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The Houston Rucking Club: Stand Ready by Willie Vera

 

My first event was Dallas Class 072, Oct 2011 with Dan Plants as Cadre. I had the infamous foot fetish Cadre David Liles as my classmate, along with many other all-stars! After my first GORUCK challenge, I was hooked, and have been doing GORUCK events almost every year since! My favorite events have to be Ascent, Jedburgh, Trek, Navigator, Scavengers of course, and Firearms events!

I started out this alternate fitness journey after discovering Tough Mudder (TM) in 2010. I needed motivation so I signed up for the 4th ever TM in Austin, January of 2011. I needed some training buddies since all my friends at the time thought I was crazy. I started a training group on FB looking for anyone else training for these events. I quickly found a bunch of crazies who started training with me which is the origin of the Houston Rucking Club. Shortly after completing that TM, my buddy Andy asked if I had heard of GORUCK, I hadn’t; however, it looked perfect for our next challenge! My FB group grew as we recruited more weirdos wanting to train for TM’s and GORUCK Challenges.

During my Class 265/267 back-to-back events in College Station, I met Merlin Quiles! He was a Sapper Ranger with a fearless spirit. We became really good friends and he became my partner in crime for all my OCR/GRT events until he was killed way too early in a minor motorcycle accident in April 2015. There was a huge showing of support for him and his family, that’s when I realized our Houston training club needed to be something more! I formed a Leadership board, and we became the first 501c Ruck club in the country. This allowed us to be more organized and allowed us to do greater things like sponsor the Merlin Quiles Scholarship fund through the University of Houston Student Veterans of America.

We host yearly community outreach events, socials and provide 100’s of training events yearly for all types of fitness activities. The Houston Rucking Club now has around 1,800 people following our Training and Club pages. Some Club highlights include starting overnight Faux Ruck challenges, organizing the first Custom Firearms event at Cadre Ct’s range in College Station, massive Club outreach and Aid for Hurricane Harvey Recovery! The club raised $6,300 and donated to 11 households to help with the rebuilding process. For those unable to financially contribute, we logged over 100 man hours working alongside our community rebuilding homes and lives. These contributions were welcomed and graciously accepted with the ability to offer tax deductions to these caring individuals as we finally finished the long and arduous process of obtaining the 501c3 status. The HRC has also organized fundraisers for a variety of causes such as our largely successful Mary Pinney Memorial Wod!

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