Awesome Athletes In OCR - Tyler Brightwell

There are some big-name athletes in the OCR community. Generally, the names everyone knows are those athletes that finish in the top ten consistently at big races like series events and championships. Well, having been in the sports for several years now, we know that there are a LOT of awesome athletes in OCR, and we wanted to highlight some of them in a new articles series appropriately titled, "Awesome Athletes In OCR".

We'll try to keep the questions interesting and varied so that you can gain an understanding of some of the different motivations, desires, goals, and personalities in OCR.

Without further ado, Tyler Brightwell!

What is your favorite obstacle at any event? If you can't decide on one, list one of your favorites:

My favorite obstacle would have to be an obstacle from a Bonefrog Challenge called Stronghold. It's a curved monkey bar section followed by a rope transition to another curved monkey bar section to finish by hitting a grenade. This obstacle is definitely challenging, but also extremely fun. Make sure you practice your grip strength for this one!

How old are you?

I am 22 years old out of New Kent, VA.

How many Obstacle Course Races have you run in the last 2 years?

In the last 2 years I have run roughly 16 races which has been a combination of Spartan, Bonefrog, and Terrain Races.

How long have you been training for OCR?

So, I ran Cross Country in high school, got pretty fast, went to states my Freshman, Sophomore, and Senior year. Got offered some D2 and D3 scholarships for running in Ohio, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. My parents told me I was paying for all my schooling which led me to see the packages the scholarships offered were more expensive than community college. After deciding on going to community college, a year out of high school I felt lost. After running Cross Country and playing Soccer my whole life, I felt lost. As I was scrolling through the internet, I came across an ad for Spartan racing and said “why not?”. I signed up out of the blue back in September of 2017. Hooked ever since.

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If you could burn down only 1 obstacle from any of the races you've ever competed in, what would it be?

The obstacle I would burn down would be the Hercules Hoist on my debut in Asheville 2 years ago. My goal was to place top 10 in order to qualify for West Virginia. However, sitting in 8th place 6.5 miles into the Super, my hands caked in mud, trying to grit-out pulling that rope up to the knot, I only got it half way up, burned my hands, and lost my grip. 30 burpees later and the next obstacle was the Spear Throw. I missed that too, another 30 burpees and into 17th for the finish. Talk about being disheartened.

Which OCR athlete would you MOST like to beat at an OCR, and why?

I would like to beat Ryan Atkins. That would be a dream come true. His consistency is unreal. Placing near the top no matter the course; flat or hilly. Forcing you to run a perfect race and unimaginable mile paces through rugged terrain.

If all OCR events made a rule saying you had to run barefoot, would you still participate?

Yes, yes, yes! I run on the beach with shells at my river house barefoot. That wouldn’t affect me at all! Haha!

At how many races have you placed in the top 10?

My top 10 finishes haven’t been that plentiful. However, I have managed to grab one win at Bonefrog, a 3rd place finish at Terrain Race, and a couple Spartan top 10 finishes. I think overall 8.

You decide you want to start your very own OCR business. What do you name it and why?

Beastwell’s Bash and Dash. I would name it this because it combines my name and will show how you have to be a beast to complete the course!

Is there any athlete in OCR that you look up to and take inspiration from? If so, who?

My biggest inspiration in Spartan has been Robert Killian. This is due to the variety of races he runs. From completing triathlons, Spartan Races, and Army competitions. He is so respected and such a great athlete! I got to meet him in person a while back at World’s Toughest Mudder. He went out of his comfort zone to compete in this event. He did pretty well, and is such a good sport.

Would you still run races if they stopped giving out medals at the finish line?

Yes, I don’t run the race for the medal by any means. It's about pushing your limits and getting out in God’s country. Just something about being outside getting muddy, sweating your tail off, and holding yourself accountable for burpees when you fail an obstacle.