In June of 2013, local racer Jacob Bosecker changed his life when he decided to sign up for a Spartan race in Laurel because it seemed a great way to spend an early morning.
The 30-year-old Cummins employee had no idea that he’d signed up for a competitive race that involved overcoming obstacles, an endurance challenge that is very much like cross-country running. It typically takes place on ski slopes like Perfect North and involves maneuvering around obstacles in the course like carrying 50-pound sandbags or jumping over fire pits.
Like many of the 3 million obstacle course racers in 2013, Bosecker instantly fell in love with this new sport, developing an immediate passion for the competition.
“It awakened something in me because I’d been looking for a competitive outlet,” he said. “I was stunned when I saw it was a really competitive race. I hadn’t trained for this race at all. But, I figured I’d better start running.”
Story continues below gallery
Bosecker finished in the top 150 of a field of 7,000, and he’s kept racing toward his goal of being an elite competitor.
“I was shocked that I’d finished that well without any training,” Bosecker said. “I knew I could get really good at this with proper training. I did a lot of work with body weights and a lot of jump squats and burpees.”
Bosecker trained so relentlessly that he recentered his life around his passion, and he has been successful. The Columbus resident will compete in his third National Championship for Spartan Racing Nov. 1 and 2 at Lake Tahoe. He qualified for the race by finishing in the top 10 of Spartan Indiana this summer. He will possibly be competing in the Spartan UltraBeast, a 26-mile test of willpower and endurance.
Readers can follow Bosecker’s progress by viewing the BROCR podcasts that he and his best friend and training partner, Bill Brumbach, host on Facebook. It provides viewers with race recaps, interviews with race participants and obstacle tutorials.
Bosecker desperately wants to improve upon his experience from last year’s nationals when he almost aborted the race due to hypothermia at the race’s 10-mile mark, about halfway through the event.
“I remember it was 29 degrees at the start,” Bosecker said. ”My heart rate was about 180 because I’d just done a barbed wire crawl. Then I dove into the water and underneath a dunk wall. It took two seconds to do it, but my heart rate plummeted, and I went into shock because of the cold water and the wind blowing from the other side of the mountain.”
When he came out of the water, Bosecker struggled to complete a rope climb because he was shaking severely. Both Bosecker and his girlfriend Jessica (now his wife) wondered if he was going to finish the race after he finished the rope climb. Feeling faint, Bosecker reclined atop a rock to sun himself so he could warm up quickly.
Brumbach had started racing 30 minutes after Bosecker and didn’t expect to pass him on the course.
“I remember Jacob looked like he was a lizard taking a nap,” Brumbach said. “Looking back on it, it seems funny to us. But, at the time it shocked me because he’d started way before I did. I told him that if he could go on, he should.”
Over the last half of the race, Bosecker’s heart rate began to stabilize, and his pace began to pick up as he finished the race. He willingly recounts this story to everyone because it’s motivation for him this year.
“I have no doubt that I will do great in Tahoe this year,” Bosecker said. “I’ve been training for the cold by running after taking cold showers. I want to thank the people of Columbus for being so supportive of my career.”
Name: Jacob Bosecker
High school: South Knox
Occupation: Design engineer for Cummins
Family: Wife Jessica
Did you know: Bosecker was a pole vaulter at South Knox and Vincennes University. His sister Kendra also pole vaulted at South Knox and VU and is now the pole vault coach at Columbus East and also works at Cummins.