Chances are that if you have had something delivered to you by UPS from the North West, Sara Knight touched it. Sara Knight is one of obstacle course racing’s up and coming elites out of the Pacific Northwest (PNW). By day, Sara works at UPS unloading semi-trucks, but she also works as a personal trainer and is the owner of Obstacle Elite (a permanent obstacle course in Washington). What I learned about Sara when I met with her is that she is a Determined, Versatile, and Easy Going athlete. What I also learned is that she is a loving wife and an incredible mother of 3 beautiful kids ages 11, 5, and 3.
One of the things that amazed me about Sara was how long she has been involved in OCR. “I first tried it out in 2014, did Warrior Dash with a bunch of friends,” Sara says with a smile and excitement. “That’s when I fell in love with it (OCR) and when I started training.” It wasn’t much longer before Sara moved from Lake Stevens, WA and purchased her house on 23-acres in Mount Vernon, WA which is also the home to her permanent obstacle course, Obstacle Elite.
I was curious what motivated Sara to move and open Obstacle Elite, and when I asked about it, I thought her answer showed just how determined she really is, “I was training for obstacle racing. I had fallen in love with it. I decided that a gym and going out and running wasn’t cutting it. I couldn’t climb a wall or rope or anything and there wasn’t anything in the area that had anything like that. So I was like, well… I’ll just have to create it.” And create it she did, and the new training regimen started to pay off.
In 2015, Sara had some outstanding accomplishments considering it was only the second year of her OCR career. She placed 1st at Warrior Dash Washington, 2nd at the Spartan Sun Peaks Beast, 16th at Spartan World Championship, 2nd at the Spartan Seattle Super, and an amazing 2nd place finish at World’s Toughest Mudder.
Even though Sara is new to OCR, she has always been a versatile athlete. “I enjoyed soccer, swim team, volleyball, softball, dive team, and track & field in high school. In college, I was a walk-on to the University of Washington crew team, and also was a snowboard and downhill mountain biking instructor.”
Today though, life is much different than in high school and college. Sara currently works 4 jobs, is a mom, a wife and an Elite athlete. When asked what a normal day looks like; Sara smiled and said, “I wake up at 2AM to get some weight training in. Then I head to UPS to load and unload heavy boxes. Next, I head home to get my kids breakfast and load them in the car as we drive around taking pictures of houses for my appraisal job. At nap-time I run or row. Then lunch, followed by kid sports. Then dinner and on Fridays, setting up signs around the local neighborhood for open houses. Finally, I get my kids to bed and I have another small workout session with body weight exercises or stretching. On the weekends I focus on obstacles, rock climbing, long distance trail runs, and my fourth job: training others at Obstacle Elite.”
Sara is also excited about her newest venture in OCR. She was recently selected as one of 6 Elite Obstacle Course Racers in the North West for an OCR team called Beasts ELITE that is sponsored by GHUnders. As a member of Beasts ELITE, she will be racing competitively at many of the largest races in the North West Region.
If anyone can learn something from Sara, it is that you need to maximize the hours you have in a day. We all start the day with 24 hours, but it is how we fill the time that makes the difference. With a strong determination to succeed and a willingness to be versatile in your training time, perhaps you too can become an easy going elite like Sara Knight.