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NEWS | Oct. 17, 2015

Army Reserve gets down and dirty

By Sgt. Bradley Miller 326th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

COATESVILLE, Pa. - Cold temperatures are only the first of many obstacles ahead of the more than 9,000 service members and civilians arriving for the Philadelphia Tough Mudder competition in Coatesville, Pa., Oct. 17-18.

On the course, 21 challenges spread over a vast, 10-mile rolling landscape, await participants who are more than eager to test their physical and mental fortitude in a fun and exciting way. Tough Mudder began in 2010 with the intention of setting forth a challenge unlike any other.

Participants have to run, climb and crawl their way through the many obstacles to earn their victory headband and ice cold beer at the finish line. Whether or not they conquer all of the obstacles, no one goes home clean. This is all done with the plan to challenge and motivate people in a positive way.

“When is the last time you did something for the first time?” asks Sean Corvelle, the first-line motivator of Tough Mudder. Corvelle poses this question to each group of participants before heading out onto the course to provoke a sense of joy and excitement in their lives. “Use this day to find something deep down inside yourself that so many of us lose as we grow up and get older; Fearlessness.”

Corvelle stressed the point that Tough Mudder is not like a typical race. 

“I don’t care about your time, what I care about is that you embrace the camaraderie. Help each other complete the challenges and get through it together,” said Corvelle. “Do it for yourself and do it for the first responders and the Soldiers that put their lives on the line every day for us.”

Corvelle said this is where the involvement of the U.S. Army comes into play. By demonstrating teamwork every day to accomplish a common mission, putting words into action makes all the difference in the eyes of the people. 

This year’s Tough Mudder is sponsored, in part, by the U.S. Army Reserve and the Wounded Warrior Project, an element that Corvelle feels draws more positive attention to the event. Event elements included a recruiting booth for the U.S. Army Reserve and a drill sergeant-run “Army Reserve Challenge” in the vendor area before the starting line.

The “Army Reserve Challenge” featured a sled push, pull-ups, low crawl, pushups and sled pull events with motivation provided by the drill sergeants. Participants completing the challenge within the allotted time received a free T-shirt. Corvelle feels this is a great way to spark interest in new recruits.

“It was tough, but once I got going, the adrenaline kicked in and it was exhilarating,” said Warren Marcelino, from Virginia Beach, Virginia, who took part in the “Army Reserve Challenge” while waiting for his start time of the Tough Mudder. “I respect what the military does and I understand that they do these thing to keep themselves in top physical shape.”

The U.S. Army Reserve sponsorship of the Tough Mudder may be perfect match for motivating regular people to do incredible things.