Date of Birth: 8/26/1981
Born: Newport News, VA
Lives: Newport News, VA
Short Distance (1-5 miles)
OCR Coach: Self
Team Affiliation: FitLincMedia Athlete
Jason was born and currently lives in Newport News, Virginia and is a single dad to a four-year-old daughter, a decorated United States Army Combat Veteran, a Ph.D. student, and an OCR athlete. Growing up he played several sports through high school and went on to receive a football scholarship at the University of the Cumberlands, playing Defensive Back and Wide Receiver.
After graduation, Jason was commissioned as an officer in the Army. A decorated officer during his seven years of active duty, Jason completed three combat tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. His awards and decorations include two Bronze Star Medals, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Combat Action Badge, and the Parachutist Badge (Airborne). He was also inducted into the Military Order of Saint Christopher and was named the 2009 Transportation Corps Regimental Officer of the Year. In 2011, Jason completed his service in the Army and began working as a Department of Defense contractor, while continuing his education. In 2013, he completed a Master’s Degree in Disaster Relief Logistics.
Jason has experienced several successes, but he's also had his share of challenges. He took-on his first obstacle race in 2017 as a way to break-out of a persistent mental and physical funk. He says, "One day, I found myself staring in the mirror, weighed-down mentally and emotionally and 40 pounds overweight. I made the decision right then and there to fight back." Within a month, Jason was on a Spartan course battling obstacles that represented much of what he felt he was facing in life. From that point, he found that signing-up for races gave him very specific goals to plan for and the confidence he was building in his physical and mental fitness was translating into every area of his life. Jason says, "I want to be the best I can be in every part of my life. And, I want to show everyone who gets stuck or has their confidence shaken now and then, that there's always a way forward. The OCR community has been there for me and I want to give back as much as I can."
When he’s not at work, spending quality time with his daughter, or doing research for his Doctorate of Philosophy in Business Leadership, Jason can be found training in the gym, on the trails, or planning his next obstacle race.
What was your first obstacle race and why did you do it?
My first obstacle course race was the Spartan Race Virginia Super in June of 2017. I remember being in a relatively tough place in my life and looking in the mirror and not liking the person staring back at me. I saw an advertisement for the race and decided to sign up, drive up to Arrington, and compete in the Open by myself. The slogan “You’ll know at the finish line” proved to be spot on. After that race I was hooked on OCR and have gradually improved not only my ranking and fitness, but my overall perspective on life.
What drives you to compete?
First and foremost, the primary person that drives everything I do in my life is my three-year-old daughter, Camila. Whether I’m out training on the trails or toeing the start line, she’s what I’m thinking about. I want to be an example to her of what a healthy lifestyle looks like and, ultimately, that you can accomplish anything you put your mind to if you put in the work.
If you could run an obstacle race anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I recently went on a trip to South America and the Amazon. There is some beautiful scenery there and all I could think of was how the terrain, scenery, and location would be awesome for OCR. Otherwise, I really want Tahoe!
What interesting fact do most fans of OCR not know about you?
In 2011, I was nominated for GQ Magazine's “Better Men Better World” search and in 2012 I was named as one of Richmond Style Weekly’s Top 40 Under 40 for volunteer contributions to the community. I’m a firm believer in service and giving back, especially when it comes to the military veteran community. And yes, you read that right, this mug was once on the GQ Magazine website :)
Who is one of the OCR athletes you admire most and why?
Got to go with Robert Killian. Not only because of his military background, but because of the way he lives his life. The great thing about social media is that you have the opportunity to “know” people and gauge what’s most important to them. Robert is a shining example of a man that has his priorities straight.
If you hadn't found OCR, in what sport(s) would you be competing?
This is the toughest question! In your mid 30's, you’re certainly limited (unless you’re Tom Brady). I would likely be road racing, competing in triathlons (Ironman and Xterra are on the bucket list), or star of the local flag football team :)
What are your goals with OCR?
I really only started competing at the Elite level at the end of 2017 and having a few races under my belt, I would like to continue the upward trend. I’ve qualified for the OCR North American and World Championships as well as the Spartan North American Championship. For 2018, I REALLY want to qualify for the Spartan World Championship in Tahoe. Aside from rankings and championships, I feel like OCR can be a platform to allow me to continue to speak about military veteran topics and help people who feel stuck get unstuck.