Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Brave Soldier Challenge coming to Tuscaloosa in March

Students eager for a physical challenge will have the chance to put their strength and endurance to the test this spring on a military-style obstacle course as part of the Brave Soldier Challenge.

The event will be set up on the football field at Central High School on March 16, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Students who sign up before Feb. 1 will receive a 50 percent discount on ticket prices.

Dubbed the next battlefield for human competition, the Brave Soldier course offers men and women interested in CrossFit, multisport and general strength workouts the opportunity to compete in multiple athletic challenges that target every muscle group of the body.

“The course really emphasizes effort,” Chris Gorman, co-producer of the Brave Soldier Challenge, said. “There aren’t any subjective obstacles that rely on the use of good form. It’s all about your toughness.”

The obstacle course consists of two separate stages. The first focuses purely on strength and endurance and the second combines strength, endurance and agility. Both of these stages are timed using the ChampionChip Timing System, which competitors wear around their ankles. They begin and finish each stage by stepping onto a timing map that measures their start and finish times.

The competition is divided by age groups and genders. Each competitor will earn points that will determine if they are eligible for the Brave Soldier finals in Pensacola, Fla.

Although competitors are timed for performance placement, they are also judged on a pass/fail basis. If they are unable to complete any obstacle, extra minutes will be added to their final time.

The first stage begins with a tire flip, followed by a 1,500-meter stationary row, lateral cinder block carry, sand bag lift, sand bag carry, and concludes with a 1 mile run.

The second stage is the killer. It starts with cycling 1 mile on a stationary bike, then climbing a 6-foot wall and 12-foot rope twice, followed by 10 box jumps of increasing height, a 30-foot army crawl, jumping 4-foot high walls spanning 30 feet, traversing a balance beam holding unequally weighted objects, 30 feet of monkey bars and scaling a cargo net that rises 20 feet high and stretches 16 feet long.

Thomas Beaumont, a political science professor and U.S. Army veteran, said the course reminds him of the physical training he received as a recruit in boot camp.

“Physically it was the same idea and very close in nature to what I went through during basic training,” Beaumont said.

What separates Brave Soldier from other training competitions is that it can be watched by fans and supporters in its entirety.

“We also wanted to design the course so that it is spectator friendly,” Gorman said. “Most road races or tough mudders can only be seen at the start, finish or somewhere along the course, but by being on a football field, Brave Soldier allows fans to cheer the whole time.”

Students can sign up at by clicking on the Tuscaloosa event under the locations tab.

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