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Firefighter to Run in Life-Changing Race

Patrick Kinnier will run in the Spartan Death Race this June and hopes to inspire others to fitness through it.

Patrick Kinnier with daughter Spirit after competing the Spartan Beast in Killington, Vermont 2012. Photo Credit: Heather Kinnier
Patrick Kinnier with daughter Spirit after competing the Spartan Beast in Killington, Vermont 2012. Photo Credit: Heather Kinnier
Patrick Kinnier, an Anne Arundel County firefighter/paramedic stationed at Waugh Chapel Station 5 in Crofton, not only saves peoples’ lives, but will be competing in a race to change his own life next month.

“My husband’s idea of fun is most people’s idea of torture,” Heather Kinnier tells Patch.

“In addition to crawling into burning buildings and saving people from traumatic events, he loves to compete in obstacle races,” Heather said. “A day spent climbing up ropes from a pit of muddy water, crawling under barbed wire through mud, and carrying sandbags up mountains is a fantastic day for him.”

Kinnier ran his first Spartan race three years ago in Pennsylvania and was hooked.

“I love the physical challenge and the camaraderie you build with other racers,” Kinnier said.

“His 40th birthday just passed in January, and in order to purchase his gift I had to go to youmaydie.com,” Heather Kinnier said.

Kinnier is registered to run in the Spartan Death Race this June.

The race will take place in the mountainous terrain of Pittsfield, VT, beginning June 27. The concept of the race?

The Spartan Death Race website describes it as the “ultimate challenge.” They provide no support. They don’t tell you when it starts. They don’t tell you where it ends. They don’t tell you what it will entail. They want you to fail and encourage you to quit at any time.

Racers are to bring a hiking pack and all the food they will need for the duration of the race - roughly a three-day period. There is only a 10 percent success rate and Spartan Death Races have lasted over 70 hours. No two death races are ever alike.

“I’m certainly up for the challenge,” Kinnier said. “They’re not trying to kill you per se. What they’re trying to do is change your way of thinking, push you past your comfort zone to where you can change and grow and become a better person through the struggle that you go through during the race.”

Kinnier’s favorite part about his job is interacting with the public and being able to help someone out in their time of need, but he also hopes to inspire the people around him. Kinnier, who is a peer-fitness trainer at work, believes that running in the race will inspire others around him to fitness and a healthy lifestyle.

“If I can inspire someone to create healthy goals for themselves, that would be worth it for me,” Kinnier said.

Even without running the Death Race, Kinnier has already inspired 10-year-old daughter Spirit to follow in his footsteps. Spirit ran her own half-mile race when she was 7 and has even designed her own exercise program.

“He [Kinnier] brought a huge focus on exercise being fun,” Heather Kinnier said. “I think that’s so important for kids.”

Heather and Spirit Kinnier will be staying at a local inn that the management of the Spartan Death Race has partnered with. Family members of the contestants will receive updates about the race and be waiting at the finish line.

“I’m terrified, but I’m so proud of him,” Heather said.

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