Kilt Clan Profiles catches up with the kilt-clad individuals who make up the DNKE community. Some are harder to catch than others–we braved mud bogs, wall climbs and countless obstacles to bring you the story of the All-American Beard, Adam Clarke. A veteran, community volunteer and all-purpose hard man, Clarke is equally at home jumping over fire, slogging through mud, or carrying heavy stuff up hills. He shared what drives him, how he found his superpower, and why he races in his kilt. -DNKE
Damn Near Kilt 'Em: Tell us who you are and what you do.
All-American Beard, Adam Clarke: I'm an electrician by trade, but my passion is competing in obstacle course racing and mud-run style courses in my kilt. I'm proud of all the tough courses I've been able to complete in, and I take pride in pushing through the challenging obstacles.
All-American Beard Adam Clark obstacle course racing in his kilt
DNKE: You've been competing in obstacle course racing for a few years. What are your goals?
AAB: Right now I'm focused on competing in the Spartan Ultra World Championship, which is a 24-hour Race in Iceland. I competed in this race last year but I injured myself and had to pull out after ten miles. I qualified again this year, and I'm looking to complete the full thirty miles.
DNKE: These races look brutal, but you look right at home in the suffer-fest. That said, you definitely stand out from everyone else. Why do you run in a kilt?
AAB: A couple of years back I was invited to a race, and someone dared me to run in a kilt. Now it's the only way I run races. The Tactical kilt from DNKE is my favorite. I like its light weight and durability.
When I run obstacle course races I deal with a lot of mud and water and I like that my kilt doesn't hold water and weigh me down. Plus I live in Florida so any way to avoid being too hot is always great.
Cooling off: Spartan Racer and utility kilt wearer Adam Clarke
DNKE: What is it that fuels your passion for obstacle course racing?
AAB: There's a lot of things I love about it. I love the challenge. Pushing myself to be better then the last race. The OCR community is unlike anything I've been a part of. You see so many different types of people - from people who are in tip-top shape to people who have weight issues. Yet everyone is supportive and willing to help one another. There is no judgement just acceptance for being there.
DNKE: What does your training regimen look like?
AAB: I increase my cardio a few weeks before a race. I still work upper body but not as hard so I'm not sore for the race. When I first started racing I didn't train at all. Just went and ran.
Hard work is its own reward for Adam Clarke
DNKE: How do people respond when they see you, shirtless, tattooed and bearded, charging at them in a kilt?
AAB: People love it. I'm usually the center of attention wherever I go. When I'm running my races, people stop me to take pictures with me all the time.
"No one asks what your wearing under your jeans. No one ever has anything cool to say about pants."
One time in the middle of the race I had a group of seven women stop me to take a picture with me. It was pretty funny - one of them was lifting the kilt as another laid between my legs.
Fun Fact: The All-American Beard is 100% fireproof
DNKE: We're guessing the average guy isn't getting stopped by women demanding photos?
AAB: For sure. No one asks what your wearing under your jeans. No one ever has anything cool to say about pants.
All-American Beard running a mud-run style race in his DNKE utility kilt
DNKE: The obstacle course racing community is tight. What kind of people are drawn to ditch the pants and run races in a kilt?
AAB: I think it takes a person willing to be different. Willing to step outside the social norms and wear what they like and find comfortable.
The community of people who wear kilts is a small one and when you see someone that you share common ground with it makes for good company.
Adam Clarke scales an wall in his Tactical kilt at an obstacle course-style race
DNKE: What would you say is your superpower?
AAB: I would have to go with patience. I work with special-needs kids on the weekends. I never knew how important patience was until I started working with these kids. I know it's nothing spectacular but I've learned that patience can help deal with a lot of things in life.
DNKE: Actually, that does sound pretty spectacular to us. What sort of volunteer work do you do?
AAB: I'm a coach for a special needs little league team. All of the kids range from autism to fully handicapped kids. A few years ago a friend of mine was a coach and I went to support his last game. I fell in love with it and made the choice right then and there that I was gonna be part of it the following year. I just finished my second year coaching. It has been great for me and helping me deal with my PTSD.
Clarke hones his superpowers volunteering with special needs kids
DNKE: Where can people follow you?
AAB: You can follow me on Instagram. I'm @All_American_Beard.
Pocket Dump: Electrician by trade, obstacle course racer by passion, All-American Beard Adam Clarke's two pocket dumps include plenty of heavy metal acquired over years of competing in Spartan Races, and the tools-of-the-trade for a working electrician. He stashes all these goodies in his Damn Near Kilt 'Em Tactical kilt.