SGPT Interviews Spartan Race competitor Michael Connolly

SGPT Interviews Spartan Race competitor Michael Connolly

SGPT: Tell us about yourself?

MC: I am 34 years old, an actor, fitness enthusiast, and I guess you could say military enthusiast. I currently CrossFit and strength train. At 20 I made up my mind to become a SEAL, trained my ass off, aced the ASVAB, AP “Nuke” test, etc., secured a SEAL Challenge Contract (I believe it’s called SpecWar Contract now) and swore in to the Navy DEP (delayed entry program). Two months before I was to leave for basic I dislocated my left shoulder badly and jacked up my knee snowboarding.

Too much time had passed and I was rolled out of DEP. I decided (hopefully) going in to BUD/S with these kind of prior injuries was a bad idea and put the dream to rest, moved to LA a couple years later to pursue acting. Since I have gotten the ever plaguing bug to drop everything and join again, especially given my stellar rehab and current fitness levels. As recent as last year, but I think at 34 even an age waiver is a long lost dream at this point however… So I train as a SEAL would, strengthen and sharpen my body and mind, keep up with tactical training with SF buddies and do fun things like Spartan race!

SGPT: Did you have an athletic background growing up?

MC: I kept active for sure, but I never considered myself an athlete in my earlier years. Grew up skateboarding, surfing, and snowboarding. I swam competitively as a younger pup and just for shits & giggles played badminton my senior year of HS. Crushed it and lettered in it LOL.

SGPT: How did you train for the Spartan Race event?

MC: I was about a month into CrossFit and had a couple months of SGPT under my belt after coming off Stew Smith’s 12 Weeks to BUD/S program, so I was pretty fit at the time.

SGPT: Tell us a little about the event?

MC: I did the Spartan Sprint in Malibu, CA in December 2012. It was cold as fuck, pouring rain, muddy as all hell, slick, rocky… You name it! The first obstacle was crossing a freezing cold stream about 30-40 yards across if I had to guess. And I swam with a girl who couldn’t swim on my back so that made it even more worth it!

I love a good challenge, and helping others is awesome. There’s nothing like working in a team and troubleshooting obstacles successfully. I get a huge thrill from it. The whole course was just pure fun as far as I’m concerned. I’d do another in a heartbeat. I’m actually gearing up for Gladiator Run in a couple months. Should be a blast.

SGPT: What was hardest part of the event?

MC: I’d say the barbed wire crawl. Since it was raining and cold the sharp granite on wet skin was unrelenting. But you sack up and bust through it. Had some nice bloody knees and forearms!

SGPT: What is one thing you wish you would have done to get ready for the Spartan Race?

MC: Hmm. I’d say work even more on running hills and general leg conditioning. Other than that I felt really solid. Even stuck the spear throw center mass! No burpees for me this time…

SGPT: Any tips for up and coming athletes that want to do the Spartan Race?

MC: Yeah, condition your legs for varied terrain, keep up on full body strength and conditioning, and choose lightweight running shoes that will STAY ON YOUR FEET when they inevitably become 10lbs. heavier caked with mud. I saw too many barefoot people cross the finish line and lone shoes stuck deep in the mud along the way- I can’t imagine what the course did to those poor, unfortunate pads.

SGPT: Many thanks for the interview

MC: You got it brother

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