His record is remarkable. Thirteen first place overall finishes. Two second place and one third place overall finish at Savage Race. Having placed in the top three overall in all 16 Savage Races he’s competed in, he’s the winningest Savage of all time.
His name is Yuri Force.
But it’s not his Savage Race record or his impressive athletic skills that stand out the most. It’s his character.
Yuri Force, supported by his wonderful wife Carly and his adorable 2-year-old Emory, has a heartfelt reason behind why he races.
Enjoy this Savage Story about Yuri’s background, athletic career, and family, brought to you by NuAquos Sports Drink.
In just 2 1/2 years of competitive obstacle course racing, Yuri has proven his ability as an OCR athlete. He grew up in rural Tennessee, running around in the hills and woods near his house. “Jumping over branches and swinging on vines was fun,” he remembers. “We didn’t have AC or heat, and we chopped our own wood. I worked and played a lot as a child.”
By middle school, he began playing organized sports. Cross country, track, wrestling, and soccer would lay the foundation for his athletic ability later on in life. He ran a 15:41 5k in high school, and just recently (at age 32) nearly matched that time with a 15:58 5k at the Peachtree City Classic in Georgia.
In some road races, Yuri pushes his daughter Emory in a stroller and just enjoys the event. In others, he’s trying to win. “I think I can beat my PR (personal record) now because I know so much more about how to train and how to run than I did in high school,” he says. “I train with tempo running, sprints, and hills, and I feel like I can continue to improve my running,”
Yuri runs about 7 hours a week and spends another 7 hours a week training for obstacles. And it was the obstacles at Savage Race that first caught his attention. “Seeing Colossus for the first time… I was just mesmerized,” he says. “It was awesome. Sawtooth really impressed me, too.”
As you saw in the video, Yuri can pretty easily “no-rope” Colossus, launching himself into the air and grabbing on to the top of the platform without assistance from the knotted ropes hanging down. But it’s Nutt Smasher that slows him down just a little bit. He takes his time on the balance beam obstacle, making sure he completes it successfully the first time through.
The Force family has turned traveling for races into mini-vacations. Yuri works overtime shifts to cover the costs of race entries, flights, hotels, and rental cars. When he wins, the prize money goes towards travel expenses, too. Yuri, Carly, and Emory will often stay in an area near a race for a couple days, seeing the sights and visiting with friends. “Traveling before a race doesn’t really effect my performance, but it’s finding healthy food that can be difficult on the road,” says Yuri. “Going to local grocery stores is the best option for me.”
Having traveled for 15 races in 2013, 20 in 2014, and an estimated 25-30 by the end of this year, you can see why Yuri is so successful. Obstacle course racing is a huge part of his life.
Inspired by his mom to run, and supported at all of his events by his wife and daughter, Yuri has found a way to turn a hobby and passion into something that he can share with his family. Yuri’s love for the sport and for sharing it with others is an inspiration to the Savage Race family, and we’re honored to tell the Savage Story of Yuri Force.
Will Yuri make this weekend SavagePRO first place overall finish number 14? We’ll find out at Florida Fall 2015 this Saturday. One thing’s for certain – he’s definitely a force to be reckoned with.