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NEWS | Oct. 12, 2016

Army Reserve Soldiers Support Tough Mudder

By Cpl. Timothy Yao 311th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary)

LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. (Oct. 8-9, 2016) – The Army Reserve is one of the sponsors for the Southern California Tough Mudder, a course over ten miles with 22 different obstacles.Soldiers in the Army Reserve motivated runners at the start and finish line, and at the “Berlin Wall,” a 7-foot wall obstacle participants had to scale.  

“The Army Reserve’s presence at the starting point sets the right mindset for participants by showing Soldiers who would never give up physically or mentally,” said Rob O’Malley, the host for the SoCal Tough Mudder.

Tough Mudder is not a timed event, and focuses on teamwork.

“Many obstacles, such as the ‘Berlin Wall’, cannot be completed by a single person, and you have to rely on your team to accomplish the goal,” said Master Sgt. Shadonika Crawford, the non-commissioned officer in charge from the 650th Regional Support Group.

Soldiers on the course encourage and give tips on how to get over the wall, but do not assist the runners.

“Tough Mudder is a recruiting and retention event because it is an opportunity for civilians to interact with Soldiers and see that the Army is here to support local communities in both good times and bad,” said Crawford.

Aside from the wall obstacle, the Army Reserve also had a booth where Drill Sergeants ran a physical fitness challenge for people to compete and win prizes.

“This is a successful recruiting event because Tough Mudder participants already understand physical fitness and mental stamina,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jason Arndt, the officer in charge from the 304th Sustainment Brigade.

“We all have challenges and fears in our lives, but doing this helps train you to mentally take on life’s obstacles and develop mental grit,” said Staff Sgt. Clifford Fraipont, from the 947th Engineer Company with the Colorado National Guard. This is Fraipont’s 26th time participating in the Tough Mudder.

“Just like in the Army, you have your fellow runners out here on the course. You are not alone, and that camaraderie pushes us to be the best we can be.”