Home » Altitude OCR World Championships » Altitude Ambassadors

Veterans In Extreme World Record Breaking Sports

Jason Wood

ALTITUDE OCR Ambassador for Veterans worldwide. Inspiring, Encouraging and Empowering all Veterans to achieve incredible goals in extreme altitude sports

Jason was born and currently lives in Newport News, Virginia and is a single dad to a seven-year-old daughter, a decorated United States Army Combat Veteran, and an endurance athlete. Growing up he played several sports through high school and went on to receive an American football and a Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarship to attend the University of the Cumberlands.

After graduation in 2004, Jason was commissioned as an officer in the United States Army. A decorated officer during his seven years of active duty, Jason completed three combat tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. His awards and decorations include two Bronze Star Medals, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Combat Action Badge, and the Parachutist Badge (Airborne). He was also inducted into the Military Order of Saint Christopher and was named the 2009 Transportation Corps Regimental Officer of the Year. In 2011, Jason completed his service in the Army and began working as a Department of Defence contractor, while continuing his education. In 2013, he completed a master’s degree in Disaster Relief Logistics.

Jason has experienced several successes, but he’s also had his share of challenges. Many of these challenges came after leaving the military and being diagnosed with depression, anxiety, and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He took on his first obstacle race in 2017 as a way to break out of a persistent mental and physical funk. He says, “One day, I found myself staring in the mirror, weighed down mentally and emotionally and 40 pounds overweight. I made the decision right then and there to fight back.” Within a month, Jason was on a Spartan course battling obstacles that represented much of what he felt he was facing in life. From that point, he found that signing up for endurance challenges gave him very specific goals to plan for and the confidence he was building in his physical and mental fitness was translating into every area of his life. Jason says, “I want to be the best I can be in every part of my life. I want to show everyone, specifically Veterans, who feel lost, misunderstood, or have their confidence shaken, that there’s always a way forward. The OCR and Veteran communities have been there for me and I want to give back as much as I can.”

Kristina Madsen

Female Ambasador for ALTITUDE OCR in promoting girls and women in extreme altitude sport worldwide. To inspire, empower and encourage safety, opportunity and capability.

I’m a professional trail runner from Denmark and when I got the chance to participate in the first edition of WHOCR on Mt Kilimanjaro I couldn’t resist. Even though I’m not an obstacle course racer, it sounded like a unique adventure and a tough physical and mental challenge. I was happy to see that many women had taken up the extreme challenge to first climb the Highest freestanding mountain in the World, then do an obstacle course in the crater – brilliant! A large number of the female participants also took on the challenge to participate in the ALTITUDE OCR World Championships and do a fast run down the mountain.

My vision for women and girls in extreme altitude sports is that we can do anything we put our mind to. Don’t ever think there’s nothing you can’t do because you are a woman or a girl – you just have to put in the hard work to reach your goal. Us women always need to remember to believe in ourselves and to give an example that anything is possible. I have the world record for the fastest ascent of Kilimanjaro and I live in a country with no mountains!

I would like for all women to enable to reach their potential in extreme altitude sport and I believe that sport in general transforms lives, but extreme altitude sports also build us to reach even higher. When you can climb Kilimanjaro and do an obstacle course in the crater to then run down from the crater rim to the park gate, there is then no limit to what you can do.

We need to stop the gender stereotype and institutional bias that are holding girls and women back in sport in general and therefore also in extreme altitude sports. One of the exciting things to see in the World’s Highest Obstacle Course Race on Mt. Kilimanjaro was the diversity of women – I raced with women from all over the world: Iraq, South Africa, India, Philippines, Europe, USA etc and they all confirmed me to believe even harder in my vision for women and girls in extreme altitude sports.