El Monte Native to Participate in 2014 Death Race Challenge
March 20, 2014 • 2,017 views
Steven Olavarria a 44 years old, native of El Monte will participating in 2014 Death Race Challenge. I was born and raised in El Monte, attended and graduated from Mountain View High School.
I’m the father of four beautiful daughters that I refer to as S.T.a.J. 4 **(Acronym for Sarah, Tatiana, Amanda, Julia. “4” represents my four daughters and the Marine Division I was attached to).
Both parents were raised in El Monte and attended El Monte and Arroyo High Schools, I am a 5th generation resident of the San Gabriel Valley.
I always enjoyed a challenge and working very hard for what I wanted, as I previously served in the United States Marine Corps and in law enforcement as a police officer.
My very first mud run was in March, 2012. After that, I was hooked on mud runs and working out. I researched all mud runs in Southern California and discovered an 48-72 hour grueling endurance challenge called The Death Race, which is held in the state of Vermont every summer. What compelled me to sign up after only having completed 2 mud runs, was that the finish/completion rate is only 10%-15%. At last year’s 2013 Death Race I finished 12th with a time of 62 hours. The average finish time was 70 hours,
I Recently completed the 2014 LA Marathon having run half (13.1 miles) of it blindfolded on behalf of Blind Start of America, a non-profit organization I volunteer my time with, and I participate in mud runs ranging from 3-15 miles with obstacles, 5k’s, 10k’s, triathlons, half marathons, endurance challenges, and now marathons.
What drives me to do these intense and grueling challenges is the need I have to punish myself for my selfish ways growing up as a son, brother, father and husband. I hurt many people along the way. Those people are dear to me and hold a special place in my heart. So, I punish myself, both mentally and physically, in hopes of gaining their forgiveness and to be able to one day forgive myself. I don’t do these races for me, so much. Although, I hunger for a challenge on a regular basis. Each and every challenge competition I do is dedicated to my daughters. It’s my way of saying “Daddy is sorry for what he’s done and the mistakes he’s made.” Torturing my body and sleep deprivation is my way of paying restitution to my loved ones,
My hobbies: Hiking, camping, backpacking, outdoor survival skills, sports, and spending quality time with my daughters. 2015 Goals: Fuego y Agua Survival Run (Nicaragua) and Inca Trail Marathon (Peru)