Former US Senate candidate Gabriel Gomez is running up a mountain again.
But it’s not the metaphorical one every Republican vying for statewide office faces in Democratic Massachusetts — it’s an actual peak.
A year after Gomez lost the 2013 US Senate special election to Democrat Edward J. Markey, the former Navy SEAL is launching a new summit-racing business with three partners.
The company, O2X, will hold “eco-friendly obstacle-course summit challenge races” starting this September, Gomez said in a telephone interview. He described the summit challenges as the intersection between obstacle course racing and elite trail running.
Gomez, a former private equity investor who lost to Markey by 10 percentage points but was seen as having a bright future in politics, announced in January he would not be running for office in 2014.
In the interview, he said he had reflected after the 2013 campaign and decided to take his life in a different direction.
Talking with three friends, including two other former SEALs, he said they all realized they had a “passion for the outdoors, an active lifestyle, the mountains, human performance, and the environment” and decided to form O2X.
The company joins the fast-growing market of obstacle endurance events, such as Tough Mudder, which have proliferated in recent years.
Gomez explained his business, which will hold its first race up Mount Ellen at Sugarbush Resort in Vermont, is different from other companies in the field for its devotion to environmental causes. It will partner with ecology-focused groups and aims to give racers a “a natural, authentic experience” and “leave the mountain better than when we found it” for each race, he said.
While he won’t be competing in O2X’s first race, he said he would be running up the mountain beforehand.
Sugarbush is, of course, a long way from Massachusetts politics. But Gomez said he doesn’t miss the bloodsport of Massachusetts elections.
“I had a phenomenal time when I ran for Senate, and I was honored to be the Republican nominee,” Gomez said. “But I have no regrets not being in that arena right now. This really does mark the next phase of my personal and professional life.”