Spartan WOD’s on cardio days.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in your sport?
- Endurance is key. It’s important to build up your ability to last throughout the competition.
- Develop your upper body and core strength in addition to your running.
- Eat to compete. You want to fuel your body with the right foods, eating as clean as possible.
What is your favorite pre-race and post-race food?
The night before a race, I will have either chicken or fish and a bowl of pasta without sauce. After a race, I crave cheeseburgers!
When not training and competing what do you do with your down time?
My boyfriend and I are very handy around the house and have done a lot of the renovations and remodeling of our house ourselves. In the summer, you will find us at the lake with our Seadoos or at the beach. In the fall, I love going home to visit my family in East TN, taking in a hike or two in the Great Smoky Mountains and enjoying the Fall Festival. I’m a big geek who loves to watch “The Big Bang Theory”, and I completely devour books of all genres on my Kindle!
What is your favorite quote to motivate you?
“Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda (HUGE Star Wars fan)
What is the best advice a coach ever gave you?
“Your pace. Your race.”
If you could share some advice to the next generation of athletes, what would it be?
Don’t let the sport define you. Define yourself and bring that to the sport. Never forget who you are. Remember, life needs balance.
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