That Beard Guy grew up a farm boy in the Midlands of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and matriculated from Weston Agricultural College near Mooi River.
After school he discovered the shiny lights of the big city and became involved in the club scene, djing as he moved around South Africa, basing himself in Cape Town and Johannesburg.
After being hijacked at gunpoint and a few months later getting mugged, he was in need of a change in his life and set off for the USA.
In 2012 he was introduced to his first obstacle race, the infamous Tough Mudder... and he was hooked. Returning to South Africa for the summer, he discovered the Warrior Race and Impi Challenge, and slowly began getting back into shape.
2013 arrived and before he knew it, he was on his way back to the USA and wasn't even back there for a week, when after a wild birthday bash, he was pulled over and arrested for a DUI resulting in near deportation.
In an instant his life changed. Fortunately, he was given a second chance by getting to stay in the USA and he grabbed it with both hands.
2013Only way is up!
"Words couldn't describe how disappointed with myself I was." Then and there He decided to commit to a healthy lifestyle. He had heard about this grueling 24 hour obstacle race called the Worlds Toughest Mudder and without hesitation signed up, got Himself a personal trainer and went absolutely crazy, running some serious mileage, training everyday and working hard physically at the nursery he was working at. In 2 months He dropped from 25% body fat to 7%.
It took a long time but eventually That Beard Guy saw the silver lining to the DUI. Although a tough lesson to have learned, it really turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
The Worlds Toughest Mudder in New Jersey came around and That Beard Guy pushed himself to his extremes, running 60 miles, completing 276 of the most insane obstacles known to man and placing 83rd out of 900 contenders. By that stage, he had caught the bug and wanted more, finally knowing what he wanted to do;
Run obstacle trail races as he traveled the world, helping others reach their health and fitness goals.
2013-2014The start of the beard..
It was for a girl that in October 2013 he put a razor to his face for the last time, not too long after that she kicked him to the curb and as that saying goes:
"A man who shaves his beard for a woman...deserves neither!"
It was back to South Africa for the summer and with the new year, beckoned the Warrior Race and Impi Challenge.
Taking some time to reflect on the previous year, he forgave himself for the DUI, stopped punishing and beating himself up and realized that he had made many mistakes with his training. He soon worked out a new program and got his nutrition right!
Back to the USA, and even though he still trained hard, he didn't punish himself if he couldn't make a session. He adopted the 80/20 rule for his life; as long as he was dedicated, focused and on point 80% of the time, he would allow himself 20% to be normal.
2014The Tough Mudder
His training became fun again and didn't feel like work and he quickly began seeing improvements in his results. Competing in a few more Tough Mudders, his main focus became the 2014 Worlds Toughest Mudder in Las Vegas which eventually arrived and with it came a whole new set of challenges.
That Beard Guy completed 60 miles again, about 300 obstacles and took 44th out of 1200 contenders, pushing his body and mind through pain barriers, mental blocks and Hypothermia.
"I wouldn't change a thing, well maybe having been able to run more miles!"
2015Success in the making
2015 and his beard was big and the racing season got under way. He competed in the first Impi Challenge that was held in Namibia finishing up in 3rd. The Warrior Race was gaining momentum; getting bigger, better and more challenging.
With more experience and some advise from a running coach, That Beard Guy is getting stronger and faster, and is now consistently finishing among the top elite athletes in all events he competes in. He qualified to compete in the O.C.R World Champs in the USA in October and managed to finish in 38th place.
At Worlds Toughest Mudder he managed to get 65 miles done and move up 3 places completing the 24Hours in 41st place out of about 1200 contenders.
Now with a little time to recover and rest before the new year and new race season started up again That Beard Guy discovered Crossfit and it was love at first WOD!
"There is nothing quite like pushing yourself through a workout with a group of people, only to end up laying in a puddle of your own sweat, sucking for air and hoping for death together then showing up again the next day to do it all over again...seems perfect for my kind of crazy!"
2016Lifes constantly changing
First Warrior Race of the year and That Beard Guy had a shot at a top 3 finish, but a rushed attempt at 'Breaking Point' ended up with slipping off towards the end, only to get caught up there and finally getting through for a 14th place finish.
From here on out it was a struggle for That Beard Guy in the SA OCR scene, even racing his last Warrior Race in May with a slipped disc in his lower back before coming over to the USA.
On a spectacular fall day in October That Beard Guy tied the know with his amazing Wife.
November 12th arrived and with it Worlds Toughest Mudder. This was the first time That Beard Guy had a support crew, His Mom and Wife. They helped keep him on track for his fourth attempt to reach his goal of 80 miles, but with the weather being 10 degrees warmer than previous years That Beard Guy struggled with over heating and at one point even 75 miles seemed out of reach as he struggled through.
As daylight broke there was a sudden realization that 75 miles was in fact doable and That Beard Guy shifted gears, running his fastest lap on the second to last one and finally getting his silver bib and placing 40th out of 1300 contendors
2017One obstacle at a time