A couple that races together stays together and this couldn’t be truer for Helmy (46 years old) and June (39 years old) who embarked on their Spartan journey to celebrate their 15 year wedding anniversary after looking for something new to add a spark back into their marriage.
Helmy was a cross-country runner back in school but had not exercised regularly for years resulting in an unhealthy overweight BMI reading, while June suffered a hamstring injury which took almost a year to recover from. “The thought of me being unsexy to my wife and the image of growing older with a big fat belly, extreme obesity, and a bad health condition was enough to make me do something,” Helmy said.
Making a conscious decision to find something new to do together, they discovered Spartan Race by accident as June was looking for something to make her stronger for her yoga practice.
“When we both agreed to sign up for our very first OCR, we knew we needed to be very well prepared as it’s not a walk in the park event,” June confirmed.
They soon discovered the training was no walk in a park, struggling to get through the first community session they attended. But they came back the next week after being encouraged by the trainers and challenged by the workouts. Overtime, the OCR training taught them personal endurance, upper body strength, good balance, and most importantly mental fortitude. Now they both attend multiple sessions a week and have even picked up running together.
Knowing how tough Spartan Race is as a beginner, the most memorable moment for them both was running side by side overcoming the obstacles together in their first race in Singapore, likening it to the challenges that they both had in their marriage journey.
Helmy credits June with being the biggest contributor to his transformation, from exercise down to the healthier eating approach they have both embraced. Even though the scales only show a 7lb loss, his BMI is now back in the healthy range having built muscle from all the training, and fitter now than he has ever been.
June attributes the amazing OCR community as helping her be successful. “Everyone comes from different backgrounds and shows such great passion and commitment. They have been supportive throughout our journey and we grew to be a fitness family and eventually great friends,” she says.
Both try and do a few HIIT training sessions a week, some yoga and run when they can. With more races now planned for the remainder of the year, they will increase their training closer to those dates, including traveling overseas to participate in the Spartan Beast in Sparta, Greece.
The best part of racing together? According to June, it’s the fact that they get to wear matching outfits!
Photo Credit: Spartan Race and Couple
I am a Reebok sponsored athlete, and one of Asia's top Obstacle Course racers, an avid runner, personal trainer and an Asian CrossFit champion in my age group.
Latest posts by Natalie Dau (see all)
- Finding Your True Self Through OCR - September 4, 2017
- How Obstacle Course Racing Can Transform a Marriage - August 18, 2017
- Malaysia Spartan Sprint – Kicking off the Racing Year in Asia - March 20, 2017