- Published on Sunday, 08 April 2012 21:50
- Written by Super User
Growing demand for tougher obstacle races inspire U.S. Special Forces soldiers to create new race
BOULDER, CO – The Thunder Challenge obstacle race, produced by Thundr Productions, will be running its inaugural race on May 5-6, 2012 in Raeford, North Carolina. Under the name Thunder Challenge Carolina, the race, created by three previous U.S. Special Forces soldiers, will bring some of the world’s most elite military training experiences to the masses. Under their tagline, “Tough is only the beginning,” the race directors are planning to put on an event expected to be one of the nation’s most physically and emotionally demanding courses.
Thunder Challenge North Carolina will feature multiple waves on Saturday May 5 as well as a full festival afterwards, including music, food and beverages, for race finishers and spectators. Racers can enter as individuals or teams of any size. “My passion has always been taking on new physical and mental challenges,” said Rusty Schellman, cofounder, CEO and ex-Blackhawk pilot. “In talking with my friends and colleagues there was a general consensus that our military experiences were life changing and defining, in many ways, and we wanted to bring that directly to the general public. Not just as people who just help inspire courses, but as someone who builds and creates an entire experience.”
Each race will cover a distance of 10K or 6.2 miles with 20-plus challenges that will be spread across variable terrain and conditions. While the entire course has not been revealed, the Thunder Challenge Facebook page revealed that obstacle racers can expect climbs, mud pits and even cold water tests of endurance.
Scott Rhodes, cofounder, President, COO and ex-Green Beret who served in the 7th Special Forces Group, also believes that their type of event brings something new to the game. “Serving as a Green Beret was a paradigm shifting experience both physically and emotionally. We want to bring that reality to people as a way to help them overcome their own challenges and obstacles. We believe that because our core team has lived, worked and trained at a certain elite level, we are committed to a common vision of making sure that our experience is as realistic as possible.” For racers who aren’t able to make the event on May 5-6, there are eight other events planned across the nation: Thunder Challenge Steel in Pittsburgh, PA held on June 2-3; Thunder Challenge SoCal in SoCal, CA held on June 23-24; Thunder Challenge Texas in Austin, TX held on July 14-15; Thunder Challenge Rockies in Castle Rock, CO held on August 4-5; Thunder Challenge Iowa in Des Moines, IA held on September 8-9; Thunder Challenge NorCal in NorCal, CA held on Septebmer 29-30; Thunder Challenge Dallas in Dallas, TX held on October 27-28; and Thunder Challenge Phoenix in Phoenix, AZ held on November 17-18.
More details are expected to be released over the coming weeks leading up to the first race. A portion of the proceeds of each race will go to support Project Sanctuary, a non-profit organization that helps support veterans and their families.
Speaking on the desire to help support veterans, Brett Morganti, CFO and ex-Navy SEAL said, “We really want to use this event not to just help non-military participants as they push themselves to accomplish their own personal goals, but also use the event as a vehicle for supporting veterans in as many ways as possible, whether it be through non-profits or getting them directly involved in helping us produce the event. In the end, this will not only help us deliver a more powerful experience for racers, but help reinforce the camaraderie and teamwork that were such a big part of our training.”
More information about the event can be found at events website thundrpro.com or on their Facebook page at facebook.com/ThunderChallenge.