By Mike Strasser, Fort Drum Garrison Public AffairsMay 31, 2018
FORT DRUM, N.Y. (May 31, 2018) -- Some positively filthy fun is returning to Fort Drum on June 7 when the Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers program hosts the annual Mountain Mudder.
The event features more than 15 physically-challenging obstacles over a 5.5-mile wet and muddy course. Sgt. Shawn Schroeder, BOSS president, said that it is their most popular event of the year.
"I think people like the challenge of it …the fun and excitement," said Sgt. Shawn Schroeder, BOSS president.
Nearly 300 participants have registered so far, and Schroeder encourages more teams to sign up and use the Mudder as a fun physical training alternative.
"It's definitely not your usual, everyday PT," he said. "It's like an adventure, and you'll see quite a bit of Fort Drum during the Mountain Mudder."
Going face first into a pool of muddy water or trudging slowly through knee-deep pits of thick mud can be fun when you share it with friends, said Spc. Hunter Pace, 2nd Brigade Combat Team BOSS representative.
"It's camaraderie through hardship, technically," he said. "It's a good way to build morale and boost confidence."
"It comes down to teamwork," Schroeder agreed. "If you're struggling getting over a wall or through a mud pit, there's always a teammate or someone there to help you along and lend you a hand."
Schroeder said that the Mudder is designed for thrill-seekers who love to challenge their comfort zones, but the course is non-competitive so that people can choose to walk through it at their own pace.
Those experienced with the Mudder will have another chance to tackle some memorable obstacles like the Lily Pad across Remington Pond and the infamous ninja wall -- the final challenge before participants cross the finish line to receive their finisher's medal, T-shirt and access to the after party with food and live music from the 10th Mountain Division Band.
With a week left before the Mudder, BOSS Soldiers are busy setting up the course. Spc. Matthew Marteloze, was among the Soldiers from a platoon in 642nd Engineer Support Company, supporting BOSS efforts to refurbish some of the wooden obstacles that have sustained significant wear-and-tear.
"We're actually the only company in our battalion stationed here at Fort Drum, so we're always happy to get our name out there and help with construction projects," he said. "I had just arrived here at the end of last summer, and I heard about the Mountain Mudder because people were still talking about it."
Additional platoons with vertical construction engineers and Soldiers operating heavy equipment are rebuilding the tube slide obstacle at Remington Park. Staff Sgt. Oscar Gomez-Lopez, squad leader, inspected the site May 31 and noted the materials needed for the project. He was familiar with the obstacle, having ran the course last year.
"It thought it was pretty nice," he said. "I've done Tough Mudders before, and there was some good obstacles at this one, in comparison. They did a pretty good job using what they had all around post. It was pretty challenging too."
Sgt. 1st Class Shauna Curry, from 10th Mountain Division Artillery, earned two free entries to this year's event from a BOSS promotion in May. She said that she will be competing with her husband, Nicholas, and this will be their first Mountain Mudder.
"My husband and I always compete together," Curry said. "We help each other get through all the obstacles and we help Soldiers complete them as well. It's a team effort."
Curry said that they have competed in several Marine Mud Challenges and a Spartan Race, so they have some experience in this sort of event.
"Past experience has taught me to wear and old pair of shoes that I no longer want anymore," she said. "The mud and dirt will ruin them. I have also learned that you can do anything you set your mind out to do. I love anything that challenges me physically and mentally."
The Mountain Mudder is open to all Fort Drum Soldiers and DOD cardholders, 18 and older, and participation is open to the first 1,000 registrants.
To learn more, call (315) 772-7807 or visit www.facebook.com/bossfortdrum. To register before the June 6 deadline, visit www.eventbrite.com.