“There are a lot of competitive obstacle runs out there,” said Stuart Kaul, Race Director. “One of our cofounders, a D.C. firefighter, ran a competitor’s race. After the race, he felt firefighters do tougher training than the challenges presented in the competitor’s race. So he wanted to create an obstacle run based on what firefighters go through every day.
“Our course offers 20 obstacles. We have a ‘hazmat zone’ where runners jump into slime. There is a ‘hoarder’s hell’ where runners go into a smoking building where a hoarder might live. At the ‘bystander’s blast,’ runners are blasted with a fire hose as they run through the obstacle. As runners are crossing the finish line, they have to jump over the fire lanes. After being totally wet, it’s a way to finish the race by getting through some fire. We’ve really put a fun twist on the obstacle race.
“Hero Rush benefits the National Fallen Firefighter’s Foundation, which is our national charity. A portion of the proceeds from every event goes to them. They assist families and loved ones who have lost a firefighter in the line of duty.
“At every event, we select a local charity to benefit. This event will benefit the Irving Firefighters’ Foundation. It’s a great charity that supports the local firefighters and their families. They have been a huge help here, and they are fantastic people to work with.”
One of the large, non-competitive groups running in the day’s event was supervised by Steve Sarosy, a City of Irving Recreation Specialist.
“We brought kids here as part of a free Fitness Adventure program at Lively Pointe Youth Center that gets kids involved in more sports and outdoor activities, so they become more fit,” Sarosy said. “It also teaches them teamwork while building their self confidence. Running in these races motivates them to show up to the workouts and class, because they know if they don’t show up, they won’t get to run in the next race.
“Most kids will never have a chance to run in a race like this, because the entrance fee is $78. For a lot of these kids, this is their first time to participate in any kind sporting event like this.
“The kids are having a lot of fun. They really love this program. We have about 40 kids running today, and we have over 50 kids signed up for the class,” he said.
The A-Team’s Joe Hansen of Plano took first place for the men during the competitive run.
First place plano Joe Hansen The Adrenaline Team
“The obstacles were very challenging,” Hansen said. “The one that gave me the most difficulty had tubes with spider webbing. I couldn’t seem to get through.
“I enjoy the challenge of something like this. The challenge motivates me to stay in shape for life.”
Crossing the finish line a mere 11 seconds after the leader, Irving Firefighter / EMT Ben Reid came in second place.
“It was a great race,” Reid said. “They really went all out. My favorite obstacle was the ‘towering inferno’ where you climb up the stairs with water falling on you, and you slide down once you get to the top.
“I did one mud run before this, but I like this better, because the obstacles are a lot more intense. It’s not just running through mud. This race has climbing, and it is much more physical than the other one.
“I appreciate the Hero Rush coming to Irving. I’m glad they are supporting our Irving Firefighters’ Foundation,” he said.
A 14 year old from Little Elm, Skye Summers, won first place in the women’s competitive race.
“The race was hard but not difficult,” said Skye. “It is not something that you would want to quit. It is challenging. My favorite obstacle was the smoke maze.
“I’ve run 5Ks since I was about eight. This is my second obstacle run, so I’m going to keep doing them. I feel awesome winning against this group of ladies. But you have to give them credit, because they came out today and ran this course, when they could have been at home eating chips.”
Charlene Prego ran with a six person team whose name she felt was, ‘not appropriate for the paper.’ Team members wore outfits patterned after firemen’s uniforms with very short skirts.
“We love to do runs and competitive races,” Prego said. “We enjoy the adrenaline rush, and we are a pretty tough bunch of girls. Running in these outfits is going to be pretty awesome. We are looking forward to jumping over the fire, and I’m pretty excited about any of the climbing stuff.
“We are mothers, and we are actually very nice girls. Everyone needs to dress up a little and not be so serious. We are here to have fun. No one cares if you are the fastest one here, but we are going to remember today, because we wore these outfits. We aren’t going to care about how fast we ran the course, but we will have good pictures and a good story.”
The winners in the men’s competitive race were:
First Place - Joe Hansen with a time of 29:25.6
Second Place – Ben Reid with a time of 29:36.8
Third Place – Ryan Loehding with a time o f34:37.1.
The winners in the women’s competitive race were:
First Place – Skye Summers with a time of 41:07.0
Second Place – Jamye Dennis with a time of 43:08.8
Third Place – Ranae Fithian with a time of 43:22.9.