1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Dean Stevens 32 from Ellsworth, Ohio. Husband/Father, work at our local steel mill, volunteer firefighter/emt and a 2x Tough Mudder. Currently fundraising for my cousin Brandy Rosine who was lured by two of her so called friends last spring, brutally beaten and buried alive. Info can be found at www.brandyrosine.com
2. What Mud runs have you done?
2 Tough Mudders, 4/14/12 and 4/27/13.
3. What one was your favorite and why?
The most recent Tough Mudder would be my favorite because I was able to get awareness for my cousin Brandy out to thousands of people after Sean Corvelle (emcee of Tough Mudder) told her story before every wave started including mine where a lot of my family was present to share in the moment for Brandy. It was a very emotional run for me but I had a lot of support on site and from friends/family on social media who were supporting Brandy and my quest to honor her.
4. What one was your least favorite and why?
Don’t have a least favorite. Both were a great experience and a lifestyle change for me, as well as learning curves to better myself as an athlete and a person.
5. What is it about mud runs that appeals to you?
Running on pavement to me is boring, monotonous, and at times a chore. Tough Mudders keep my body/mind guessing and are a blast. Not to mention the caliber of people I’ve had the privilege to meet from these Mudders is incredible. I used to have a lot of disgust for the human race. But the courage, determination, selflessness and overall people I’ve witnessed at these events have changed my outlook on things in life.
6. How do you train for mud runs?
This past run I hit the weights hard and completely changed my diet. I added 30lbs of muscle which I struggle with while running. I usually do my own Tough Mudder obstacle style designed HIIT routine 1-2 days a week, heavy weights 4-5 days a week, and running on trails 2-3 days a week for 5-6 months before the event.
7. Do you have a special diet?
I’m a picky eater so my diet consists of a lot of carbs, meat and plenty of it. I cut out ALL fast foods, fried foods, and junk foods. I’m currently taking dietary supplements to aid where I’m nutritionally deficient and also trying to incorporate whole foods and more fruits/veggies.
8. What is the craziest thing you have seen at a mud run?
Craziest thing I’ve seen at 2 Tough Mudders by far is the caliber of people participating with all types of shapes, sizes and some missing limbs. The mental grit and selflessness of these people is nothing short of inspiring to me.
9. What other mud runs do you have planned for this year?
I plan to run a Tough Mudder again in August this year, and a few next year. Someday I plan to run with my son when he is old enough.
10. Any advice for someone who is thinking about running their first mud run?
Advice to a newcomer to Tough Mudder and mud runs in general is to fully embrace what it is and why we do it. We each have a story, some of the things we’ve overcome in life, and some are running for someone who can’t. Know your limitations, bit don’t be afraid to push those limits. There will be times when you will question yourself and your abilities, we all rise and fall, but quitting is a pain that lasts forever.