Date of Birth: 12/26/1991
Born: Kemblesville, PA
Lives: Stuarts Draft, VA
Short-Mid Distance (1-18 miles)
OCR Coach: Self
OCR Team Affiliation: Trio Fitness
Joel Hayes OCR Obstacle Course Racing Trio Fitness spartan tough mudder pics images stats background
I grew up with 4 brothers in a rural neighborhood an hour outside of Philly. My brothers and I, along with a small army of neighborhood friends, would fight, play, spend hours running around the woods, and play pickup sports. Football was my passion as a kid and I convinced my parents to let me play my junior year of high school. However, several injuries derailed my season and surgery, along with the subsequent recovery, kept me out my senior year as well.
I became a personal trainer after college and since have worked with ex-athletes, everyday Joes and Janes, runners, weight loss clients, and every other goal and fitness level you can imagine. I found OCR in 2015. It was my chance to compete again; and in a sport that combines everything I loved to do as a kid.
What was your first obstacle race and why did you do it?
My first race was the Washington, DC Spartan Sprint in 2015. I did it just for fun and to try it with two of my brothers and my sister-in-law.
What drives you to compete?
I don't have a pin-pointed reason. It's just in me. Anything I like to do I always want to be the best at and invest a lot of time becoming good at. I intrinsically want to be the best and want to win because I've always been that way.
If you could run an obstacle race anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Juneau, Alaska. I lived there for a while and I think it would make for a beautiful, epic, grueling race and give me an excuse to go back and visit.
What interesting fact do most fans of OCR not know about you?
I dropped out of college for a while to travel and learn more about the world and have adventures.
Who is one of the OCR athletes you admire most and why?
I'm sure a lot of people say this, but Ryan Atkins. It seems like he loves the lifestyle he lives and being a phenomenal racer fits perfectly into that lifestyle - I want the same thing - That type of active and adventurous lifestyle, and racing is just a perfect fit within that lifestyle.
If you hadn't found OCR, in what sport(s) would you be competing?
I think I'd be competing in business. I'm a personal trainer and a huge fan of TRX, their products, and their training philosophy, so I would be striving to be a top-tier TRX trainer in the fitness industry.
What are your goals with OCR?
I love to compete, travel, and train so my goal is to harness OCR as a professional athlete so I can do all three full time; traveling for races, training as I go, and of course, competing against some of the world's top athletes.