We follow body builder and Spartan racer Hunter McIntyre on his journey to a classic Rocky Mountain bicycle race.
By Brandon Mathis
Hunter McIntyre has been on an interesting ride. With a body building background and a smash hit career in obstacle course racing, would he be able to reach his next goal of the renowned Iron Horse Bicycle Classic, a race of endurance and cardio-fitness up two mountain passes at 11,000 feet above sea level?
We spent some time with him before the race, talking about where he’s going and where he’s been.
From excelling at high school sports he was leaning toward a role as a personal trainer in southern California, where he eventually began modeling. Turning some adversity along the way to advantage and making some lifestyle changes, he set his sights on obstacle course racing: races with military inspired courses with wall climbs, rope swings, mud pits and more, all with a level of intensity that sends many other competitors to the sidelines.
Turns out the races were a good fit. Despite his muscular mass by comparison to the droves of smaller runner-cut and sinewy competitors, he was dominating the circuits.
Today, the reality TV personality, accomplished Spartan racer, FitAID athlete and cover model from publications all over the endurance world, McIntyre is re-sighting his pursuits. The famed Iron Horse Bicycle Classic is just one stop along the way during his new journey, what he calls “any challenge, anywhere.”
“I think everything you do, from an obstacle course race to going to the gym to going out for the Iron Horse bicycle race, its all part of the process,” he said. “I used to be a body builder kind of guy. Now I’m more of an enthusiast and thrill seeker of endurance.”
He called endurance sports a “you kind of process.”
“It’s something where you can depend on yourself and yourself only,” he said. “I can really build upon myself and improve myself.”
McIntyre, aka the Sheriff, still does things his own way. A few days before the Iron Horse, we found McIntyre and friend Tony Hermesman running hill climbs up a 300 foot steep slope in Durango, Colorado carrying a 30 pound log- not your typical training for a 50- mile bike ride.
“He’s got a great sense of encouragement,” Hermesman said. “It’s fun having someone that many steps ahead of you.”
After the race, McIntyre scratched the Iron Horse off his bucket list. He admitted his legs were sore from nearly 6,000 feet of climbing, but even so, while others were heading home and resting their legs, the next morning he stepped up to the starting line for the Narrow Gauge 10- mile foot race.
He came in 2nd place.
“For me, its a practice. Some people go to church. I go to the gym.”