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Fitness challenge tests MacDill's elite warriors

by Airman Jose Climaco
Thunderbolt staff writer

Competitors who are participating in May Fitness Month activities have the opportunity to test their physical strength and endurance in a new obstacle course rather than the usual trip to the gym or game of basketball.

The first Military Fitness Challenge at MacDill is scheduled to take place May 13 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the football field by the Fitness Center as part of May Fitness Month activities.

The event will be open to all active duty personnel, DoD civilians and dependents,18 and older, who seek the thrill of competition.

The challenge will feature a 160-yard obstacle course, which includes a 10-foot wall, running grid, incline/decline monkey bars, balance beam, 15-foot cargo net, shuttle run, hurdles, a 25-yard sprint, and under and over bar.

Individual competition will decide the winners who will receive 6th Services Squadron gift certificates as prizes.

Competitors can expect a tough challenge. It will be "the real deal," said Keith Pilawski, 6th SVS sports director.

The obstacle course is designed to test a person's speed, strength and endurance, said Al Rosen, Women's Tri-Fitness president. Women's Tri-Fitness is sponsoring the competition. The fitness company holds numerous competitions around the country.

"They'll love it. That's why it caught on," added Mr. Rosen.

Mr. Rosen said he really appreciates what servicemembers do and decided to bring the competition to MacDill to promote camaraderie and increase morale.

In addition, Mr. Rosen said he challenges troops to compete and show their physical capabilities in this event.

Staff Sgt. Alex Ortiz, 6th Maintenance Operations Squadron, lognet non-commissioned officer in charge, said he's a competitive person. He competed in the physically-demanding Enduro Challenge in 2004 and is up for any physical challenge. He asked about upcoming events and signed up for the MFC when he was notified about it.

It's an opportunity to test his physical capabilities along with other troops, said Sergeant Ortiz, who expects many others to do the same.

With the Air Force's increased emphasis on physical conditioning, Sergeant Ortiz said he would like to see more events like the Military Fitness Challenge at MacDill.

A demonstration clinic will be held prior to the start of competition. About 10 members of Women's Tri-Fitness will demonstrate the course at 10 a.m.

The first Military Fitness Challenge will one be of MacDill's May Fitness Month highlights for people looking to compete in physical activity rather than the usual run, push ups and sit ups. Those who would like to compete can do so by registering at the front desk inside the Fitness Center.

Those who thrive on such physical challenges will be delighted to know the event is scheduled to come back to MacDill in the fall. It should get bigger once people see it, and it catches on, said Mr. Pilawski.

Don't miss out on the following activities during Fitness Month:

May 13 Obstacle Course 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
May 17 Dodge Ball 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
May 19 Hot Shot B-Ball 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
May 19 3pt Shoot Out 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
May 2-27 Racquetball TBD
May 31 5K Fun Run 7:30 a.m.

Call the Fitness Center at 828-4469 to sign up.


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