What is OCR to me?  OCR is the amazing people you meet, the stories you hear about, witness, and experience at every event and beyond!  It seems strange to those who just ‘don’t get it’ or have never experienced it, but OCR truly is the most amazing, inspiring, and motivating sport and community I have ever been a part of!  Who could have predicted that walls, mud, a finish line, and a medal would have such a positive impact on the world?!?

My name is Troy Bruns, I’m 36 years old and my life, just like the lives of so many, has been quite a journey!  I met my beautiful wife Karen the very first week of college and 15 years later, while we are very different people than we were then, we still very much in love and enjoy one another and have been blessed with two amazing and gorgeous kids to share life with! I am a professional photographer by day and work full-time for a sporting goods company, as well as own and operate a real estate photography/video company.

As for OCR, my life instantly changed on April 20th, 2013, when I crossed my first OCR finish line.  Prior to running my first OCR event, I had never ran a 5k in my life. I remember having so many doubts and fears about even succeeding at a single obstacle, let alone finishing the race!  To add to those feelings, this day was anything but warm and sunny… I believe it was in the mid or upper 30’s and raining with 40mph wind gusts.  Most people would think twice about showing up at all and you would think it would be anything but an experience of a lifetime… but for me, that’s exactly what it was!  A friend of mine who was a multiple triathlon competitor and an amazing runner ran this race with me and my goal was to just to keep him in my sights for as long as possible because, after all, there was no way I could keep up with him.  Well, not only was I able to keep up with him, I beat him by nearly three minutes!  Instantly, my life was changed and I went nuts signing up for races and making some drastic changes in my life, all that fear and doubt had now turned in to feelings of empowerment, confidence, and desire to see what else I was capable of!  At the end of 2013, I had run a total of 10 OCR events and a handful of road 5k’s.  I was hooked!

Fast forward to today, so much that I could never have imagined has happened in my life. I have met an amazing group of people that I have come to call family through OCR!  I am a member of what I feel is the most amazing OCR group in the sport called Mid-America OCR (MAOCR).  I joined this group early on in it’s existence when they had less than 10 members and to have a front row seat and watch this group grow to 500 members from all over the Midwest has been a true blessing to me!  The thing that I love so much about MAOCR and that I believe sets our group apart from others is that we are ‘real.’  I don’t use that word lightly… what I mean is, we aren’t just another OCR Facebook group interested in having the most members and that’s it, MAOCR truly is a family and just about each and every one of us have met and know each other on a personal level, that can’t be faked, nor can it be ignored by anyone who witnesses us come together!  We are a group who loves all different types of OCR events.

The members of MAOCR have come together to create an OCR specific training program in Wichita called Xtreme Obstacle Training (XOT).  Just as OCR did, XOT has changed me in an amazing way.  I have discovered through training and helping others that I have a true calling and absolutely love of helping people live happier, healthier lives. I also launched a brand new and very exciting boot camp and ministry called Temple FitCamp. I’m super excited to see what 2016 has in store for OCR, my family, my personal life, and life as an athlete!  I’m looking to push myself more this year in many areas of life and am doing my best to be patient and hear God’s voice in the midst of everything!  I love this sport… I love the people who make it what it is!

Benjamin DeBell