Q&A: Stacie Preston, an entrant in the Spartan Death Race obstacle course

A local nurse, Stacie Preston is currently completing the preliminaries for the June 15 Spartan Death Race in Pittsfield, Vt. The endurance race includes mud runs, obstacle and trail races, and physical and mental challenges.

Why?

My initial response is that I seek out and crave events and tasks that others say I would not be able to complete, to prove those people wrong. In this case I chose the Death Race, the hardest mentally and physically tough race the public can enter, without telling anyone about it, without seeing their reaction to this seemingly impossible task. My determination and pure willpower will finally prove that I can do anything when I desire it!

Who are you proving it to?

Me! I know I can do this race, although only about 10 percent of the people finish. I am not expecting to win but I am going to push myself to finish. I completed my first segment of the Spartan Race Trifecta last weekend. The Death Race recommends you try one of those first.

What’s the Trifecta about?

It’s when you complete their three distances in one calendar year: four, eight, and 12 miles, each filled with various obstacles. I completed the sprint last week and had a blast. The races are all about personal satisfaction to me.

What’s your workout/physical fitness background?

Growing up in West Knoxville I played all types of sports but fell in love with hockey, both roller and ice. I spent several years playing travel hockey with a women’s team from Cincinnati. I got married after school and took several years of fertility treatment and we were finally blessed with twins. They are now 5 and the love of my life. They keep me on my toes and I have learned to expect the unexpected.

Are you training more formally, too?

I also work out six days a week at Johnny Long’s Training Academy. They have been great in adapting the training for me to be more well-rounded.

What are you expecting from the Death Race?

Anything. They don’t tell you anything ahead of time. Since I don’t know what the next task is, it reminds me of being with my kids—you have to roll with the punches. The race’s first task is to get an article published about the race. If we don’t, there’s a penalty of swimming 12 miles the day before the race.

Would that be particularly difficult for you?

It would be doable, but I’m not sure I would have the energy and mental awareness that I would need for the next two or three days after that. One year they had to bring $50 in pennies. Throughout the race they had to determine whether to spend that money to purchase items to help them in the race.

What’s the toughest challenge for you that the race could include?

Making decisions while I am sleep deprived and exhausted.

For more info on the race, visit: youmaydie.com

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