RaceMill 10 Q’s W/ Aimee Spector, Ocean Athlete

The South Bay's own Energizer Bunny and passionate Ocean of Hope fundraiser

RaceMill 10 Q’s W/ Aimee Spector, Ocean Athlete

As we get closer to the legendary Catalina Classic Paddleboard Race and the upcoming outrigger canoe team channel crossings, our featured RaceMill Athlete is Aimee Spector, paddleboarder, outrigger paddler, runner, surfer, and passionate fundraiser for the Ocean of Hope.  Aimee is the human version of the Energizer Bunny; fortunately, she slowed down long enough to answer some questions.  

A quick note about the Ocean of Hope - The Ocean of Hope Team consists of paddlers and ocean enthusiasts who dedicate their training and racing to raising awareness and funds for the Sarcoma Alliance.  Since 1999, O2H has raised almost $800,000 and they are still going strong!  For more information, visit the website http://sarcomaalliance.org/ocean-of-hope/

Here’s Aimee . . .

Hometown: Redondo Beach

Age: 41

Sponsors: Gu Energy Gels, Core Power, Kona Red, LifeFactory, Zinka, Bark Paddleboards, Patagonia

Social: Facebook: Ocean of Hope

Athlete that inspires you?

Every time I compete I meet someone that inspires me to race better, stronger and harder next time. It might be the person I beat, or the person that beat me; sometimes it's the person who won the whole race or the person who is coming in dead last but is finishing the race anyway. The type of athlete that inspires me the most is humble, encouraging, respectful, talented, and determined. I've met a lot of those kind of people along the way, and I am very grateful for that.

How many years have you been competing?

I was a runner and surfer in high school but only occasionally competed; I started outrigger canoe paddling in 1998 and that was all she wrote! It's a huge passion of mine and something that both fuels and feeds my passion for competition and the love of the ocean. I also dabble in paddleboarding, long distance running, triathlons and SUP. In truth, I love the training as much as the racing in any endurance sport.

What fuels your competitiveness?

I want to see how far I can push my body. You only get one life and I want to do as much as I can in this one. And I want to do it for someone else besides myself, which is why I'm part of Ocean of Hope- I dedicate all of my training and racing to the sea of people affected by cancer. It reminds me to stay humble yet determined every day.

Weekend trip... where to? what do you bring? Your car, your gear. Itemize it!

My paddleboard, OC-1 and paddle, my running shoes, some Gu, some Recoverite, some yogurt and peanut butter for breakfast, salsa and chips for lunch, sunglasses, a hat, sunscreen and water. Drive or take the boat, whatever, let's just go!

Lone wolf or training companion? why?

I like training by myself AND with a partner... Most of the time my schedule- work, family, life- forces me to get creative and train when I can, which means it's usually solo. But I think training with a partner makes you race faster and train smarter, so I prefer it.

Pinnacle racing moment so far?

In paddleboarding, it was definitely doing Molo2Oahu this year. After having raced Molo in an outrigger canoe multiple times, I never I thought I would enjoy being in that channel on a paddleboard, but I can honestly say it was incredible! Can't wait to do it again.  In an outrigger canoe, it was doing the Ola Mau Race last year, paddling 100 miles in 3 days on the Big Island with my outrigger teammates from Lanakila. The scariest, most challenging, most awe-inspiring race I have ever done. Can't wait to do that one again either!

What are you training for now?

The Classic... then the US Outrigger Paddling Championships, The Pailolo Challenge and Na Wahine O Ke Kai (both canoe races in Hawaii).... and when the paddling season is over, I am training for running 13 half marathons in 13 weeks to raise money for The Ocean of Hope. Then paddling season starts all over again…

Do you have a dream race you want to create?

We are working on having an Ocean of Hope race circuit, four or five races throughout the year in different venues that support O2H.

Training Tracks: Favorite songs to train/race to?

I have a go at a little disco, a little hip hop, a little indie rock, and a little bubble gum pop to round out the music selection. It keeps me guessing...

Here's a nice little playlist from DJ Greg Wilson - race on! @djgregwilson

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