Red Rush athletes Sue Phillips-Leclerc and Taylor Witkiewicz are a mother-daughter obstacle course racing team from the Northeast.
Red Rush: Has fitness always been a big part of your family’s tradition?
Sue Phillips-Leclerc: Yes, it has always been an integral part. I’ve been weight training since Taylor was born and she was always active in youth & high school sports. She started weight training with me when she was 15 and fell in love with the weights like me. We also live in the Adirondacks, so hiking has been one of our favorite activities for many years and miles.
RR: How and when did you get into obstacle course racing?
SPL: In the summer of 2011, we were looking for something adventurous! We saw an advertisement for Spartan Race and signed up for the very first SPARTAN BEAST in Killington, Vermont. We’ve been hooked ever since!
RR: As an OCR team, is there a strategy that you use to accomplish races together or is it more of an inspirational/motivational type thing?
SPL: We definitely motivate each other at every race! In the past, we’ve not stuck together on any race longer than 10 miles. For the shorter races, we don’t plan on sticking together but are usually within minutes of each other. I think this is very beneficial to us because it makes the one lagging behind step it up a notch.
RR: Which obstacles do you excel at and which ones are the toughest?
SPL: I’d say we are pretty equal in our ability to complete obstacles. However, Taylor has mastered the Tarzan Rope and I cannot complete that yet! Our hardest obstacle for both of us is the Spear Throw.
RR: What’s the wildest thing that’s ever happened during an obstacle course race?
SPL: Oh, you know, just the usual: 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, laughing hysterically because Killington, VT Beasts are NEVER ENDING and clutching onto Taylor for dear life every time there’s a water obstacle!
RR: How long have you each been physique competitors/bodybuilders?
SPL: I started competing in Figure Competitions in the spring of 2011. I earned my Figure Pro Card in the fall of 2011 with the IFPA. Taylor did her first Figure Competition when she was 16. We found that it was too difficult to train hard for OCR while training for Figure Competitions. So much more endurance training needs to be done and that doesn’t lend itself well to building muscle mass.
RR: What are your training regimens like?
SPL: We have been very consistent with our weight training for many years. Before Taylor left for college, we trained together every morning before school. We still do just separately now. Over breaks when Taylor is back home training gets turned up!
We’re both trying to increase our running abilities and are currently working with a running coach. We are placing more emphasis in this area to make improvements.
RR: Taylor, why did you decide to follow in your mother’s footsteps?
Taylor Witkiewicz: 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 Momma-Daughter Duo. Besides, How could I not want to follow in such awesome footsteps!?
RR: Sue, how does it make you feel to have your daughter by your side during these competitions?
SPL: ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!! 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 2 years all while working at the gym (where else?) tutoring others in business courses and training for OCR’s!
RR: Are you two competitive at all?
SPL: We are competitive. Not so much as to beat each other at a certain race but it shows during training. We always have to one-up each other. Taylor keeps close tabs on what I‘m doing for training while she’s at school and will not just replicate but also add to it.
RR: And how do you support each other?
SPL: We are each other’s biggest fans! We are stepping up our games this season and doing races to be more competitive (even against each other) rather than “just for fun.” It will be interesting to see who gets beat! Momma or Daughter??? Stay tuned….
RR: How has Red Rush improved your performances?
SPL: 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. This product also helps keep you going!
We really like the fact that its stimulant free, so no crash when the caffeine wears off and no other chemicals and garbage in your system. Reading the product label we feel very comfortable taking it. Research is showing that beets are the new SUPER FOOD! We are training hard and this is the perfect product for us to supplement with to help with peak performance.