More than Mud - Paul Ryan

How Did You Get Into OCR Racing?

I was looking for something after my mom died from a brain tumor. I made a decision that I needed to start truly "living". I have always needed "my mountain" to motivate me. Each summer I try to go hiking which motivates me, but the rest of the year I needed more "mountains". OCR racing became "my mountains" and after running my first race a year ago I have been hooked ever since. Over 12 races later I have come to point where I am competing on a very high level. I am almost always one the top guys in my age group and in the top 10% of all males 

What Are Some Challenges OCR Has Helped You Overcome?

OCR racing has helped motivate me to become a better person. OCR has brought out something in me that I didn't realize was still there. OCR helped me overcome the death of my mom. It has become the mountain I need to prepare for each week. I hope to be racing for the next 20+ years.

What Does The OCR Community Mean To You?

The OCR community has changed my life. I truly believe OCR racers are unique in that they think about more beyond just their own time. Many OCR racers have the same or similar story. They are looking for something more than just running in a Half-marathon where it's all about you and that road. OCR racers love and thrive on being a part of a team. We love improving each race but we love more to support others on their journey. I love hearing the interaction between OCR racers during a race. If you need help any racer is there to help. Every racer encourages each other and motivates those in need.

What’s Your Most Memorable Moment In OCR?

My most memorable moment was running the SPARTAN race in Dallas. I was in the best shape of my life and while running the BEAST on Saturday I was able to truly lead my team. The first 7 miles we were running an elite time with 100% completion of obstacles but when we reached the mountain section of the race one of our team members had some serious asthma attacks which were rare for her. At times we thought we might have to carry her and she kept wanting to quit. What I loved was the fact that no longer did we care about being elite. No longer did we care about time. Now we only cared about a promise we had made the night before... WE WOULD FINISH TOGETHER. For the rest of the race we took turns to help her and we kept that promise. WE FINSHED THAT RACE TOGETHER. Yes I could have finished that race in 4 hours but I would not have been telling you about it today. OCR racing to me is pushing yourself to your limits but remembering it's more about the team and those that helped get you where you are today. That is what OCR racing means to me.

Any Goals Or Race Stats To Share?

I've really had a great start to the year. I have qualified for OCR World Championship in two of my three races so far and came close at the Spartan Sprint in Houston. I placed 6th and missed it by one but considering there were over 300 in my age group I was pleased.
I qualified running elite at the Terrain race and we ran two laps.
My proudest race was when I ran the Conquer The Gauntlet race in Houston. I placed 5th in my age group and was 34th overall with 1000 runners. We have several other races coming up this Spring but thought I would share. It's been a great 2017 season and I can't wait for future races. Qualifying in my age group for OCR WC is exciting and I can't wait to go.

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