4th Brigade gets down and dirty

September 15, 2013
By Maj. Nancy McCoy, 4thBrigade, 95th Training Division (IET) Judge Advocate
Tough Mudder:  It’s a 12-mile run in the mud, combined with serious obstacles – from climbing “Mount Everest” to sliding through water under the “Electric Eel.” When Sgt. First Class Christopher Lanners, 4th Brigade, 95th Training Division learned it was coming to Oshkosh, Wis. on Sept. 7, 2013, he knew it would be a great opportunity for Soldiers from his unit to train hard and enjoy a great team event.
Once Lanner’s decided a Tough Mudder was something he wanted to do, he didn’t waste any time recruiting a team at the brigade. The final team members included Lanners, Master Sgt. Steven Wiser, Sgt. 1st Class Barry Back and Maj. Nancy McCoy. Lanners also recruited a personal friend, Nate Krinke, who suffers from cerebral palsy. Krinke was looking for another challenge after mastering the art of unicycling.
Many of the members of Team “Army Chris” had experiences with marathons and half-marathons, but none had ever before experienced a Tough Mudder (TM). When Back was asked why he was interested in a TM event after completing several half-marathons he said, “I would like to do a TM because I love to run and adding obstacles creates another level of difficulty which pushes other aspects of your body other than your cardio and legs. Also, it is great that the TM helps my fellow Soldiers by giving to the Wounded Warrior Project.”

(L to R) Sgt. 1st Class Barry Back, Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Lanners, Master Sgt. Steven Wiser, Maj. Nancy McCoy and Nate Krinke stop for a photo op after completing the “Electric Eel” which Tough Mudder’s website describes as an event you “slide on your belly through frigid water or, even worse, a layer of ice and beware of the shocks overhead. Should you try to crawl on your knees, you’ll be smacked with live wires and your body will compulsively contort. Be sure to protect your head, otherwise you might experience what Big Mudder calls a brain reboot.” Photo by Alan Ella.
It didn’t hurt that this was a team event. The Soldiers involved were used to individual physical achievements, but the team aspect of TM made it unique. Wiser put it best when he said, “Being in the Army requires teamwork every day and in many serious situations. What better way to develop that teamwork than through a physically challenging event such as TM.”
The team is starting to talk about next year when they may try to expand the number of Soldiers from the unit who participate and, just maybe, create a new 4th Brigade tradition.
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