413th's Peacekeepers complete the Spartan challenge
September 25, 2013
KUALOA RANCH, Hawaii-The 413th Contracting Support Brigade's Peacekeepers competed in the National Spartan Race here August 17 taking on the 3.5 mile course that was loaded with 21 obstacles.
The Peacekeepers, the unit's 12-member team consisting of Maj. Frankie Cruz, Capt. Jared Tharp, Capt. Kasandra Tharp, Capt. Raven Cornelius, Master Sgt. Gregory Dorsey, Sgt. 1st Class Charles Sykes, Sgt. 1st Class Rachel Harris, Marlene Barretto, Ryan Lee, Bronson Abrigio, Matt Alna, and John Salle were among the more than 6,000 race participants and spectators.
The race, as the advertisement puts it, is pure primitive craziness that the participants will never forget. It is an obstacle racing challenge consisting of everything from barbed wire to mud to fire.
"Here at the 413th, we don't just do contracts. We also take pleasure in activities outside the office," Barretto said. "I was approached to sign up for the race. I had no idea how challenging it was going to be, but I knew I would do whatever I had to finish the race."
For the participants, race day was filled with excitement and a natural adrenaline rush.
"Going out and doing something new and unknown can be exciting yet nerve racking," said Lee, a contract specialist. "Having the support of our 'Spartan' army was everything I needed to have confidence in knowing that we will all succeed and finish together as one."
This experience was a unique event to bring together Soldiers and civilians. The team stayed together and raced together, ensuring everyone was able to finish the course.
"Everyone showed heart and determination, even after seeing all the past races and its obstacles on the website, we still rose to the challenge," Sykes remarked.
Adorned in spartan helmet and sword, Dorsey completed all the obstacles.
"A true warrior does not give up," said the 20-year veteran and the unit operations noncommissioned-officer-in-charge . "Whether you are male or female, strong or weak, ill or healthy, the warrior fights on and loves doing it. The Spartan Race was a testament to the warrior we all have in of us. The tasks were many and hard but we never gave up, we fought on."
Of the 400 teams competing, the 413th placed 298 with an overall time of 2 hours, 3 minutes, 9 seconds.
"Competing in this race as a team was a great way to test personal strengths and overcome fears. We had so much fun working together, we forgot all about the mud, rocks and hills" said Cornelius.
The team finished the race in Spartan tradition by jumping over a fire, complete with burning coals and ash, crossing the finish line as a team.
"I believe everyone on the team was excited yet nervous about the obstacles and terrain that we faced during the race. One of the greatest feelings from participating in the Spartan Race is in knowing that we completed and tackled all obstacles as a team," Cruz said. "The team's motivation and hard work brought out the best in each of us and we are looking forward to the next event."