By Mike Strasser, Fort Drum Garrison Public AffairsAugust 9, 2019
FORT DRUM, N.Y. (Aug. 9, 2019) -- The uniform of the day didn't matter for hundreds of Fort Drum community members who participated in the annual Mountain Mudder on Aug. 9.
Whatever they wore was going to be caked in mud, or maybe even buried in a bog, as one competitor found out when he crossed the finish line minus a sneaker.
The annual obstacle course race, hosted by the Fort Drum Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers program, once again delivered a wet, dirty - but fun - event for people of all skill levels. Some participants maneuvered the course leisurely, enjoying each challenge along the way, while others tackled it like it was their commander's direct order to win it.
In fact, that's what happened to Spc. Kyle Dellosso, with the 91st Military Police Battalion.
"We had a lot of people from my battalion out here, over a hundred," he said. "My battalion commander told me to go on ahead, so I just took off."
Dellosso said that he entered the Mountain Mudder to feed his competitive nature.
"Right now I'm serving as driver for my battalion commander, but I'm constantly studying for competitions," he said. "I travel to other bases - I've gone to Fort Bragg (North Carolina), Fort Stewart (Georgia) - for competitions. That's just what I like to do."
Dellosso said that competitions that emphasize strength, speed and endurance like Spartan Races and Tough Mudders appeal to people who want to put all of their abilities to the test.
"It shows that not only are you fast, not only are you strong, but you can climb, crawl and jump through any obstacle. You can do it all," he said. "I don't want to be the fastest guy in a race or the strongest guy in the gym. I want a well-rounded base and be able to do a little bit of everything."
First Lt. Jacob Roberson, with 41st Brigade Engineer Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, wasn't able to keep up with Dellosso, but he still managed to finish in the top 10.
"That first-place guy was cruising," Roberson said. "Personally, I love competition, and this seemed like a fun thing to do today. There were some great, muddy obstacles out there - well done. I heard they spent a whole week, apparently, making them."
This was Roberson's first Mountain Mudder, but he has competed before in other obstacle course races.
"I love this kind of thing, and I was definitely having a good time," he said.
Roberson said he particularly enjoyed the water obstacles at Remington Pond, where participants had to dash across the lily pads and negotiate a series of inflatable tubes.
"I thought that was pretty cool," he said. "I've never done an obstacle like that before."
Pvt. Andy Davila, with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, may be a full-time Soldier, but he also has "ninja" credentials. While studying in college, Davila had trained and competed for the "American Ninja Warrior" program in Dallas, Texas, two years ago. He said that he reached city finals but didn't advance to the Las Vegas competition.
Davila said that the experience taught him a lot about functional fitness, and he would like try out again. But for now, he enjoys participating in events like the Mountain Mudder.
"It was fairly easy for me, but overall, it was a lot of fun," he said. "You get muddy, there's a lot of obstacles, but you just get over them one at a time. I really enjoyed it."