For Revere native Mike Green, no competitive race is complete without a good amount of pain and suffering.
But, as he says, that’s what he signed up for when he decided to participate in the sport of Ultimate Obstacle Course Racing.
Green, 26, has been accepted to run the Vermont Spartan Ultra Beach Marathon on Sept. 22nd – a race that goes more than 26 miles and includes 50 or more obstacles to deal with along the way. The race is capped at 1,000 people and is by invitation only. Green said he has been training for the race since last year when he ran the Spartan Half Marathon obstacle course – which helped him get noticed on the circuit.
“I never thought I’d do anything like this,” he said, noting that he is a serious mixed martial artist. “I don’t like running. I like fighting and grappling. I did one course though and kind of got addicted to it. They really put you through hell. They’ll give you electric shocks all through the race and they always lie about the length. They’ll say it’s 26 miles and then when you get to the 26th mile, they tell you it’s really 30 miles. It’s either you have it or you don’t have it. It’s amazing what you’re body can go through as long as your mind can handle it.”
Green – who now lives in Fitchburg and works as a senior systems specialist for a Waltham petroleum company – grew up in Revere and his mother, Rachel DeSantis, and sister, Valerie Green, still live here.
He attended the Whelan School and the Beachmont Middle School and graduated from Revere High School in 2005. After attending UMass-Lowell, Green graduated with a degree in information technology in 2011 and also received a Homeland Security Certification.
As a youngster, he said he often trained in the martial arts at Fred Volare’s studio in Malden. However, when he was 21 he began to get interested in mixed martial arts and trains at the Brazilian Martial Arts Center in Somerville under Marcella Siqueira. Now, though, since discovering the ultimate obstacle course races, he has put that training on hold.
Green said there is really no way to train specifically for the unique races, as the obstacles and conditions are so different from race to race. Common obstacles in the races include monkey bars, mud pits, firewalls and barbed wire fields. However, there are always wild cards such as one time when participants had to swim to the bottom of a dumpster filled with ice cold water and escape through a hatch at the bottom.
“It’s almost impossible to train specifically because you never know what obstacles they’ll give you,” he said. “It’s good to have upper body strength and good cardio. I do a lot of trail running in the Blue Hills in Quincy because you can count on having to run in high altitudes. You know you’re going to get wet. They love to get you cold and wet. You can be assured they’ll spray you with a hose, and make you crawl through pits of mud and whatever else they can think up to make you uncomfortable, but you never know for certain what will be there.”
He said he is aiming to complete the Ultra Beast Marathon in 10 hours.
After he completes the Sept. 22nd race, Green said he has accepted an invitation to the ‘Death Race.’ That competition begins on a Friday night and continues for three days. He said only about 7 percent of those who start the race actually finish.
“You have to be a little crazy to do this kind of thing,” he said with a laugh. “Just signing up for the Death Race, you can’t be all there. You can’t be all there to sign up for a race where they don’t give you food or water and they torture you for three days. That’s the challenge of it though.”
Revere native Michael Green is shown here coming out of a mud pit in a recent ultimate obstacle course race. The Revere High graduate – whose family still lives here – has found success on the circuit of grueling, gut-wrenching obstacle course marathons. He will compete on Sept. 22nd at the invitation-only Vermont Spartan Ultra Beast Marathon.