More Than a Racer - Katelyn Osburn
Welcome back to More Than a Racer, a blog series brought to you by GBC Motorsports exploring the lives of professional and amateur ATV and UTV racers across the country. The sport of ATV/UTV racing requires intense commitment and dedication. It is an investment of time, money and energy, but the rewards reach well beyond the racecourse. This time, we sat down with Katelyn Osburn! The GNCC champ talked with us about being a tomboy, working in construction and what’s next in her racing career!
Katelyn grew up in Greene, New York, where she still resides today. With her busy schedule however, she’s rarely home. “I do construction, so I work out of town a lot. We travel, we stay in hotels, so next week I’ll be somewhere completely different. You heard her right, the 29 year old racer has a knack for tough labor.
“I do micro-surfacing, like road construction, crack-filling. I’ve actually been doing it for 9 years. I kind of have to do it to support my racing career. I work in the summer and then in the winter I get laid off.” We had to wonder how the Katelyn, who only stands 5’1 feet, got into the construction business to begin with. “In high school I got into heavy equipment, I was kind of a tomboy, so learning how to operate heavy equipment and machinery was something that interested me.”
There’s also a softer side to Katelyn, in her other profession. “I’m actually a massage therapist too. When I went to college, I would work part-time in construction to pay for my education. After I graduated as a massage therapist in 2010, I was able to do that in the winter and do construction in the summer, so I’m super busy all the time! My construction job takes me all over New York and Pennsylvania during the summer. This can be really hard during the racing season, because I might be in Southern PA and have to take off Friday to go to Ohio or Florida for GNCC. It’s difficult sometimes, but I manage it really well”.
Here Katelyn performs a Thai Massage on a patient.
Speaking of racing, we were curious to hear how a tomboy like Katelyn got her first taste of dirt on the tracks.
“Nobody in my family is into racing or anything, but they support me 100%. My mom and dad come to most GNCCs. I grew up around quads, snowmobiles and dirt bikes, because a lot of my guy friends had them and I used to ride on the back. I think my first quad was a 400 DX and I ended up getting one, because I didn’t want to ride on the back anymore. A bunch of my guy friends went to a local WNYOA race, a little local series in New York, and I went to watch them compete. After sitting on the sidelines I thought, “I can do that,” so I ended up racing. I actually did pretty good, and so it stuck with me.”
It didn’t take long before Katelyn found herself a front-runner for the WXC class and up against some big names in the GNCC series. “I started racing WNYOA, and then there was a combined WNYOA and GNCC at Unadilla. So I ended up racing that and got hooked on it. I came into the finish side by side with Angel Knox -- she was obviously lapping me -- but I got a picture of it anyways. It was just the coolest thing and I still have it framed. I looked up to her, and ever since that moment I just wanted to race GNCCs and be a Woman Pro. From there I just worked my way up trying to get sponsors and do whatever I could to make racing a career.”
Katelyn worked hard and proved herself in the circuit, coming back to Unadilla two years ago and winning the championship title. “I won Unadilla two years ago. That was a highlight because it’s my home track and my family and friends were all there. Just recently I won Tomahawk, which is in New York also.”
One of Katelyn’s biggest passions now, is being a role model for future female racers.
“I do a couple riding schools with little girls. They all race 4-wheelers and came out to support me, so it was really cool for me to win Tomahawk with them screaming and cheering.”
How did Katelyn come to ride on GBC tires? You could say she had a little help from her friends.
“Johnny Gallagher, who is a good friend of mine, and my boyfriend Marty Christofferson are both sponsored by GBC Motorsports. I used to run Maxxis tires and then I tried GBC and I actually liked them a lot better, they hook up much easier. From that experience and just trying different tires out I decided GBC were the tires for me. Snowshoe this season was a complete mud mess, and I don’t think I could’ve gotten through it without GBC. There were 4-wheel drive trucks getting stuck out there!”
Thank you again Katelyn, we’re proud to have you riding with GBC! Catch Katelyn as she continues to inspire other women in the racing world by following her on her social media channels!