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Game Changers 2014: Hunter McIntyre

Reebok’s Spartan warrior is leading a generation of new American athlete, gritty, tough-as-nails obstacle-course racers.

What started out as a dare from one of his buddies turned into a career for Hunter McIntyre. “I’ve never run a race that I’ve not finished in the top three—ever,” says the former model.

The cult-like obstacle races have become more than just fitness events; they’ve grown into a professional sport. And for serious racers like McIntyre the physical and mental demand are at a level unknown by most.  “I think it’s entirely mental," says McIntyre. "You can either go in there and do a lot of damage, or you can just crumble under the pressure." For that reason he works with a sports psychologist.

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Though he’s in a class all his own, obstacle course racing has permeated the masses. “You have athletes like myself, you have weekend warriors, you have big title sponsors coming in—so it’s a tidal wave and I don’t’ think it’s going to stop,” says McIntyre. He’s riding that wave to the top, and to be frank, he’s practically there already.

FIT FACT: In addition to his mental prep, McIntyre trains two to three times per day, six days a week. 

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