Mountain Races To Boston Firefighters – How O2X Is Revolutionizing Human Performance


This Is O2X

O2X is transforming the definition of human performance and providing the tools needed to make long-lasting lifestyle improvements one small change at a time.

It Started In The Mountains

My journey with O2X began in October 2016 at the Summit Challenge in Loon, NH. In my first week on the job I made the trip from Boston to New Hampshire with my new colleagues and what I experienced was beyond what I ever expected.

It quickly became clear that what O2X set out to do at the Summit Challenge was not simply a base-to-summit race for sport. O2X’s foundation rests on the undying pursuit of helping others get out of their comfort zones so they can maximize their human potential, on and off the mountain.


If you were first introduced to O2X through the Summit Challenge like I was, you may have noticed some changes and growth since the company began. What started as a conversation among friends in December of 2013 has morphed and changed, but maintains the same original mission – to be a world-class leader in maximizing human performance.

“We are revolutionizing the way people look at performance…. We’re trying to improve people from the inside out.” O2X co-founder Adam La Reau (Nightside, August 2016)

In 2014, the company’s first full year, O2X held four Summit Challenges across four states in the Northeast: ME, NH, VT, and NY. Each event included camping and a fireside chat where participants could hear inspiring stories and learn about overcoming adversity and building resilience through challenges. It quickly became apparent that people wanted more and that O2X had more to give.

From Races To Training

Bringing education to the forefront of O2X’s mission, the four founders created an Executive Development Program that expanded upon the Summit Challenges and offered an experiential learning opportunity. In February of 2015, O2X went into the mountains of Vermont and led its first EDP.

From there, the true evolution from a race weekend to a full-on training and education program took shape. Shortly after returning from the VT excursion, O2X began its relationship with the Boston Fire Department as a way to train Boston firefighters so that they have higher levels of satisfaction, happiness, health, and longevity in their careers.

Our Mission To Revolutionize And Maximize Human Performance

In 2015, O2X held its first human performance workshop with the Boston Fire Department, training “40 firefighters on nutrition, fitness, and how to best take care of themselves” (Irons, 2015). At the time, it was Commissioner Finn’s hope to send another 40 firefighters through the O2X course and help combat cancer and injury rates in the fire service.

By June of 2016, O2X had “trained over 400 Boston Firefighters during nine workshops” (FE, 2016). Now, every new recruit to the BFD attends a week of O2X human performance training as a part of the Boston Fire Academy – we have come a long way from Commissioner Finn’s original goal. We have our sights set on transforming the culture of fire departments and elite organizations across the country. And we don’t plan on stopping any time soon.

O2X hosted our first regional workshop for firefighters outside of the Boston Fire Department in September of 2016 with participants from all over the south shore of Massachusetts. As of February 2017, O2X has trained nearly 1,500 firefighters and tactical athletes from over 40 departments.

With a passion for serving others, O2X knows that its challenge will be to help save the lives of those who face an undeniable health crisis and high levels of job-related stress in order to protect and serve their own communities. And, people in the fire service agree that O2X is “saving the lives of our [Boston Fire Department] members” (Ed Kelly, former PFFM and current General Secretary-Treasurer of IAFF).

“You guys are going to save the lives of firefighters. You won’t ever know their names or when you saved them. And they will never know that you saved them. This is life saving/changing training for many of our guys” (Boston Firefighter, FE, 2016).

Our year-round work now focuses on the daily challenges firefighters, police officers, and other tactical athletes face in the Northeast and across the nation. And, as a true expression of our continued mission, the Summit Challenge is here to stay. While first responders deal with heightened levels of mental and physical stress on the job, we recognize that everyone deals with their own challenges and stressors and the Summit Challenge remains fundamental to O2X.

Whether we are hosting training workshops, resilience seminars, EDP retreats, or Summit Challenge races, O2X’s core values and passion run throughout. Our mission remains the same — to serve others by pushing them out of their comfort zones to overcome adversity and rise higher, on and off the mountain. See you at the Summit!