OCR Transformations- Amelia Koeppel

ORM presents the series of stories on OCR Transformations. Runners and athletes whose mind body, and spirit have been altered through obstacle racing.

Amelia’s story begins with the odds stacked against her favor. She was born premature and did you know that premature babies are more inclined to be obese? Growing up she had always been more round shaped than her friends. She was never into sports and she always seemed to find an excuse to drop classes at school. As a teenager, Amelia tried many diets to become slimmer. However, she would never add exercise to her regiment or become more active so she would easily gain back any weight she lost.

After a long and toxic relationship, Amelia decided to go back to school to become a Software Engineer. So far, it has been the best decision she has ever made. Unfortunately, some bad habits followed her along the way. Between work and school taking up most of her time, Amelia would was finding easy short cuts with her food. She became a pro at ordering pizza, burgers, Thai, Indian, and anything else that helped her to not have to cook. She was never the person to prep her meals, or even eat that healthy…but her new lifestyle was getting out of hand. Amelia also had a foot surgery during this time, which really affected her habits and caused her weight to go up even more. In 2015 she weighed 65kg (~143 pounds) at 157cm (~5ft 2in), which put Amelia in an overweight category.


When Amelia moved to Canada, she wanted to try a Spartan Race because a friend of hers ran one in France the year before and she wanted to impress him. She began to do Crossfit at Missfit in Montreal, Canada once a week. She remembers it being very hard and she was not losing any weight and that frustrated her. While talking to some of the girls she trained with, she learned about a winter race in Montreal called the 5k Polar Hero Race. On February 21st, 2015 she ran her first ever OCR.

She started in the open wave with some of her friends. She was stressed out before the race, but began to feel a sense of euphoria when she started running. That feeling didn’t last long… she became breathless almost immediately after about 200m. Amelia couldn’t breathe, she couldn’t run, couldn’t jump, her grip wouldn’t last more than one second. She walked nearly the entire race and barely finished 50% of the obstacles. Although she didn’t do as good as she had hoped…she felt a sense of success at the finish line that made her yearn for more.

Polar Hero

Amelia realized that she needed to learn how to run and she also needed to lose weight and gain a healthy balance of muscle in order to be successful in obstacle course racing. So step-by-step she started to run/walk and in July of 2015 her first 5k time was 45 minutes. She even began to meal prep…sometimes.

After meeting a friend (Palmyra) through an OCR Facebook group while looking for a training partner, the two signed up for another event called the Dead End Race in Saint Sauveur, Canada on August 30th, 2015. This was one of the hardest races for Amelia. She had no idea that Eastern Canada races had that much hiking and such large obstacles. After meeting the rig for the first time, Amelia realized she had a lot more work to do with her training. She started organized training sessions in a group at Coexiste (an onstacle training center) in Montreal. The training center, along with the help from amazing people she met in her OCR Facebook group allowed her to reach the goal of conquering an 8” wall, to climb a rope, and many other OCR specific events. Amelia also started to see a nutritionist, Catherine Naulleau, to help her understand how to eat healthier and to be better prepared for her workouts and races.


In 2015, she ended with 7 OCR events from 3km to 8km. She also managed to do her first Spartan Race in Boston that November. After her first OCR event, Amelia suffered from an injury in her same knee she injured from a motorbike accident when she was 21. She no longer had Synovial Fluid between her bones, which meant she should sustain any high impact on her knee. However, the more she trained the better she felt because she was gaining muscle in her thighs that helped take away the pain she felt in her knee.

For 2016, Amelia set a goal for herself to qualify for OCRWC. At the time, she thought it would be impossible, but she continued her training. In April, at the Spartan Beast in Vermont…Amelia qualified for OCRWC. She finished that race in tears because she knew she accomplished the goal she set out for. OCRWC made for her 29th race for 2016 and she was also celebrating her birthday.



Amelia’s training schedule isn’t really stable. She goes at least twice a week to the gym and the other days she goes climbing, running, and roller-blading. She is usually found racing most of her weekends, but when she isn’t you can find her hiking, kayaking, and biking. She tries to spend most of her time outside and last winter she even found that running in the snow is easier on her knees.

In March of 2015 Amelia weighed 65kg (~143 pounds) with more than 33% body fat. Today she is a healthy 57kg (~125 pounds) and down to 23% body fat.


You can follow Amelia on Facebook and Instagram!

Follow Me

Allison Dacus

Allison Dacus, aka RunUncensored, is a half marathon lover turned OCR addict. She loves the sport of OCR because overcoming obstacles is a part of every day life. Her goal is to inspire herself and others to be THEIR best! Allison is also the contributor for the OCR Transformations Series.
Follow Me

Latest posts by Allison Dacus (see all)

Previous Article

How To Get Your Office Mate To Try An Obstacle Race

Next Article

First Spartan Gym To Open In Miami

Related Posts