Running amuck on hills and trails, trials set by fitness center staff
By Connie Storch (Fort Wainwright)July 20, 2012
FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska (July 20, 2012) -- Fort Wainwright soldiers, family members and civilians took part in the I-Run-Amuck Obstacle-Mud Run, a 3.5 mile challenge on Birch Hill Ski and Snowboard area, July 14.
More than 150 participants turned out for the event, Steve Tate, Physical Fitness Center manager said. Tate credited Heidi Watkins, fitness coordinator, for the creation of the course.
Watkins said the obstacles were both natural and manmade, with design and execution of the course credited to her team, including Frank Unger and Steffan Truax.
Much of the terrain was on trails and roads, using some natural obstacles that included a steep hill climb, a run through muskeg and a tight trail through a wooded area, Watkins said.
The obstacles that were placed on the course were designed to challenge each participant in the "areas of balance, coordination, flexibility, strength and endurance," Watkins said. "One of my favorite obstacles, the Soldier Swamp Romp, was nature-made and I think caught people off guard."
The course took people off-road on a 4-wheeler trail, wound through some trees and ended by way of a muskeg swamp.
This summer, recreational trail use at the ski area has been limited due to construction on the hill and trails remain closed to individual use until construction is completed. "We were lucky to be able to utilize the natural surroundings on the trails adjacent to Birch Hill." Watkins said.
Where nature did not lend us great obstacles, we were able to create some "fun and slightly wicked additions." Watkins said.