1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Jesse Drelick. I am 31 years old. I live in Coatesville, PA, and I am originally from Philadelphia. I am an elementary physical education teacher and a high school varsity head basketball coach. I love both of my jobs, because it allows me to teach others how to be active, life a healthy lifestyle, and teach my students and players the necessary life skills needed to be a successful and healthy individual as they grow up.
I have a very busy schedule, but when I am not working, I am a full time Mud Runner, who is either training or running at an event, Spring through Fall. I was hooked after my first one and haven’t looked back. Since the first second across the finish line of my first OCR/Mud run, I focused myself into getting into the best shape I could, dropped 50 pounds, and try to do my very best each time out. Recently though, I have come to realize the positive impact the sport can have on others.
This past Tough Mudder in Ohio, I challenged myself and ran the course carrying a tire in honor of my sister Alicia. Alicia is a Special Ed teacher, who was brutally assaulted by a student and is currently in between many necessary surgeries to save her eye sight. I have dedicated this whole race season to her, because I want her to know that someone is out there doing something in her honor, as her long road to recovery begins.
Although I only made it close to Mile 6 of the TM course that day, before catching a nasty case of hypothermia and was taken off the course, I am proud of my efforts for my sister. And there will be more challenges along the way to honor Alicia.
Other than that, you can find me on Facebook. And I am a big advocate for “F*ck Cancer” and look to spread the word on the good that they are trying to do for others.
2. What Mud runs have you done?
My current focus is Tough Mudders and Spartan Races this season. I have done Tough Mudders, Spartan Race, Philly MS Mud Runs, Philly Down and Dirty Mud Runs, and Rock Solid Mud Runs and a number of road races (with distances ranging from 5k to a marathon).
3. What one was your favorite and why?
My favorite one, hands down, was this past TM in Ohio. I ran with a great purpose, for my sister, which makes running an event much more fulfilling than running for yourself. I challenged myself physically and mentally to run the course with the tire. I was encouraged and motivated by so many awesome Mudders, and I met some great people along the way. Being taken out of the race before Mile 6 because of hypothermia was the least of my concerns on that day. I ran with a higher purpose, gave it my all, and had a great experience!
4. What one was your least favorite and why?
Philly Down and Dirty 10k Mud Run. It was nothing about the race, it was all about myself. Injured my ankle at Mile 2 on an obstacle, got back into it but ran poorly and fought off painful side stitches, and major pain in my toes. It was a struggle just to finish. Then after I take my shoe off, I see that two of my toenails had fallen off during the run. I had better days
5. What is it about mud runs that appeals to you?
Everything! The running, the obstacles, the competition (whether against yourself or others), and just the physical and mental challenge of it all. More importantly, it’s about the touching stories you hear from others and the great people you meet along the way!
6. How do you train for mud runs?
My training has improved greatly since I first started. Last season, my training mindset was to lift and run, run, run. I performed well early on but, only to find myself fighting off injuries and mentally burnt out throughout the season. Now, I have incorporated a number of different training and recovery methods, and have seen vast improvements in all aspects of my performance. Being only 5’5 and (at race weight) 122 lbs, I have a lot of disadvantages when it comes to others, which is why my training is very important. A typical training week goes as follows.
Monday through Friday: in the mornings- Strength Training, which consists of body weight Tabata and High Intensity Interval Training, TRX training, or a bunch of backyard training with tires, training bags, ropes, sledgehammer etc… At lunch- Speed workout or lower body plyometrics workouts. Mid afternoon/night- cross train, which consists of swimming, cycling, rock climbing, and heavy bag workouts. Saturday- Long run with some speed intervals. Sunday (depending on how the legs feel)- hill workout, a ruck on some trails, or a long swim. For Recovery throughout the week- stretching, foam rolling and yoga. I have learned to listen to my body and mind. If I feel like my body is not ready or the mindset is lacking, I’ve learned to scale it back or shut it down. But most importantly, I have fun with my training, with the different stuff I do and the people I do it with. If you’re not having fun challenging yourself, then staying motivated and looking forward to the next type of workout isn’t going to be easy as you get ready for the next one.
7. Do you have a special diet?
Once I focused on the diet, things fell into place and came naturally. No more takeout, pizza and beer. Like I said, I dropped 50 pounds and training and performance has never been more effective. I have done much research and I have stolen bits and pieces of different types of diets that work for me, personally, in order for me to perform my best. My diet routine may not be ideal for others but it works for me. My daily diet consists of slight grazing on Fruits, veggies, a small amount of protein throughout the day and a good amount of water. And at night, eat a big meal consisting of high lean protein (chicken/fish/turkey) low carb, and a good amount of veggies. I stay away from sugar and red meat. Side note, I like to have a small bag of Reese’s Pieces the night before a race.
8. What is the craziest thing you have seen at a mud run?
I don’t want to say crazy, but I want to talk about my best moments at a mud run… I have two. One of my best moments is getting ready for a run at the starting line at a Tough Mudder and then seeing my friend Sean Corvelle grab the microphone to say his starting line speech. The second I see him grab that mic, I know that he is going to fill my heart with inspiration and have me ready to run through a wall before we go off. Secondly, anytime I see or experience it first hand, the camaraderie and encouragement of people helping others during a run, I grow a bit prouder that I am a part of this. I have been inspired by so many others since I’ve been involved in this!
9. What other mud runs do you have planned for this year?
My plan is to do all of the Tough Mudders and Spartan races, April through October, that are within an 8 hour driving distance to where I live. I just hope the body keeps up with the mind. I only wish I had the money to really travel around the country and the time during the winter sport season to continue through the winter.
10. Any advice for someone who is thinking about running their first mud run?
First, the best advice I got from a friend the day before a marathon: “talk to people along the way”… Each person in that race or challenge is going through exactly what you are, and each person has a story and purpose for doing it. Hear theirs and share yours. Secondly, run with a purpose bigger than yourself. Find a purpose to run for, whether personal or a particular cause. It will make the experience all that more fulfilling.
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