Rose Wetzel-Sinnett: Hard-Core, Costume-Wearing Obstacle Course Racer

Rose Wetzel-Sinnett was a standout middle-distance runner in college who has found her groove as a personal trainer and obstacle course racer. Photo: Courtesy of Spartan Race

This former collegiate track runner has become a force on the obstacle racing circuit.

It’s hard to miss Rose Wetzel-Sinnett in an obstacle course race, whether that’s because of her performance—she’d won seven of the 11 Spartan races she’d entered as of July 1—or what she’s wearing. The 32-year-old Seattle resident enjoys wearing costumes at times, whether that’s rainbow tutus or various superheroes—including Wonder Woman. She’s been a member of the Spartan Race Pro Team since March and is considered a contender for the Spartan World Championships in September. As a runner, she had a solid college career at Georgetown University and owns fast PRs in the 800-meter run (2:07.87), mile (4:42) and 5K (16:14).

How did you get into obstacle racing?

I’m a runner who is also passionate about strength training. In fact, my career is based around it—I own my own personal training business called RoseRunner Sports & Fitness.

I played soccer in grade school and part of high school before focusing on track and cross country. A couple of 3A state championship titles in the 800 meters landed me an athletic scholarship to Georgetown. About a year ago, a buddy convinced me to enter the elite division of the Spartan Race Sprint Championships. I didn’t know it was the Spartan Race Sprint Championship and I didn’t know who Amelia [Boone] was, so I found myself leading for the first mile or so until I came upon an obstacle that I had no clue how to do and Amelia whizzed right past me as the volunteer was explaining it to me. I ended up fourth. I’ve learned a lot since then and podiumed at every one since then.

RELATED: Spartan Race’s Challenging Obstacles

How often do you race?

I race about every three weeks or so.

Are you a professional?

I have my training business. I’ve yet to make money in OCR. Finances have been tight. I usually break even after taking into account the days of work I miss when I travel to a race.

How do you balance a demanding racing season with your training? Tell us about your three-phase training regimen.

Phase 1: Endurance/mileage base for running and general strength training base. January-April: “C” races, which are races that I trained through and focused on performance goals rather than outcome goals.

Phase 2: Speed phase for running and a greater emphasis on strength and power development from strength training. I also start to work on obstacle technique a bit. My tempo and interval workouts are faster now.

This phase goes from May-July and it’s where my “B” races fall. I’m starting to taper a little for these races but mainly training through them.

Phase 3: Stamina. I’ll work on intense strength training into long mountain runs, and I’ll taper for all of my races. I hope to peak at the world championships in September.

RELATED: Obstacle Course Racing Goes Big Time

What does your training schedule look like?

It changes a bit with each phase, but right now [as of July 1] it looks something like this: I run six or seven days a week. Three are hard and three are easy. I’ll take one day off if I need it, or I’ll do a medium-hard run. My long run is 10 miles, but now I go by time, since I’ve been running up Tiger Mountain near my house to prepare for steep hills in Spartan courses. I do strength training three or four times a week. I’ll do obstacle-specific work after my hard runs.

Why do you wear costumes in some races? [Note: she usually does not wear them to more serious races such as the world championships or later in the season.]

Well, I’ve worn dozens of costumes over the years. Sometimes I wore costumes to remind myself to stay relaxed and that I wasn’t super fit yet in the early months of my training, so I needed to keep my competitive side in check to avoid burnout. Other times I pick them to make a statement or because they are empowering. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to elicit a smile from lots of people, especially kids, so I guess if that’s a form of attention, then yes, I enjoy the attention in that I feel wearing a costume brings joy to the world.

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