Red Rush athletes and AIM Wholesale Members Sue Phillips-Leclerc (shown on right) and Taylor Witkiewicz are a mother-daughter obstacle course racing team from the Northeast. Fitness has always been an integral part of their family. Sue began weight training around the time Taylor was born, and the two of them have hiked the Adirondack Mountains for years and years. Taylor grew up active in youth and high school sports. Before she left for college, the duo did weight training together in the mornings before school.
In the summer of 2011, on a kick to find adventure, they signed up for the Spartan Beast, a 12-plus-mile race through a series of challenging obstacles in Killington, VT. Think mud pits, barbed-wire crawls, fire-pit leaps and wall climbs. Anything can happen during these kinds of races. But according to Sue the usual damages “are cuts from barbed wire, face-plants in the mud, not stooping low enough under logs and banging our heads, getting shocked, jumping on fire instead of over and clutching onto Taylor for dear life every time there’s a water obstacle!”
During a race, they offer each other inspiration although they don’t run side by side the entire time. If one gets ahead, it motivates the other to kick their game up a notch. That’s not to say they aren’t competitive with each other, but they save that energy for training. Although Taylor is now in college, she keeps up with Sue’s regimen and often adds to it.
Sue says it’s absolutely amazing to compete in races with her daughter. “I love that we can share these crazy adventures together. Taylor has such an incredible work ethic. She realizes that you get what you put in. She’s placed top in her age group at almost every race, obtained a perfect 4.0 in the Honors Program at University of New Hampshire for the past two years all while working at the gym, (where else?) tutoring others in business courses and training for OCR’s (obstacle course races)!”
And Taylor couldn’t be happier to follow in her mother’s footsteps. “My mom is such a huge role model to me! I have really fallen in love with weightlifting as well as obstacle course racing and doing these activities by her side makes them even better! I’m so thankful that my mom introduced me to these sports that have become such an enjoyable and exciting part of my life. I love all the crazy experiences we have been able to share together and can’t wait to see what’s next for our Momma-Daughter Duo. Besides, how could I not want to follow in such awesome footsteps?!”
Both mother and daughter enjoy Red Rush before their races. “We’ve been taking Red Rush prior to any endurance session. We’ve found that it really helps eliminate that lag you feel when you are first starting a run or workout session. It increases blood flow and definitely helps get you going much faster and more efficiently. We really like the fact that its stimulant-free, so no crash.”