Exercise, exhaustion, charity, and fun: On Sept. 1, Glastonbury will be the first Connecticut community to experience all of these and more as part of the Fitathlon Challenge at Smith Middle School.
The Fitathlon Challenge, the first of its kind here in the state, is a 5k obstacle course race that pits competitors against 17 fitness-based challenges, such as lunges, tire flips, balance beams, and wall climbs. The event is set to test the strength, endurance, athleticism and mental toughness of competitors of all experience levels, according to creator Doug Dorsey, owner of Accelerated Fitness gyms.
“People get kind of bored with the normal gym stuff sometimes,” Dorsey said. “That’s where this comes into play.”
Dorsey said that the Fitathlon Challenge is modeled after competitions like the Tough Mudder or Spartan Race, except dangerous obstacles like mud, fire, water, and electricity are all replaced with safe, fitness-based challenges. The local challenge course will focus on wellness, fitness, and a local audience, Dorsey said.
“People are driving hours for these events,” Dorsey said. “I wanted to create one with a little bit of local focus. It’s using local vendors, donating money to a local charity, and I’m trying to make sure the event has a wellness focus.”
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The challenge has several participant levels, from beginners who are in it for the fun to competitors trying to go for the gold. The fastest man and woman in the competitor’s heat will receive $250 as a prize for victory, Dorsey said.
Proceeds from the event will also go to support the Glastonbury Rotary Club Scholarship Fund. The amount donated will depend on revenues, Dorsey said, to a minimum of $1,000. The Glastonbury Rotary Club formed the scholarship in 1979 to award money to those Glastonbury students who achieved educational standards and needed financial help to attend college. Last year the winner of the scholarship was awarded $20,000.
“The Rotary has done a great job—they’ve got a great history—of supporting people who need it,” Dorsey said regarding his decision to support the scholarship fund.
Dorsey said he is also working on bringing the Fitathlon Challenge to Farmington in the first week of November, and a larger Fitathlon event to Hartford in April 2013.
The Fitathlon Challenge will take place on Sept. 1 at Smith Middle School on Addison Road, and will feature music and local food vendors for participants and spectators alike. Registration is $69. For more information, visit the Fitathlon Challenge website.
Currently there are slightly more than 100 registered participants, Dorsey said. There is a participation cap of 350 challengers.