Earlier this year I had the opportunity to embark on a Team Challenge Event named The Green Beret Challenge. My husband and I were divided into two separate teams in which one was all male and of course, mine, all female. That weekend adventure was the first time I met this weeks featured Mud Titan Athlete, Anthony Gorbas. From that weekend on he became like a little brother to me. His excitement to help other people reach their goals is intoxicating and his personality will have you laughing hysterically. Not only does he motivate everyone in any room, or race which he comes across, but he has an unforgettable personality which is definitely shown in his interview.
(KDub - AKA Muddy Warrior Chick) – Thank you Anthony for taking the time to talk to me today! Before we get started tell me your age, where you are from, and what do you do when you are not racing on the weekends?
(AG – Anthony Gorbas) – I am ‘um, 45 and originally from Australia and England. I was actually made in Australia and born in England… Just kidding. I am really only 25 and born and raised in Orlando, Florida. When I’m not racing on weekends I’m either at my job, in the corporate office of a retail pharmacy, or I am hosting work outs with my team (Iron ANT Fitness) twice a week.
(KDub) – Tell me a little bit about your background and how you came to realize fitness needs to be an important part of your life.
(AG) – I played soccer throughout high school and sadly got an injury my junior year. This injury pulled me out of the fitness game for a while. Shortly after I healed I had a friend take me to Warrior Dash and I fell in love with the running and fitness aspect of the Obstacle Course Race. The comradery, the people, the whole atmosphere is what got me into doing something fitness related again. After the soccer injury I felt defeated and thought I was done, I couldn’t do anything, so I quit. I just fell in love with this sport. I was a black belt too when I was 12 or 14 and I’ve always been involved with fitness I just never had anything I enjoyed more than Obstacle Course Races.
(KDub) – So you said your first race was Warrior Dash. How long ago was that?
(KDub) – What got you hooked after that race?
(AG) – Well, it was my first race and I ran it three times in the bitter cold. My buddy was done after two laps and was shaking on the ground from being so cold. I did it three times because it was something I had never done before, I had never heard of it, and I am a runner and I like to run. The obstacles, the people, and the ability to play on things being an adult. I did not meet one person who wasn’t having fun that day. That day brought back my memories of being a kid, being in a competition, being into fitness, and meeting all these new people was so much fun. I just loved it and thought awe, I must do another one. I would have gone for a fourth lap if the time didn’t run out! It got to a point where I was having so much fun I didn’t care that I was freezing or tired, I just wanted to have fun.
KDub) – Is there any specific training regimen you do to prepare for obstacle course races or trail runs?
(AG) – It all depends on what event I’m going to. There is a FLRoc 1/2 marathon coming up and for that I do short runs about 6-7 miles during the week, and then I do one big run over 13 miles on the weekend. I try to run at Wekiva Springs, which is close by, and allows me to run two laps on the trails totaling 26 miles. I have been doing that since I started simply because I love Wekiva Springs. For OCRs I really don’t train anything differently. When I do my workouts I just try to have fun. I don’t try to win the races, or get first place, I’m here to just run, stay healthy and enjoy myself. I do all the basic stuff, pull ups, and grip strength exercise, I just try and change it up every day. The only one I have a specific training for is my longer runs because I don’t want to walk the whole race.
(KDub) – Is there an essential piece of equipment, clothing, or good luck charm you bring to a race with you?
(AG) – Yes, my shoes. I always have to be wearing shoes.
(At this point there was a long pause in my interview because I personally know Anthony never wears shoes while racing. He is a barefoot runner. I was waiting for him to explain where he may put the shoes since they aren’t on his feet.)
(KDub) – But, aren’t you a barefoot runner.
(AG) – I know. It was a joke. (Laughing) No, I really don’t have anything I have to bring. I just show up and go.
(KDub) – What are your favorite foods that you indulge in after running a race?
(AG) – Honestly anything I can get my hands on. I don’t eat before a race and it’s rare that I eat during a race. I know that’s bad for you but it’s just the way my stomach works. Right after a race I’m typically not starving so it won’t be until I get home and shower before I actually eat something.
(KDub) – What’s been your biggest accomplishment to date in which you can look back and say “wow, I did that?”
(AG) – I would have to say it would be the FL Roc Trail Run I did last year in 2015. It was a ½ marathon and was the furthest race I had ever run barefoot. It was such a rough trail for someone to run without shoes. But, I never walked, and I just continued to run. I ended up finishing third in my age group! It was brutal. My next goal is to run a full marathon trail run barefoot.
(KDub) – Do you have any suggestions for people who are thinking about running an obstacle course race for their first time?
(AG) – Yes, I mean, I was just talking to a co-worker about this earlier. Just go do it. Don’t worry about if you’re not fit enough, or embarrassed. It doesn’t matter if your 400 lbs. or can’t run. It’s about getting out there and doing something. Don’t stress about the obstacles. This sport is for those of us who just want to have fun. The people I say this to who actually go out and do it have told me it’s changed their life. You become addicted because it’s challenging and fun. You will do one, and love it. That one will bring you to want to train harder for another. You are going to start eating healthier, getting training tips, getting better and it will all pile up into making yourself a better person. Before you know it you will be training to have fun instead of a constant competition. It’s an awesome feeling. You are not training for a sport, but you are training to have fun. You will want to get up and go to these races!
(KDub) – Lastly, will we be seeing you at Mud Titan 7 in Plant City, FL on April 8, 2017?
(AG) – Yes, I will for sure be there. Shoes and all.
(KDub) – What else should we know about Anthony?
(AG) – Just that I love seeing people succeed in their goals. If you see me at a race, say hello! I created a team called Iron ANT Fitness. We support each other in all of our fitness related goals so if you see someone wearing a jersey, high five them. We don’t care where you are from, how you’ve gotten to where you are in life, or your background. We promote positivity and support each other so come find us.
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