EMPOWER Leadership Sports on South Main Street in Middletown is home to the region’s newest adventure race. On Sunday, July 14th, 2013, competitors overcame the extreme heat and over 20 challenging adventure obstacles spread out over 2 miles as part of EMPOWER’s Zipathlon adventure race.
Aside from the over-90 degree temperature, the participants confronted various “military style” agility challenges, 2 zip line traverses, a 50 foot rappel, a 10 foot “up & over” wall and more rounding out the 2-mile obstacle course. In describing the course, EMPOWER Owner/Founder and former Army Ranger, Joe DeRing stated, “this challenge course is designed to push people to their limits both physically and mentally; we want competitors to feel an extreme sense of accomplishment and pride upon finishing it.”
Prior to starting, Angela Lopez of Manchester stated that she was “ready for a good adventure challenge” while Jennifer Hadden of Cromwell was “excited about rappelling from the tree tops”. After the teams checked-in, they were briefed on the challenges and then began their adventure.
The first station sets the tone by fatiguing participants from the get-go with push-ups, sit-ups, squats and burpies. After completing the calisthenics competitors entered the gauntlet of mud, tires, hills & low crawls. After the initial “agility stations” the challengers were required to endure various “buddy carries”, balance beam obstacles, log carries, and team runs.
“There was no social conversation during the race; the participants were too busy motivating themselves and each other,” stated Dan Jaskot, EMPOWER’s General Manager. “I was impressed with the determination and focus of the participants; the competitors just kept pushing themselves and each other. Ultimately, there was nothing they couldn’t overcome”.
There is mental and emotional challenge included amongst all the physical challenges too. DeRing commentated, “Zip lining and rappelling are less about a person’s physical strength and stamina and more about their mental fortitude. This race is about leading yourself and your teammates through adversity.” As competitors lined up at the start line, DeRing asked, “Are you going to be tough enough to overcome every obstacle we throw at you?” This group certainly was and posted an outstanding time of 53:38. Lopez stated afterwards, “I feel like I can deal with any challenge life throws at me now…I just needed this to boost my confidence!”
Zipathlon Races take place every Sunday through August 18th at EMPOWER. For more information and to register call 860-638-4754.
Click here to view footage from the race: http://www.leadershipsports.com/special-events/zipathlon/