When she picks her kicks for OCR, Spartan Pro Alyssa Hawley doesn’t mess around. Frankly, with her intense racing schedule, she doesn’t have time for that.
“I’m looking for the lugs and how they’re able to grip all sorts of terrain,” says Hawley. “Plus, how well they shed mud and water, and how snugly they fit my feet — I can’t have any sloshing around in a shoe out on the trails.” That’s why she’s training to destroy the Spartan Sprint in Portland, OR on August 7th wearing the NEW Spartan X Craft OCR Speed Shoe. (Because after putting her pair through hell, it’s a no-brainer… But more on that in a second.)
We took the same technology that made the RD Pro the toughest, most efficient racer on the market and built a like-minded, super-responsive, ultra-lightweight (but equally aggressive!) trail shoe to combat the world’s toughest obstacles. Enter: the OCR Speed Shoe — the next generation in traction control, durability, flexibility, and support for Spartans, who are dead set on tearing up trails and obstacles over challenging terrain. No. Matter. What.
Here’s why Hawley is stoked about racing the Portland Sprint in the OCR Speed Shoe. Plus, her insanely brutal race-prep workout to get stronger and faster for a 5K, 20-obstacle race ASAP.
Why The Sprint: Hawley on the 5K Sweet Spot
Like a champ, Hawley battled her way to the top of Spartan’s ranks via sheer grit, determination, and unfailing spirit, and she’s not going anywhere. Known as the athlete who isn’t afraid of hard work, she embraces it — especially when it comes to her signature distance, the Spartan Sprint.
The Sprint distance is special to Hawley because it was her first-ever OCR event in the elite division. “I wasn’t really known for being a runner, but I was known for my speed and strength, which you really get to showcase on a Sprint course as compared to a longer race,” says Hawley. Shorter courses demand maximum effort while on the clock, unlike longer courses, which require a slower enduro-burn. So Hawley stays fresh by mixing Sprints into her nonstop racing regimen (which also includes 10K, 25-obstacle Supers and 21K, 30-obstacle Beasts). “It's fun to be able to have different types of race approaches and a more obstacle-dense course to keep the race constantly changing and keeping you on your toes.”
Why The OCR Speed Shoe: Q&A With Hawley
Hawley has been slaying sloshy singletrack and hucking obstacles in her OCR Speed Shoe ever since she snagged a pair earlier this summer. Not only is she giving them hell in her Pacific Northwest backyard to prepare for Portland (kinda like Spartan founder and CEO Joe De Sena did with the RD Pros), but she’s also amping up her performance as a direct result. (More on that below.)
Spartan Race: How has the OCR Speed Shoe revolutionized your training?
Alyssa Hawley: I enjoyed the durability of the RD Pros, and the OCR Speed Shoes only up the game in that department. The Speed Shoes also feel lighter and a lot more comfortable, but ready to take on the same traction as the RD Pros.
SR: What do you love most about the Speed Shoe and how are they holding up as you put them through hell?
AH: What I love most about the shoe is how secure I feel in them. They fit my foot just snuggly enough and provide the heel support I need to transition over uneven terrain, and the lugs make me confident over any obstacles that pop up.
SR: What are you most looking forward to about racing in the OCR Speed Shoes on the Portland course?
AH: The Portland course is typically pretty muddy and fast, so I am really looking forward to how the shoes respond in the mud and water while I am going top gear.
SR: How has the OCR Speed Shoe up-leveled your performance so far?
AH: The OCR Speed Shoe has leveled up my performance by giving me a quicker turnover in my runs on the trails, and more confidence going into muddy obstacles.
Hawley’s Ultimate Sprint-Prep Workout to Crush It on Race Day
TIME: 45 min
- Hard-Hill Run x 3 mins up (jog back down to recover)
- Bucket Carry x 1 min up and back down
- 20 Burpees