CAMP CASEY, South Korea – Soldiers from the 210th Fires Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division competed in the first ever Thunder Fitness Challenge Oct. 30, 2013, on Camp Casey. Of the 104 soldiers who competed, only 14 soldiers achieved the standard of the challenge. To qualify for the competition, the soldiers must have scored 270 or above on the Army Physical Fitness Test prior to the competition. During the event, the soldiers completed five events that tested them both physically and mentally. The fitness challenge included the pushup event for two minutes, the situp event for two minutes, the pullup event for 10 repetitions, the dip event for 20 repetitions, and a three-mile run in 22 minutes or less.
The first-place winner for the Thunder Fitness Competition is 1st Lt. Karon Purnell, a native of Baltimore City, Md., the signal officer assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 38th Field Artillery Regiment, 210th Fires Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.
Here is what he thinks of the competition:
How does it feel to win?
It feels great to have the opportunity to represent the battalion and also the brigade.
How did you prepare for competition?
I do a mixture of weight lifting, cross fit, and high endurance exercises to get ready for these types of competitions.
What would you say to soldiers who are thinking about competing
in this competition in the future?
For soldiers who are looking to try this type of competition, the best advice I can give them is to stay motivated, set a goal and strive to achieve it, and if you keep working towards that goal good things will follow.
Why is it important for soldiers to be in good physical condition?
Over here in Korea, being in good physical condition is extremely important for mission readiness. We have to ready on a moment’s notice to "'fight tonight." It helps with the high OPTEMPO environment and mental endurance and physical stamina.