Gardaland Challenge ends with muddy winners
May 29, 2014
By Julie Lucas
GARDA, Italy - The masterminds at Vicenza's Outdoor Recreation combined a tough mudder-style race with an amusement park for the Gardaland Challenge May 17. Around 130 members of the Vicenza Military Community took the short trip to the nearby Gardaland theme park to battle against each other.
"Gardaland made a visit to Caserma and expressed an interest in partnering with the base," said ODR director Chris Wolff. "We threw out the idea of hosting a Warrior Challenge and the special events coordinator for Gardaland loved the idea! "
The race began with participants carrying a plastic cup full of water. Depending on how much was spilled, penalties were enforced from time delays to exercises. From there, they jumped in sacks and navigated an obstacle course. The challenge used brains as well during the quiz portion.
Competitors then rode on a ride and gained time based on the number of points accumulated on the ride. The race led them to Lake Garda, where they had to swim in the lake and ended swimming through two kiddie pools filled with mud just before the finish line.
"The hardest part for me was the swim in Lake Garda because the waves were pushing you around," said Sgt. Tanya Mendez, from the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate. "Seeing all these families and friends coming together and enjoying themselves was priceless."
Following the competition was a passport to adventure with challenges around the theme park. An awards ceremony was held at 3 p.m. This Warrior Challenge will be Wolff's final event in Vicenza and he wanted to express his gratitude.
"It has been a pleasure serving the Vicenza Military Community for the last eight years and I wish the very best for everyone in this special community," said Wolff.