My journey into the OCR world

Me and Adam. My first Spartan Race - Toronto Spartan Sprint 2012
Me and Adam. My first Spartan Race – Toronto Spartan Sprint 2012

How did I get to this point? I asked myself this question as I waited at the starting line of the Montreal Spartan Super. After all I had just finished completing the 14.3k course once already and now I was back here at the starting line waiting to do it all over again. As I made my way towards the starting line, trying to catch the last wave , my friends and fellow Canadian Mudd Queens yelled at me “you’re crazy”, I took this time to reflect. It had been a while since I looked back at where this wonderful obsession started for me.

My journey begun in March 2012 when I decided to join a gym and started training with my friend and personal trainer Adam Scott. I’m a regular Jo. I’m a single working mom with a very stressful profession who had just found out two months previously that one of my best friends had been diagnosed with stage 3 Melanoma cancer, I was stressed out and needed an outlet besides drinking. What did I want to accomplish at the gym and out of working out Adam asked me. I hadn’t really thought about that but when I did put some thought into the question I knew I wanted to be a healthier, fitter and happier me. He suggested I make a goal for myself to measure my progress in a couple of months, he knew I wasn’t keen on running so he asked me if I had ever heard about obstacle course racing it’s running but with obstacles. It’s fun he said. That evening I went home and did my research. It was overwhelming but I chose the Toronto Spartan Sprint Race on June 24th, 5k+ and obstacles. It was the end of March, I had 3 months to train. I had no idea what I was in for.

All the way to Hardwood Hills Bike and Ski Resort in Barrie, ON the morning of the race I was a nervous wreck. At the starting line I felt sick. I’m an over analyzer and the more I focused on the unknown the more nervous I became. A moment of epiphany!! I realized I’ve had to overcome so many personal obstacles and my friend was going through the biggest obstacle in her life, in anyone’s life at the moment and she had no choice but to face it, I thought to myself I can do this and I did. I crossed the finish line with Adam by my side and earned my first Spartan Sprint finishers medal. It was love at first race. I was hooked.

Fast forward to 2013, I have now completed numerous OCR’s; Mud Hero, Tough Mudder, Urban Warrior, BADAss Dash, Warrior Dash, Run for Your Lives and several Spartan Races. I am now a member of the Trifecta Tribe, #203, and proudly completed a Triple Trifecta for the 2013 Spartan season. I completed my double trifecta at the Ottawa Spartan Beast just one week after completing my first Trifecta at the Toronto Spartan Beast. I recently completed the NJ Super and was one of the many who took part of the 2013 Spartan Race World Championships- Vermont Beast and crossed the finish line.

This year the goal for me was to complete every race without injury, without cramping and with a smile.

Obstacle course racing has become so much more to me than just an outlet to take out my stress. It’s so much more than crossing the finish line and getting a medal. I am now part of a beautiful and lovely community. I am part of the Canadian Mudd Queens, the Corn Fed Spartans and I’ve made some wonderful lifelong friends who share the same love of all things OCR.

I’ve learned so much about myself since starting this journey and I continue to take something away from every single race I run but most importantly I’ve learned that what I find the most satisfaction with is hearing someone tell me that I have inspired them and motivated them to get healthy.

So call me crazy, determined, obsessed, passionate, whatever the case, I love this feeling. And Adam was right, it is tons of fun.

I am honoured to be contributing to Mud and Adventure. Thank you for letting me share a bit about myself and my hope is that I can inspire at least one person through my adventures.

Now get out there and get dirty!!!

Johanna Lopez

Previous articleMud Run Insurance, Questions, Answers and Insight
Next articlePatrick’s Story – Profile
I am an average Jane that lives in Toronto, ON - Canada and an OCR enthusiast with a passion for all things mud, fitness and outdoors. I never considered myself an athlete but apparently that's what I am now as a member of Team P4ID, Canadian Mudd Queens and the proud runner to my buddy Charlie - IRUN4CHARLIE! I run for all those who can't and I hope to inspire at least one person to live life to the fullest with a healthy active and compassionate lifestyle through my adventures and accomplishments.


  1. I look forward to future articles… including one revealing what you are really up to when no one can find you at a race!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here