Hard Corps Race Series? Challenge Accepted!!!
An interview with Becky Mintz
Thousands of people a year train and compete in all types of endurance events from the more casual color runs to more intense triathlons. Some participants gain motivation to sign up in order to lose weight for an upcoming event or holiday and others register for the pure enjoyment of being active and find it fun to participate. What has been your motivation to take on a fitness challenge?
Since Oceanside has amazing year-round weather, it is a common sight to see athletes running, biking and swimming. Oceanside alone hosts several major endurance events each year including the IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside, Race Across America (RAAM), Bike the Coast- Taste the Coast, O’side Turkey Trot and more! View complete schedule of Oceanside endurance events.
Oceanside proudly neighbors Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton and the patriotic atmosphere and support for our military is felt throughout the community. Fun Fact! Did you know that there are multiple endurance events held annually on base? AND civilians are invited to participate? … Many people are familiar with the Marine Corps Mud Run, but in addition to that, the Hard Corp Race Series (HCRS) has a variety of events that are made up of running, cycling, and water challenges that take the traditional fitness events to the next level.
We sat down with Becky Mintz, an athlete and HCRS participant, to ask her why she chooses to include the HCRS in her annual training schedule.
Let’s let the Q&A begin:
Who is Becky Mintz?
I am a graphic designer and stay at home mom, living in Irvine, CA. I have two children ages 15 and 13 and since I have a pretty flexible schedule, it provides me the opportunity to train for triathlons. This year I am participating in ten endurance events located throughout Central and Southern California.
What was the first HCRS event that you participated in and how many other HCRS events have you participated in over the years?
I was first introduced to the HCRS in 2006 when I participated in the Camp Pendleton Mud Run. I had recently joined a local boot camp to lose baby weight after my daughter was born and decided to run in the event as an annual fitness challenge with fellow boot camp members. Since then, I have continued to participate in the Mud Run with training partners, friends, and family. Overall, I have completed the Mud Run nine times, missing a year here and there.
To date, I haven’t had the opportunity to participate in any other HCRS events due to schedule conflicts, but I am looking forward to changing that this year and will be participating in the Semper Tri event.
What motivates you to continuously participate in the HCRS events? What makes them special?
Overall the HCRS events are a totally fun experience and a good bang for your buck. I like that the course changes slightly every year to keep it exciting for the participants. Another special quality to the HCRS events is that the organization supports the military. There a lot of military personnel along the course and they are really motivating and help out the athletes along the way.
During the Mud Run, they have it set up really nicely to allow spectator support. There are grand stands at the final mud pit to allow family and friends the opportunity to come out and support the athletes as they cross the finish line. That is a really nice touch.
Learn More: Oceanside Bike Trails
The next event you plan on participating in is the Semper Tri event. What are you most looking forward to about the event? Do you have any personal goals or challenges for this event?
Last year during the Mud Run, I noticed that the participants were receiving these cool medals that fit together like a puzzle. After further investigation, I learned that participants of the HCRS receive a traditional event medal for completion but that each of the events are assigned an emblem to represent that event. Each event is categorized as either a land, mud, or sea event and depending on the event, the medal will be an eagle (land), globe (mud), or anchor (sea) medallion. Once you collect all three pieces, they will interlock to create a replicate of an EGA emblem of the United States Marine Corps. When I saw this at the 2015 Mud Run, I told myself that I wanted that completed medallion. So as I was planning out my events this year, I made sure to include three of the HCRS events in the line up.
Did you know? The Eagle, Globe, and Anchor emblem (EGA) is the insignia of the United States Marine Corps. Following bootcamp, an official EGA pin is awarded to all new Marines.
“Each HCRS event is categorized as either a land, mud or sea event and depending on the event, the medal will be an eagle (land), globe (mud), or anchor (sea) medallion. Once you collect all three pieces, they will interlock to create a replicate of an EGA emblem of the United States Marine Corps.”
What are some of your favorite Oceanside attractions or places to train?
One of our favorite places to explore in Oceanside is the Harbor, just walking around the Harbor Village and grabbing something to eat while taking in the views.
During a recent training session, I biked with a friend from Irvine, CA to Oceanside, CA. It was such a beautiful ride, cruising along the shoreline and stopping several times along the way. After the ride, we took the train back to Orange County. It was a really memorable experience.
Any words of motivation or inspiration for those that are looking to take on a new endurance challenge?
Overall, the HCRS events are great and are perfect for new and seasoned athletes. The events are coordinated by enthusiastic race staff and receiving the support of the Marines is just incredible feeling. Don’t be intimidated to take on an endurance challenge, you would be surprised of what you can accomplish.
2017 Hard Corps Race Series Events:
- March 18: Hell Fire Fat Tire
- April 8: Heartbreak Ridge Run
- June 10 and 11: Marine Corps Mud Run
- September 23: Semper Tri, Devil Dog Duathlon, and No Beach Out of Reach Run
- June 9, August 4, and October 20: CG’s Cup Races
- November 6-11: Tun Tavern Ten Virtual Run
- TBD 2018: Tails and Trails 5K Dog Walk
Learn more about the Hard Corps Race Series on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.
Featured Image: Becky Mintz at the 2012 Marine Corps Mud Run on Camp Pendleton.
*Interview conducted in 2016.