2021 Sur Pro: Nicole Mericle
Name: Nicole Mericle
Sport: Obstacle Course Racing. Trail Running, Mixed Climbing
Location: Boulder, CO or somewhere in the van
Nicole is a 5-time obstacle racing world champion and the reigning Spartan Race World Champion. Nicole’s competitive background began as a Division 1 Cross Country and Track & Field athlete at Rice University where she held two school records and qualified for the 2008 Olympic Trials in the 3,000m steeplechase. She raced post collegiately with Hudson Elite in Boulder, Colorado, and over time transitioned to trail running and garnered her passion for rock climbing.
Her diverse athletic strengths led her to test her skills at her first obstacle course race in 2016. Nicole was immediately successful, and in 2017 she won the USA OCR Championship in both the 3k and 15k, finished as the first American in the Spartan Championship Series, and won the 3k OCR World Championship and Tougher Mudder World Championship. In 2017, she repeated as the 3k OCR World Champion and in 2019 solidified her rise to the top of the sport winning both the Spartan Race World and Trifecta Championships.
- 5x Obstacle Racing World Champion
- 2019 Spartan Race World Champion
- Undefeated 3k OCR World Champion
- 2017 USA OCR Champion in the 3k and 15k
- 2020 Grand Traverse Ultramarathon Winner
“If you ain’t first, you’re last.” -Ricky Bobby
Favorite race/competition experience: I’ll never forget crossing the line in 2nd place at the 2016 OCR World Championship 15k. It was my first season of OCR and that podium finish on the world stage proved to myself that I belonged in the sport and could compete at the highest level. Few people knew who I was before that race and it was fun to surprise everyone and earn the nickname of “the dark horse.” I was injured the 3 years prior to that season, so it was also a victory in health. My Spartan Race World Championship win was also a big moment. The race seemed to encompass everything I’ve struggled with in the past: a long course, brutally cold temperatures, and the double sandbag carry. After 3 disappointing performances in the previous years, it was incredibly satisfying for all of my hard work, preparation and mental training to come together. I’m most proud of how I executed that race than any other in my racing career.