Date of Birth: 5/31/1989
Born: Philadelphia, PA
Lives: Philadelphia, PA
Short Distance (1-5 miles)
OCR Coach: Self
Joe Pepe started competing in Obstacle Course Racing in 2011 after retiring from Major League Soccer. He played several seasons for the Philadelphia Union and hung-up his cleats after suffering several concussions. His multi-disciplinary background in sports (soccer, football, baseball, basketball) allowed him an easy transition into OCR and has run races across several brands over the years. In one of his first races, Joe won his age group at the notoriously difficult and now defunct, Battlefrog race in Philadelphia. Joe's utilizes his speed (4.28 40 yard dash) and his ultra competitive nature to focus on the intense, shorter OCR formats, but still races often with friends and training clients for fun and fitness.
Outside of OCR, Joe gained some notoriety when in 2013, he was named "Hottest and Healthiest" in the world by Livestrong and Match.com. And, he recently won the $50k 1st place prize on CBS's (TKO) Total Knock Out obstacle course competition and will compete for the $100k Grand Prize later this year. Joe is also an "expert contributor" for Men's Health magazine, and is a virtual fitness coach.
What was your first obstacle race and why did you do it?
My first race was a Tough Mudder back in 2011 as part of a team with the first gym I worked with. From that moment I was hooked on the sport. I wanted to compete with the best while encouraging the members of my fitness centers to run and complete the races with me!
What drives me?
My highly competitive nature and my nephew. He needs an athletic role model to show him that he can conquer anything and my competitive nature doesn't allow me to coast with anything I compete in.
If you could run an obstacle race anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I'd like it to be in Cancun or Italy; that way when we are done racing, we can celebrate in style!
If you hadn't found OCR, in what sport(s) would you be competing?
If I wasn't doing OCR I would be aiming to conquer multiple fitness Guinness World Records (at the moment I am in the midst of attempting a Burpee record and a fastest treadmill record)
What are your goals with OCR?
My goal is to compete with the best. I know I am athletic enough to compete in several sports, and right now, that's OCR. I also want to enjoy it and help others realize that you can do anything you want in life. Earlier in my life, I was judged as a skinny pretty boy; OCR and competitive OCR television shows have allow me to show the world something else.