10 Minutes with Colin Zaid

Colin Zaid is an athlete and obstacle course racer. We chatted with him to find out about his journey and what keeps him motivated.

Tell us a little bit of your background?

Sports were always something I loved playing.

My parents were supportive of myself and my brother playing sports. Additionally, if we wanted to take them to the next level and compete. I competed in swimming for fourteen years from age 4, competed in athletics for four years from age 14, and played soccer for thirteen years from age 5. From there, the obsession for sports and fitness has blossomed and changed as I’ve gotten older. Now I’m a complete unapologetic gym fanatic! I still run, but now I concentrate on long-distance sprinting compared to little athletics back in the day, and of course, my obstacle course racing!

Colin Zaid lying on rocks

On Saturday afternoon you will find me?

Running and tanning at the same time haha! I’ll never miss an opportunity for a run in the sun.

How did you get into obstacle course racing?

Interestingly, it started from fear. Sadly my aunty drowned over fifteen years ago trying to save her children from a rip in the ocean. Ever since that tragedy, I cannot go out into open water. In addition, like many people over the years, I’ve become petrified of heights. I never want to have fears that hold me back in my life, so I slowly started doing activities to try and overcome my fears; for example, more time in the ocean without touching the bottom with my feet but not too far! Snorkelling, rock climbing, bouldering, and rope climbing are other examples of things that get me out of my comfort zone. One day I saw a friends photo from a Spartan competition, which had a bit of everything I was scared of and before I could second guess my decision, I bought a ticket and competed a few weeks later! The end goal is to go sky diving and scuba diving. These fears are a work in progress.

How do you keep motivated?

OCR and running events are frequently held all year round. I keep a calendar of my events and continually enter new events to keep me focused, so I have continuous goals. Because I have always had something to work towards, my determination and motivation are unwavering. Additionally, events test my strength and fitness that way I improve all year round.

Did you do any form of study to help you achieve where you are today?

I studied Medical Science majoring in Pharmacology and Medical Devices. Understanding anatomy has been helpful with my sport allowing me to identify injuries and knowing all about muscles and joints.

What do you eat on a regular day to help keep you in shape?

I’ll be honest I hate cooking and cleaning. I buy Macros Meals to help me eat clean and healthy. I’m hoping to find a boyfriend who can cook haha!

What advice would you give for someone starting out in obstacle course racing?

Blindly enter and do it! All racers felt nervous and unsure when they began racing, but time and time again, each person walks out addicted. The return rate is high. Have no expectations for yourself and have fun! Give it a go!

What is something we don't know about you?

When people see me on Instagram wearing scrubs they get confused about what I do for work. The truth is I work in medical devices as a sales representative for one of the biggest companies in the world, so we pitch new technology to surgeons, teach them how to use it, and support them during live operations every single day.

What social issues are closest to your heart?
                                                                                                                           Equality for all! I’m really into any movement involving the equal treatment of all cultures, sexualities, and genders. We are moving in the right direction. Segregation is old and boring. It’s about time we were all equal. In this day and age, although people are less vocal about inequality in a public format, these inequalities still exist in the dark. I’ve experienced them in the workplace countless times, in the shadows and dealt with them in a secretive manner. We all have. I hope the next generation stays the way they are and treats everyone the same.

What is your favourite thing about Tribe Australia?

Putting aside all the amazing designs and options, which are so different from all the other brands (sneaky two favourite things there haha!), it’s hands down the quality. I’ve worked with many swimwear brands, and they deteriorate very quickly or don’t have the luxurious “feel” to them. Tribe’s products feel and look expensive but are so affordable too!

Number one thing you do before a competition?

Time-Out. I take 5-10 minutes before entering the race start area to focus on my breathing and to bring my stress levels down. Little nervous competition jitters. Also, I have a mental discussion with myself about what I am aiming for, sometimes I aim for podium finishes, other times to have fun. For example, when I am injured, I tell myself that taking my time is okay!

What motivates you to keep going?

My records. Some call it a dangerous mind, some call it smart. I compete purely with myself. I continuously want to outdo my previous personal bests. Medals matter too, but self-improvement is what I compete for when I race.

Plans for 2021/2022?

A gold medal for my age category!

I have taken away one silver and two bronze awards and a 4th placing in the last year and a half. Unfortunately, COVID has limited the events I can compete in recently. So, I am gunning for a 1st place finish in 2021! I also want to get back into sprinting again. I am currently researching spikes as we speak to get out there!