First it was marathons, then triathlons. Some endurance junkies leapt over to ultra running, while others gave obstacle course racing a try. Obstacle course races, like Tough Mudder, Warrior Dash, and Spartan Race have become increasingly popular for competitors seeking the newest way to get their adrenaline rush. Unlike running and triathlon races, however, which almost always have shorter races for kids, most obstacle races do not offer anything for the little tykes. Christ Classical Academy (CCA), a private school in Tallahassee, is changing that by holding their first Gladiator Challenge on November 9 at Trinity Community Church.
The race is open to the general public and features two events: the shorter Mini Gladiator Obstacle Course, for ages 2-6 and the longer Gladiator Challenge, for ages 6-14. The Mini has already reached capacity, but there is still room in the Gladiator challenge.
What can participants expect on race day? This is no simple one mile fun run. There are ten obstacles dispersed over the 1.2 mile course. Inspiration for the obstacles came from parents who have participated in adult obstacle course races. The race begins with a mud pit and goes on to include a low crawl on rope netting, hay bale pyramid, log walk, and a “goo” pit, made of cornstarch and Elmer’s glue. Racers will receive wristbands at two checkpoints on the course, which they must have in order to be deemed a “Gladiator” at the finish. Participants compete as individuals, but helping others along the way is highly encouraged.
According to Head of School Amy Hines, at $4700, CCA has the lowest tuition of any private school in Tallahassee. The Gladiator event is a way to raise funds for the school’s general operating budget. Hines states the entire school is preparing for the event. Each grade level has taken charge of an obstacle, both building the structure and staffing the obstacle with student and parent volunteers.
Students have been physically preparing themselves for the challenge as well. They have Gladiator training days one day a week, complete with Gladiator meals at lunch. Throughout the fall, students have also learned about real-life Gladiators who played important parts in history.
The event is relying heavily on sponsors. Trinity Community Church on Bannerman Road is graciously hosting the race, Nelson and Affiliates is setting up the obstacles, and Capital City Runners has donated gift cards for overall winners. Other sponsors include Radiology Associates, Boyd & Durant Law Firm, Second Street Photography, Juice Plus, Parker Services, Harvest Investment Advisors and Chick Fil A. Sponsors and volunteers are still needed. If you’d like to do either or both, please contact the school.
There are only forty spots left in the Gladiator Challenge. To sign up, go to the school's website, www.christclassical.com. The race will start at 9am and participants should wear clothes they don’t mind getting dirty.
Amy Hines leads CCA Gladiators in their physical training