Waking up every morning to train for a 5k, Half Marathon or Obstacle Course Race is no easy task. For Pete, or Blind Pete as many call him, it’s a little more difficult but he doesn’t let that stop him.
With a little help from his guide, Joey, and his devotion to inspire others, Pete trains day after day. Together, Pete and Joey have ran 43 Obstacle Course Races (OCR) and 20+ road and trail races last year and just this April, Pete completed his 100th obstacle course race.
In preparation for their next big race, the AJC Peachtree Road Race, Mizuno sat down with Team Blind Pete to hear more about their story.
How did you two first meet?
P: After my first Warrior Dash in 2015, I started solo and discovered that it wasn’t working. I knew I needed help. We both belonged to a group called Georgia Obstacle Racers and Mud Runners. I started looking for a guide and Joey signed up. Then, we started getting to know each other. What took me 4 hours by myself, now takes me 2 hours with Joey. After the World’s Toughest Mudder in 2016, I knew we had to do more.
J: Pete had never run a regular Tough Mudder before. His first was the World’s Toughest Mudder which is a 24-hour endurance race. Since then, we have done the Spartan Adobe which is a 60-hour endurance race and Bone Frog. In each race, Pete competes again able-bodied people. At Bone Frog, Pete finished second overall and qualified to go to National’s in England.
Pete, how did you learn to trust Joey as your guide?
P: About 3 weeks after our first race at Savage Race Georgia, Joey got me to a wall and we hadn’t figured out the terminology about obstacles. He told me it was 10 feet tall and I didn’t believe it. So, I reached up thinking it was 5 feet tall and smacked my head. It was a ladder wall! After that, I got up and over it. Since then, we have figured out how to describe the obstacles.
How do you work together when you are on the course?
J: I have to describe everything I am seeing and how it is best to navigate through everything. We use words like toe high, ankle high and knee high to describe where something like a step or rope are. We still screw up but we work together. The Spartan Race has the same obstacles each time so we have gotten to the point where I can describe what obstacle we are running up to. He knows this from doing it over and over again and can remember where his hands and feet have to be. Duck and dip are some of our code words and goose is how I tell Pete when to stand up!
What is your favorite type of race to do?
J: I love the constant pounding on the pavement of a full marathon. There’s always a goal in sight.
P: On shorter races I can’t get the second wind fast enough so I love to do endurance races. I feel like I perform better and get better results.
What is the number one thing you always pack before one of your 24 hour endurance races?
P: Hydration pack with mustard, salt and water!
While running together, how do you continue to push each other?
P: Knowing that we are always going to finish. I will not let Joey carry me over the finish line. Giving up is not an option and that is the motivation to finish it. We also talk things out while running and I forget how long we have been running. Usually the more I run my mouth, the faster I go.
J: This man sitting next to me is one of the main motivations for not giving up. He is out there proving he can do things that people aren’t doing.
When you are training for a race do you go and run the route beforehand?
P: Most of the time we have never run the route beforehand. I don’t like surprises and don’t do well with change but as far as a race goes, I just go with it. Some obstacles are placed in the same places or different but I learn to adapt to that. 80% of the obstacles I have never seen before. I could see objects when I first started racing but not much and not at all anymore. I am literally going into this blind and we have to work together to talk through what obstacle is next.
J: Before each race, I read over the course map and obstacles. Pete remembers them in order so he always knows what is coming next. Most of the time, we are clueless and that is the challenge for the two of us.
What is your training schedule like?
P: Joey and I get together once a week. Our big thing is running but we also do upper body workouts. In addition, I take my service dog out many times of day. It’s more about the mental preparation. I do get nervous! I have to work more from repetition, memory and will power.
J: This year has been dubbed the year of endurance. We do a flat treadmill run for so many minutes and then run uphill. We also like to train on the Silver Comet Trail.
What is your favorite memory from working together?
J: Pete is truly an inspiration as well as an amazing athlete and man! I’m just so honored and humbled to be his friend first and foremost but also to be his trainer and guide. We have had some awe inspiring encounters with people along the way who stop us on and off the course sharing how we have inspired them to get out and at least move.
For example, we met a woman at a race who had been in a life-altering accident. She started going downhill but, after meeting Pete she decided to keep fighting. Since then, we have become friends with her and her husband. This June, they are planning on renewing their vows and he asked Pete to be his best man!
What empowers you to continue running every day?
P: I am actually doing something. I am one person that is a part of something much bigger than me. I am trying to show that it can be done. I have never had a shortage of guides and in the case that Joey can’t guide me, I can always ask another friend. There are no other limits.
J: Being able to give my time with the talents I have acquired over the years. In short, to inspire others. I always think about the statement from the Legacy Award we received, “Define your legacy”. However, I think of it like a question. How do I want people to remember me? That is someone who gave 100% his entire life and helped others. We also want people to know that no matter what obstacles life throws your way; you can overcome them. We hope to continue to get our story out there and inspire others to get off the couch.
What are you guys most looking forward to about the AJC Peachtree Road Race?
P: I want to finish the 10k under 60 minutes!
J: I am going to do everything I can to meet Pete’s goal. So many of our friends will be there too. It has become a tradition for us.
Joey Mcglamory, Founder of Longevity Fitness
Joey has over 28 years’ experience in the health, fitness and therapeutic massage industry educating and instructing clients on how best to achieve their individual health and fitness goals efficiently and safely, making sure their results are lasting. Founder, owner, and operator of Longevity Fitness, in business since 1994 offering a variety of programs specially designed to promote long-term health and well-being.
Pete Cossaboon, Blind Pete
Pete is an adaptive athlete competing in OCR’s, trail runs and virtual races totaling 117 events since 2016. He loves falling from great heights. Team Blind Pete’s mission statement is, “It’s not the life you choose that defines you, it’s the life you live. No excuses!”.
Published: May 2018