Get to know Robert Killian

What is your biggest obstacle outside of OCR?

I would say the most challenging aspect is trying to manage time spent doing military tasks and obligations and trying to balance family life while training and traveling. I was committed wholeheartedly to working full time in the National Guard but haven’t been able to get hired for the very few positions that only come available once or twice a year. Since then, it’s been a blessing to get involved with OCR since it’s something I love doing and I can still support my family.

What is your proudest moment?

My proudest moment was holding my son up after winning the Spartan World Championships. Having my family there at the finish to share that moment with me meant the world. It’s something that I know looking back on later in life and watching it on TV he’ll think was cool.

What is your biggest accomplishment?

Graduating from the US Army Special Forces Course to become a Green Beret.

What is your next fitness goal?

To win the World’s Toughest Mudder (I would say win Best Ranger, but hopefully by the time this is published, I would have already accomplished that!) Editor Note: He accomplished this by winning the 2016 Best Ranger Competition with his partner, Army Staff Sgt. Erich Friedlein.

What is your favorite meal?

Oxtail with white rice, twice baked macaroni and cheese, and asparagus.

What gives you fuel pre- and post-workout?

For pre-workout, it varies. I range from just water mixed with 100 percent cherry/cranberry juice to just Tailwind® nutrition to CarboPro® mixed with Gatorade® or CeraSport® to Boku® nutrition super food powder. For recovery, I mix Ascent Protein powder with 2% milk, water, and Fairlife® chocolate milk (in addition to a normal diet).

What is your favorite indulgence?

Talenti® toasted almond gelato.

What drives your competitive nature?

The feeling of self-gratification after pushing the limits of my body.

What’s the biggest difference between you and your competition?

I would say on any given day the competition is so close at a Spartan Elite race that any one of us could win. What makes me different is that ability to push myself a little harder on game day because I really want the win. The will to want something more than the other guy can outweigh the fact that they may be stronger, faster, or more experienced.

Describe the moment when you realized that this could become your career or sole focus?

The first time I was approached about sponsorship that would actually allow me to support my family while training for and competing in OCR, it was a bit surreal. I’ve worked so hard over the years to try and be a professional athlete, and after all the effort put into Ironman triathlons, I thought my time was over. It’s been a dream come true and will drive me to work harder than I ever have in the past to show my appreciation for everyone who supported me and made this a reality.

What do you do for fun when you aren’t working out or preparing for a race?

During the winter, I love to snowboard. I hang out around the house with the kids a lot and sit in the hot tub. I enjoy doing a bit of yard work here and there. I work on my car and take the motorcycle up to the mountains on nice days. I also enjoy going on vacation to surf and scuba dive.

These adventures have taken you all over the world. What is your favorite place? Why?

My favorite place is Colorado, but Hawaii is a very close second. I love the mountains, the views, the athletic community, the people, and the crisp, cool air.

Do you listen to music when you work out? What would be the top five songs on your playlist?

Yes, all the time, probably too much! I’ll actually have to give you 10 … Either music or French lessons since it’s a bit of a second language as a requirement to be a Special Forces Green Beret. My top 10 right now are:

  • G-Eazy – “Me, Myself and I”
  • James Bay – “Let It Go”
  • Yppah – “Never Mess with Sunday”
  • Adele – “Hello”
  • X Ambassadors – “Love Songs Drug Songs”
  • Twenty One Pilots – “Stressed Out”
  • AlunaGeorge – “You Know You Like It”
  • Major Lazer – “Lean On”
  • Gemini – “Blue”
  • Calvin Harris – “Blame”

If they made a movie about your life who would play you?

Jason Statham.

If you weren’t an Ascent Athlete, what would you be doing?

I would probably be looking for a full-time job somewhere to support my family and have to try and maintain training during the off hours. I’m extremely grateful to be able to train during normal work hours so I can spend time with my family in the evenings.

What do you think is the future of OCR?

Spartan racing is currently the fastest-growing sport in the world, and I think it will continue to grow until they make it an Olympic sport. The movement has already been made to have US and European National Championship events prior to Worlds. This growth will continue in other countries and hopefully be adopted into the Olympics.