by LAINEY KRAL | photos by Spark Photography

Running Strong

Patty and Bruce Barnhill went to rival high schools in Northern Virginia, but it was love at first sight when friends set them up on a blind date. At the time, Bruce was stationed at the Marine Corps Air Station in Cherry Point, NC, and Patty lived in Lake Ridge, VA. They spent a year dating long distance before Bruce was sent to Pasadena, and Patty followed.

They moved around for Bruce’s assignments – their son, Reese, was born in Newport, RI, and daughter Rachel was born in Fort Belvoir, VA – and reached San Diego in 2011. “We lived on base since Bruce was stationed at Miramar, and we weren’t quite sure what the future held for us,” explained Patty. “Almost immediately, we fell in love with San Diego and met so many wonderful people from the Scripps Ranch community. We felt like Scripps Ranch was our home even before we moved to the community!” They purchased their 92131 home in May of 2013, and quickly settled in.

Reese – 16 as of May 2 – is a sophomore at Scripps Ranch High School, and was on the football and track and field teams this year. He enjoys hitting the gym in his spare time. Rachel – who turns 14 on May 11 – is in eighth grade at Marshall Middle School. She dances ballet, pointe, lyrical, and jazz, and recently returned to horseback riding after a few years off.


The whole family loves running. While on base, Patty and Bruce committed to running at least a mile a day for a year. Patty stopped at day 280 with a broken foot, but Bruce kept going for 535 days. When Bruce left on deployment in January 2014, the rest of the family decided to start a new streak. Reese made it past 200 days before a case of viral meningitis halted him, but Patty and Rachel made it through all 293 days of Bruce’s deployment. “Rachel decided to break her dad’s record, and then kept running because she loves it so much! As of May 1, she has run every single day for 840 days,” said Patty. She joked, “We are a family of streakers!”

The Barnhills are excited about a new chapter in their lives. “Bruce just retired as a colonel in the United States Marine Corps on April 30 after 27 years of service, including his most recent 11-month deployment to Afghanistan,” revealed Patty. “He is currently enjoying some relaxation time before starting a new career in the defense industry.”

Luckily, there’s no better place for the Barnhills to relax than their welcoming Scripps Ranch home.


Parents: Bruce and Patty Barnhill
Children: Reese (16) and Rachel (14)
Community: Scripps Ranch since 2013
Hometowns: Bruce – Corpus Christi, TX; Patty – Seoul, Korea
Occupations: Bruce – Recently retired Marine; Patty – Mom
Pets: Three whippets – RacerX (12), Trixie (10), and Chim Chim (2)
Favorite Places to Visit in 92131: Lake Miramar, numerous canyon trails, the dog park, shopping, and so much more!