From left to right: Peter, Joey (Pete’s Trainer), Michelle, Desiree, and her service pup Roxie
Hey Warrior Nation, last week we chatted with Peter Cossaboon, also know as Blind Pete. Pete is visually impaired and has become completely blind over time. That being said, he has conquered the obstacles life has thrown at him in true Warrior fashion, and competes in OCR events regularly!
His journey started at Warrior Dash in 2012, and this past weekend he completed his 100th (you read that right, 100th!) OCR event at Warrior Dash Georgia. Congratulations Peter! Learn a little more about his incredible journey, here’s what he had to say…
*The following was adapted from a phone interview:
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I was born in Northeast Philadelphia. I graduated from high school in New Jersey. At the age of 24, I moved to Georgia and I have been there ever since. I was born visually impaired. It was inevitable for me to lose my sight, and it gradually diminished. In 2005, I lost sight in my right eye abruptly. I had partial sight in my left eye until 2015.
How did you first get involved in participating in OCR events?
In 2011, I met someone at a friend’s barbeque who had just come from a Warrior Dash. He could not stop talking about his great experience. I showed interest, but he doubted I could do it due to my sight. My friends at the party knew I would do it — shortly after my 40TH Birthday, May 20, 2012, I participated in my first Warrior Dash. It was the only race I have attempted solo. I started it by myself and finished with quite a few people helping me.
What keeps you coming back and back again? 100 times is a lot! In other words, what motivates you the most?
For me, it was something new and exciting. I am always up for a challenge. It was originally just Warrior Dash, and then I started signing up for other races. In 2014, I was introduced to the whole world of OCR. Warrior Dash is the race I always go back to, I started with it and it’s very important to me.
What is your favorite thing about Warrior Dash?
My favorite thing about Warrior Dash is that it’s a fun race for everybody. I have met so many people through Warrior Dash. If you have never done an obstacle or trail run, Warrior Dash is one of the best races to start with. You can get in there and make the attempt, “a toe in the water,” race. I love that it is an obstacle race; I think just plain running is too boring!
Any tips for the newcomers just starting OCR events?
Absolutely. Take it slow. Have fun with it. Learn if it’s something that you want to get into and then you can be more competitive in the future. Learn from your mistakes. A mistake is not bad, just something to learn from. You should race at a level you are comfortable with and gradually improve over time.
What do you think about young kids starting to get involved in OCR events?
I think it is one if the best things out there, especially considering a lot of school systems are reducing the level of physical activity during the day. OCR is a playground for both kids and adults! This is my 100th OCR race this weekend. It will be race #165 for my overall races. I have come a long way since my first Warrior Dash. I qualified for the North American OCR Championship this year and OCR World Championship as well. All of this goes back to my first Warrior Dash. I am trying to tell people it can be done. You don’t know until you make that attempt. You simply can’t just look at something and say no.
Inspired by Pete’s story? Check out his Facebook page and follow him throughout his journey of OCR events!