Tuscaloosa Gauntlet offering Marines-style challenge this weekend

By WVUA 23 News Reporter Aajene Robinson

Looking for a chance to prove you’ve got the gumption to survive against all kinds of crazy obstacles and come out on top? You can do it this weekend by joining the Alabama Marines Foundation, Tuscaloosa County Park and Recreation Authority and Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports for the Tuscaloosa Gauntlet Marine 5K obstacle course.

PARA Marketing Manager Becky Booker said this event shouldn’t be missed.

Completing the Tuscaloosa Gauntlet is a challenge worth celebrating, and this Marines-inspired obstacle course, located at the Buddy Powell Pavilion at Sokol Park in Tuscaloosa, is one-of-a-kind.

“We are super excited about this being our first race, and gauntlet race, I mean it is something unique to us and unique to Tuscaloosa,” Booker said.

Phoenix Race OCR Owner Julie Wolff said participants should be ready to get down and dirty in the mud, because the course starts with carrying training rifles through a mud course.

“Then they will head out for a good run where they will be challenged with even more walls, rigs, monkey bars, balance beams, tire flips, a plethora of different challenges,” Wolff said. “Then they will be back here where they will take on the Marine regulation course.”

You don’t have to be a Marine to run this course, But Sgt. Brandon Phillips said the experience is something every Marine goes through as part of their training.

“We get our first taste of it in boot camp, definitely a challenging series of obstacles definitely takes a lot of technique and practice,” Phillips said. “Really going to test the upper body strength of anybody that tries to maneuver this course.”

Some soon-to-be Marines will be running the gauntlet, too, he said, and the entire event benefits the Alabama Marines Foundation.

“The Alabama Marine Foundation is the reason the entire event has existed and the reason that this course behind us exists,” Wolff said. “Col. Busby was instrumental in working with PARA to get that taken care of. He and Mr. Fits have been a very integral part in every bit of having the obstacle course here.”

The event is open to the public, and children and adults are encouraged to join the festivities.

There will be a kid’s gauntlet race for children ages 4-9.

“We are super excited to offer that,” Booker said. “PARA will give you $10 off for a kid’s night out event that’s happening later on. We hope that will be an incentive for some kids to come out and participate as well.”

There will be awards handed out with cash prizes and everyone will receive a finisher medal, finisher shirt and goodie bag.

Registration is still open. You can register right here, or at the event itself beginning 7 a.m. Saturday.

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