According to the National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, Osteogenesis Imperfecta is a genetic bone disorder characterized by fragile bones that break easily. It is also known as “brittle bone disease.” The term means “bone that is imperfectly made from the beginning of life.” A person is born with this disorder and is affected throughout his or her lifetime.
Ilene Boyar does not allow the brittle bone disease to define what she has accomplished nor what the future will hold. I had a chance to be a part of Team Ilene Boyar at the Tampa Spartan Special Ops Race held at Raymond James Stadium On 2/15/2014. The team Ilene assembled contained a group of some Elite racers plus Sasha Chapman and me from womenofobstacleracing.com. Coming into the race Ilene told me she already had a stress fracture on her tibia and her ankle.
This was not Ilene’s first obstacle race, but it was a different spin on a Spartan Race. The course gave us a few of the familiar Spartan obstacles and a few new ones that would mix up the course at Raymond James Stadium. This race was not about finishing in the top 10% of my age group or beating the time from my last Spartan Sprint. This race was the true start to what women of obstacle racing is about and the experience provided memories to last a lifetime.
The team gathered and prepared for the start of the race as Dustin Dorough brought the attention of the crowd toward Ilene. Most of the team had been through the course several times already and I was not sure what to expect. The team was made up of Laura Messner, Amie Meyer, Michael Aero Cusma, Jeff Dundrea, Chris Nojman, Anthony Vlasica, Amanda Ricciardi, Minna Katariina, Jim Driscoll, Freddy Rodriguez, Mathieu Lo, Geishela Valverde, Tim McCall, Joe Scarinci, Sasha Chapman, Kelly LH Brown, Liz Piscetelli, Elizabeth Rivera just to name a few and of course Ilene Boyar.
Unlike other Spartan races, there was a bit of mud, lots of stairs, and enough high walls to make anyone very nervous about falling off onto the cement floor. The video is footage from the Tampa race featuring Ilene and the team. Remember, pain is temporary, but quitting lasts forever.