Fitness at Work: NSA Philadelphia 2nd Annual MWR Fitness Challenge Run
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Yesterday my worksite hosted its second fitness challenge run. The number of participants doubled from last year, so fourteen other athletes and I ran this two-mile event interspersed with six exercise stations.
The run circumnavigated the athletic fields at the rear of the base. About every quarter mile we stopped and executed the assigned exercise. They included 50 jump squats, 60 alternating side lunges, 100 mountain climbers, 50 V-ups, 80 ice-skaters, and 60 wide pushups. No equipment was needed. There were no obstacles. There was no mud. But there were some very fast and athletic people on this course.
We toed the starting line and took off. The lead runner, clearly the early favorite, ran well ahead of the second pack that I was in with three women. We ran about a 7:30 pace. The leader was somewhere in the 5’s. One of the girls called out to him laughing that he must be going for extra promotion points. I wondered if he was a rabbit. Turns out he’s both fast and strong, as he lead the entire race and won first place minutes ahead of the next runner.
Soon the girls were well ahead of me, and I found myself in a familiar spot, running alone and comfortably in front of the mid-pack. And that’s pretty much how the race went for the entire four loops and six stations. It was a fun run, a WOD, and a chance to make some new friends. At the end, the organizers, Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR), offered bananas and water. At each station, there was an MWR volunteer who provided encouragement and reminders of how many reps to do. The course was clearly marked, and each station had a sign that reminded us what exercise to do and how many reps. The run was very well organized and could easily handle a lot of growth.
Many of the participants were familiar with OCR. One guy had done a Savage race. Everybody had heard of Spartan, although they got a few details wrong like a 35 burpee penalty. I introduced them to Mud Run Guide.
Our facility’s primary mission is logistics for the Services. Common to just about every U. S. military base, the MWR here has a huge fitness center and sponsors lots of activities like this run throughout the year. Next year, the director promised that if we kept the numbers going up, he would introduce team competition. I asked for obstacles but didn’t get far. At least let us run in the muddy field instead of the street. No matter, I hope they keep doing this. It’s a good way to work out with and support our local Service members.
For keeping it up two years in a row with plans to grow, I give this event two stars out of five.