They were wet, soggy, and exhausted. But there weren’t many other ways that members of the Wilmington Police and Fire Department would rather have spent their Sunday.
Despite difficult conditions and challenging obstacles, all members of the Wilmington contingent at the finished the three-mile course. The first local contestant crossed the finish line in about one hour while the final participant came in around two hours.
“There was a lot of water, a lot of mud, and it really weighed you down,” said Jon Carlson, who teamed up with fellow officer Eric Palmer to organize the police team in the race. “We had such a great time, and it was so much fun. It was definitely difficult when we were doing it. Then after you’re done you’re muddy from head to toe, but you’re all smiles.”
Thousands of participants from around New England and beyond poured into Amesbury Sports Park for the event. Upon taking off from the finish line, racers were required to face off against a variety of obstacles.
If runners fell from an apparatus or were unable to complete the task at hand, they were forced to do 30 full body exercises called “burpees” before they could move on to the next portion of the course.
“A lot of the guys that did the race are very active guys and like this sort of thing,” said Carlson. “But I don’t think anyone thought it was going to be as difficult as it was. Even the guys who work out four or five times a week found that it was a completely different kind of fitness.”
In addition to the teambuilding and physical aspects of the race, another highlight for Carlson was that it helped raise money for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
Carlson said he recommends the race for anyone who has the opportunity to participate as the atmosphere is unlike anything he’s ever witnessed. The Wilmington police officer said everyone in the race and watching as spectators was friendly and offered words of encouragement throughout.
“Everyone will be sleeping good tonight,” said Carlson on Sunday night after the race. “You don’t run into many social gatherings like that. It was just a really great time and we were already talking about doing it again next year.”