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    Old Ironsides Mud Challenge Soldiers, friends and family dive in

    Old Ironsides Mud Challenge Soldiers, friends and family dive in

    Photo By Ismael Ortega | Soldiers, service members, friends and family take part in the 2017 Old Ironsides Mud...... read more read more



    Story by Ismael Ortega 

    Mobilization and Deployment, DPTMS Fort Bliss

    As the rest of El Paso was taking it easy on their Saturday morning, nearly 800 motivated individuals ran, jumped and crawled through mud as part of the 5th Annual Old Ironsides Mud Challenge held here Saturday.

    Hosted by Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation’s Sports, Fitness and Aquatics Department, the popular race has been growing each year with more participants, more obstacles and more mud. This year the course was more than five miles long and had 25 obstacles, not including the 18 that are part of the Air Assault Obstacle Course.

    The race opened with some words of encouragement from Medal of Honor recipient retired Master Sgt. Leroy Petry, who gave an anecdote about a pen, tough obstacles in life and how you react. He instructed the Mud Challengers how to make the pen a breathing apparatus and “suck it up” when the course got difficult. The lighthearted words were a final send off before the participants took on the Mud Challenge.

    As the race opened with John Williams’ “Olympic Fanfare and Theme,” Soldiers from the 127th Aviation Support Battalion, Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Armored Division, led the charge.

    “We’ve been getting great feedback. Everyone was loving it this year. The obstacles were challenging and very, very muddy this year,” Tina Lozoya, race co-director, said. “We went and actually got dirt from another location to bring out there because our biggest complaint that we had in previous years was, it wasn’t muddy enough.”

    The race was open to active-duty personnel, Department of Defense identification holders and civilians. The race was broken into three waves, leaving every hour starting at 9 a.m. Participants started at the Air Assault Obstacle Course, which was followed by additional challenges spread throughout the course. From young children to 10-man teams, the Mud Challenge welcomed all participants.

    “The course has gotten longer, it’s gotten harder and we put in more obstacles. It’s grown every year,” Lozoya said. “We built on it every year so attendance has grown.”

    Volunteers from the 127th ASB, CAB, 1st AD, instructors from the Air Assault School and personnel from MWR ensured the participants were completing each obstacle safely with water stations were spread across the course.

    The course took runners through a series of wet, muddy and physical obstacles that the participants had to run, crawl or work together to overcome. This included crawling through pipes submerged in muddy water, taking a dip in a frigid waters and scaling eight-foot walls.

    The runners cycled through clean, muddy and dirt encrusted clothes like a revolving door as they completed each obstacle the Mud Challenge had to offer. The first 500 people to complete the race received a Mud Challenge shirt to commemorate their experience.

    “The participants this year were awesome, everyone had a really great time. We love seeing smiles coming across their faces, we love seeing the families doing it together,” Lozoya said. “There’s no way we could’ve done this without the support of 127th ASB, as well as our marketing, sponsorship and special events (sections) within the MWR. We all worked together as a team and we made it happen.”



    Date Taken: 05.11.2017
    Date Posted: 05.22.2017 16:28
    Story ID: 234751
    Location: FORT BLISS, TX, US 
    Hometown: EL PASO, TX, US
    Hometown: FORT BLISS, TX, US
    Hometown: FORT BLISS, NM, US

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