#dryrobeterritory - Catching up with the Medal Addicts
Since dryrobe was introduced to the USA there have been some awesome individuals that have really embraced everything we're about and been incredible ambassadors for the brand. Someone who personifies that in every sense is one Justin T Manning, who along with his partner Simone, founded and runs the popular blog and Instagram account Medal Addict. We caught up with them recently to talk OCR, dryrobes and, of course, medals!
Have you always been involved in Obstacle Course Racing (OCR)? When did you first start?
Justin: I signed up for my first race with no clue whatsoever what OCR was. A year later, while discussing the last time I truly felt accomplished outside of work, that first race, which was a Spartan Super in 2014, came to mind. I wanted that feeling again and began signing up for race after race. I developed an addiction to the thrill of completing the race and the aesthetics of my growing collection of medals.
Simone: My first race was City Challenge Race in 2015. Before that, I thought that I was going to be a marathon runner but soon realised that it wasn’t for me. It was more fulfilling to jump over a wall at mile 6 rather than hit a metaphorical wall from just running.
What draws you to OCR?
When you think about the structure of OCR racing, there are tons of people trying to climb the same wall, climb their way out of deep mud pits, and carrying heavy objects while trying to get from point A to B. It’s hard! But in between trying to complete an obstacle, you realise you’re not alone. Even better, sometimes the stranger struggling next you, offers you a boost over a wall, or matches their pace to yours so you’re not alone on your trek up a mountain carrying a sandbag.
Conquering each obstacle is a thrill but for us it's all about the community. In the beginning we loved that as strangers we all rooted for each other to complete the race. But when we started Medal Addict, less and less people became strangers. Now when we go on the course, we are rooting for strangers and friends.
What would you say to someone who wants to start OCR?
Just start. One half of the Medal Addict team can complete all the rigs. The other is becoming a master at burpees from not quite winning at each obstacle. But getting out there and challenging yourself to try something new and conquer a few fears is worth it. When you get to top of a mountain or ridiculously steep hill with a heavy bucket full of rocks in your arms, you realise that you might be able to do anything!!
What does dryrobe do for you, and how has it made a difference to OCR for you?
For one, it keeps us warm. You never know you need a dryrobe until you need it! After several cold showers on muddy courses, it became necessary. After getting caught in the inevitable rainstorm at the majority of our races each year, it became a mandatory part of our “OCR Kit”. We carry them proudly because it always comes in handy. Two of the best feelings at the end of a race, is receiving the medal and putting on our dryrobes!
For more Medal Addict action, be sure to give them a follow on Instagram @medaladdict and use #medaladdict to feature!