Mud Titan's Featured Athlete - Tyler Markley

In a partnership with MudTitan I have the opportunity to speak and interview athletes around the Florida area.  For the next few months I will be featuring some of Mud Titan’s finest athletes.  These are people who run mud runs and Obstacle Course Races (OCR’s) locally who come from so many different backgrounds and upbringings.  I want to know and meet them all.  Want to know a face at a race?  Check out the individuals I will be showcasing!  Everyone has their own story and personal journey which I hope to help share in order to inspire others to join the OCR movement!  This sport is for everyone, young, old, tall, short, big, small, first timers, old timers, larger than life individuals, quiet personalities…no matter who you are or what you represent the world of OCR allows you to shine and beat your personal goals.

My first featured Athlete is Tyler Markley from Clearwater, Florida.  Here is his interview:

(KDub - AKA Muddy Warrior Chick)  First thing is first, tell us your name, how old you are, where you are from, what do you do when you’re not racing and a little bit about yourself?

(TM - Tyler Markley)  My name is Tyler, I am 26 I was born and raised in Clearwater, Florida.  What I do is I’m a stage technician for a band, and during times I am not racing, I am generally taking care of my two little boys.

(KDub) Fantastic, how old are they?

(TM) They are 3 and 1.

(KDub) Holy smokes, that’s exciting!

(TM) Their names are Connor and Cole.

(KDub) Give me a brief background as to why fitness is important to you and particularly why do you enjoy obstacle racing?

(TM)  I was an athlete growing up and I got away from it for some time.  Now, being in my late 20’s and being a father, I want to be a good role model for my children.  Getting back into fitness is important to me to show the kids just to be healthy and appreciate life, your body, and all the good stuff.  For me, obstacle racing just started as a fitness goal, something to just keep me motivated.  When I raced my first race was Savage in October of 2015 it took a hold of me.  It was a little of everything I enjoyed, it had the competitiveness the running, the obstacles, and I knew it was for me.

(KDub)  That was actually my next question for you; what was your first obstacle race and you said Savage.  What was it specifically about that race you liked and made you come back and register for a second race and continue with the sport?

(TM)  Well I realized I was good at it!  I had gotten into fitness in February of 2015 but I didn’t have a specific training goal.  I had lost 20 pounds in the first few months of getting back into the gym and I started seeing a physical change but I found myself lacking the motivation to stay with it.  I saw an ad on Facebook which was promoting the Savage race and said to myself “hell yeah, I will do that”.  Signing up for it will give me a goal and a specific purpose.  I didn’t know what to expect so I signed up for the elite/competitive wave not knowing where or how I was going to place.  Out of 388 competitors I placed 26th in my first race ever.  Right then and there I knew it was something I had a niche for.

(KDub) Wow, absolutely!  What type of training routine do you use to prepare for races like that?

(TM)  I do modified HIIT circuits, high intensity training, I’m in the gym, I lift a lot.  I try to mix it up and I enjoy calisthenics in fact I have a peg board in my back yard that I practice on.  I also enjoy running, climbing the stair stepper, and I switch it up periodically.  I don’t like getting stuck in the same routine so generally it varies day to day.  I actually just got myself some Jerry cans and I‘m going to start using and incorporating into my workouts.  I don’t do as much obstacle course training as you would think but more strength training than anything.  I don’t discriminate on any type of workout!

(KDub)  Now, with all of those workouts and the racing, what would you say is the one piece of clothing, equipment, shoes or good luck charm is essential for you to wear and/or bring to any type of obstacle course race?

(TM)  I would say less is better.  There is no specific item, but I did just recently get my first pair of OCR dedicated shoes.  I love them for the trails and mud, they haven’t been too great on man-made obstacles so I’m kind of on the fence about the footwear.  Less is definitely better, I run in short spandex, and I don’t like being bogged down by water or mud so I’m pretty much the bare essentials.

(KDub) Do you have any advice for new comers to this sport who are thinking about running a race and registering for their first OCR?

(TM) Yeah, just get out there and sign up.  I’ve got some buddies who I’ve been trying to get signed up for a race who I know will love it.  The hardest part is getting over the fear or insecurity they have about not being able to do it.  Just register and show up, that’s what it took me to do it, and I’m so glad I did.

(KDub)  What has been your biggest personal, and fitness related achievement?  Have you podiumed, did you complete an obstacle course with doing all the obstacles?  Inside or outside of OCR Racing?

(TM)  Outside of racing I would say overcoming a lot of adversity and a lot of tough times which I had personally.  I’ve struggled in the past with addiction and depression.  Overcoming those adversities and becoming a successful person and a good father is something I pride myself on.  Inside of racing my biggest accomplishment was racing in the Battlefrog Race this year.  I am new to OCR and was told that Battlefrog is one of the premier races to run.  I completed the Elite division with my wristband still intact and was 15th overall.  I was thrilled with this accomplishment being my first season in.

(KDub) Who is your biggest role model or inspiration?

(TM) I would say my big brother.  I have never been one to idolize or worship a big celebrity or sports team.  My brother is someone who I look up to and has inspired me to get back into fitness.  He helps me keep my head on the right track. 

(KDub)  Has your big brother done any OCR’s with you?

(TM)  He has done his first one!  He is a firefighter in the Ft. Lauderdale area and he got me motivated back into fitness and I got him motivated into OCRs.  He did his first one two weeks ago called the Armageddon Ambush and he placed 26th overall and was thrilled!

(KDub)  Will we see you at the next MudTitan 6 in Plant City on August 27?

(TM)  Yes, absolutely and most definitely.  I will be in the competitive wave and look forward to it!

Tyler has overcame so much adversity throughout his life and has had many choices to make.  In a world where bad decisions are at every turn Tyler has found light in his children’s eyes.  He is brand new to this sport and is exceeding all of his goals at a rapid pace.  If you see Tyler out and about at a race give him a high five!  This man will be going places, and I am looking forward to see where he ends up!

Follow Tylers journey on Instagram @muscleup_knuckledown

Don't forget to register for your next MudTitan Race here:


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