Date of Birth: 2/2/1996
Born: Asheville, North Carolina
Lives: Bellingham, Washington
Short Distance (1-6 miles)
Mid Distance (6-12 miles)
Cole Schwartz emerged on the Elite OCR scene in 2016 as a 20 year-old, taking 4 Spartan podiums. He followed-up his rookie year with 11 more Spartan podiums, including 3 overall wins, with one coming at an international race in Morzine, France. He capped his Sophomore campaign with a 3rd Place AG finish at the OCR World Championship 15k. Cole competed in Track in High School and was a 4-time State Qualifier in Cross-Country. In 2018, Cole completed a Kinesiology degree at Western Washington University, and is currently focused on finishing strong this season.
What was your first obstacle race and why did you do it?
My first obstacle course race was the 2014 AT&T Park Spartan Sprint. I saw an ad on my computer for Spartan Race and decided to sign up because I had just finished up my track season and was feeling fast! I ended up finishing 9th place elite, with zero burpees but that's only because there was no spear throw.
What drives you to compete?
I love feeling absolutely destroyed after a race, knowing I gave it everything I had. You can try to replicate that intensity in training but it's only during competition when you can find your maximum effort.
If you could run a World Championship obstacle race anywhere in the world, where would it be? Morzine, France. I ran the Spartan Race in Morzine last year and it was an unreal experience. The entire town came out to cheer on the athletes and the mountains were beautiful, but unforgiving.
What interesting fact do most fans of OCR not know about you?
I am a die hard fan of the television show Friends. I watch it every night before going to bed. Quiz me on anything!
Who is one of the OCR athletes you admire most and why?
Hunter Mcintyre. His ability to compete against the top athletes in the world in any race distance with his large frame is just impressive. He's also the #1 short course racer in the world, so he's the guy I need to take down!
If you could design one workout that covers the most important skill areas in OCR, what would it look like?
I would try to replicate the course I would be competing on. If the course had rolling hills then I would find a section of trail with rolling hills. Between hill runs I would perform pull-ups and dead hangs to mimic grip obstacles. Obviously, I would bring a bucket of sand for some carries!
If you hadn't found OCR, in what sport(s) would you be competing?
I would most likely just be running local trail races. Basically, having much less fun than I do in OCR.
What advice do you have for people who want to get better in OCR? Educate yourself! Find your weaknesses, do some research and figure out the best way to improve on them. Find inspiration from the top athletes in the sport, but don't copy everything they do; instead find what works for your own body.