Athlete Spotlight: Adam Ribeiro


Adam Ribeiro, or "Adam Believe" as he's known in the obstacle course racing community, is quite the athlete.

As an ultra runner, competitive OCR athlete, and former American Ninja Warrior contestant, it's safe to say that Adam finds joy in seeing just how far he's able to push himself (while everyone was in NH leaf peeping last weekend, Adam decided to run the entire Kancamagus Highway, 36 miles, for fun).

Atomic wouldn't exist without John and Andrew's cycling roots, and now two decades later we're happy to help fuel athletes like Adam as they push their boundaries, and chase their passions.

This month, with his care package of Diesel and Rocketeer, we asked Adam to answer a few questions so we could get to know the man behind the mustache and crop top.

So without further ado, meet Adam Ribeiro!

How did you get into obstacle course racing?

 In 2015 I started seeing some friends on social media posting about running a Spartan Race, so I decided to check it out and signed up for my first in November running the Boston Fenway Park Stadium Race!


Tell us about your highest high, your proudest moment, or your fondest memory in obstacle course racing.
My highest moment in OCR is when I won FIT Challenge's first 12-hour ultra event; it’s a well known local event in New England which involves a 5k loop course with about 20 obstacles and 1k elevation gain per loop. I went into it with no expectations other than just to give my best, which is still how I usually approach every race. After 12 hours, and over 40 miles of just being out of my mind for that long, pushing that hard, I won and was the only person at that race to pull 12 laps.

What about your lowest low? What did you learn from it?
My most difficult / low moment in OCR was actually at the same event a year later; FIT Challenge in 2019. Taking on the short elite course (one lap) I was really excited with all the training and success I’d been having this season and was ready to see how fast I could do that race and potentially pull out another victory. However a new obstacle, called Gibbons, added to the race came early, and while I had seen it before and felt confident that I could breeze through it... newsflash, I didn’t. I approached the obstacle less than one mile into the race in 1st place and failed it on my first attempt. I kept trying, and trying, and trying for what was probably 10-20 minutes.
I was so disappointed with myself, a bit frustrated, and honestly was almost ready to be done with it and give up on the obstacle. But then I switched my mindset, knowing a podium spot was no longer in my reach I made it my goal to just beat that obstacle. After several more tries, I finally made it through. In the days following the race I built a mimic to the obstacle in my backyard so I could perfect it and be ready for the next time I have to face it! I definitely learned that we will all have bad days but we can use them as lessons and get stronger because of it!
What are your best three tips, or pieces of advice for an OCR athlete looking to take their game to the next level?
Step out of your comfort zone. Honestly if you want to step up to the next level in your OCR races you need to push beyond the comfortable feeling & just be ready to back up whatever you had planned when it fails.

What keeps you motivated on a daily basis?
Seeing how far and hard I can push myself keeps me very motivated and excited about this racing lifestyle. Also being the skinny and shy guy back in high school has now made me more fired up into proving to myself that I’m no longer that guy.
What does a typical week of training look like for you?
I’m always mixing things up .. I probably should have a more steady training schedule (haha!) but I try to get about 5 days of running out of 7, and 2 days of rock climbing with some days thrown in between for weightlifting and swimming. Also can’t forget about some time dedicated to stretching and recovery!
The most serious question we have for you... what’s up with the Hawaiian crop top?
The Hawaiian crop top.. many people would probably think I’m from Hawaii?! Well that's actually not the case. I honestly love the Hawaiian style patterns however sometimes they can look funny, which then becomes even more ridiculous when you cut it into a belly shirt. So technically you're already looking like a clown if you picture someone wearing that. It is a ridiculous look, which makes you need to be comfortable with yourself and just not care for the odd looks you’ll get, and since I’ve not always been someone with a lot of confidence I feel that dressing like a fool was a great way to force me to build that confidence. That’s how it started and it just stuck!
What comes to mind when you hear the words “Be Atomic”?
Be Atomic to me means to be wired, be ready!
What's your favorite Atomic coffee?
Diesel Dark Roast! I love dark roasts, and that has to be the best dark roast I’ve ever had!
What is your mantra, or quote you like to live by?
Believe in yourself. It’s simple and short but it works like a charm. Every time I start struggling or doubting myself at a race I remind myself to just believe that I can do it!
What's your favorite coffee ritual / moment?
Every morning I grind up some Diesel beans and brew it in my drip coffee machine; usually sip it on my way to work in a travel mug or if having at home in my favorite unicorn mug 😅 Then I will often have another cup of coffee when I get home in the late afternoon from work before I go for a run, or rock climbing, or some other activity!
What are three Instagram accounts that everyone in OCR should follow? @f.i.t.challenge @altrarunning
Anything else you'd like to say?
I most definitely am grateful for everyone that cheers me on and sends those good vibes during and after races! I also believe that everyone should try running an ultra event at some point. It will be painful and horrible your first time but it teaches you a lot about yourself; especially how mentally strong you are. And last but not least remember to always have fun with whatever you do! Be kind and positive with others and that good energy will always come back to you!

You can find more about Adam on Instagram @adambelieve.


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