Tough Towner's a test
Another way to prove you’re a bad mamba jamba in Jackson.
Jannah Sorenson army-crawls through the Sand Pit Sammy obstacle in the sand volleyball court Saturday at Mike Yokel Park in east Jackson during the Tough Towner. BRADLY J. BONER / NEWS&GUIDEView our entire photo gallery >>
By Miller N. Resor, Jackson Hole, Wyo.
October 24, 2012
It was just a matter of time.
After all, what do you expect from a hyper-competitive town of adrenaline junkies with nothing to do in the offseason?
Of course, Jacksonites are going to seize on the obstacle course craze sweeping the country to satisfy their masochistic urges, and of course they’re going to dress in costume while they do it.
Saturday morning, 150 racers tested their mettle at the first Tough Towner, a 4-mile race that dashed up Snow King, through puddles, over hurdles and through a multitude of exhausting obstacles.
The race is modeled after the Tough Mudder and Spartan Race style of adventure races, where contestants complete an obstacle-strewn running course individually or with a team.
Over a million people raced in obstacle races last year, and the entire industry is now estimated to haul in over $250 million a year.
Grand Dynamics International, a training and development organization in Jackson that specializes in corporate team building and leadership development, is cashing in on this race mania.
The Tough Towner started at Phil Baux Park, where contestants were led in a comical aerobic warm- up led by extreme snowboarder and mountaineer Stephen Koch.
Koch, dressed in a white athletic suit, danced on top of the boulder park, paying special attention to loosening participants’ hips.
The race began with a climb straight up Snow King beneath Cougar. The race class climbed to the third tower, while the fun class huffed and puffed to the second tower.
Many racers agreed at the end of the race that Snow King, appropriately, was the most difficult obstacle in the Tough Towner.
Upon reaching their tower, runners turned downhill and made their way through a cloud created by a snowmaking machine to the rodeo grounds.
After attempting to swing across a mud pit, Towners dropped to their bellies to slip beneath ropes and through culverts.
Leaving the rodeo grounds with bloody knees and elbows, the first casualties began dropping on the way to Miller Park.
After high-stepping through tires, crossing the race’s first set of monkey bars and hurdling some more plywood barricades, many contestants slowed to a walk on their way to Davey Jackson Elementary.
Another lethal set of obstacles awaited them there and again when they reached Mike Yokel Park. Tire pushes, pumpkin carries, burpees and an extended military crawl were among the most grueling obstacles in the final phase.
Sam Fairleigh, who was racing for the Inversion Yoga team, finished the course first, completing the challenge in 33 minutes and 33 seconds. Dale Hoyt and Christ Betsinger finished just over four minutes later in second and third respectively.
Katie Steinberg led the women’s race crossing the finish line fourth overall with a time of 39:59. Marieke Fitz was just 20 seconds behind Steinberg in fifth overall and second among the women. Hannah Meier was the third women’s finisher, coming in 18th overall.
Inversion Yoga won the team competition followed by Jackson Hole Fire Rescue and Bruisers.
In the fun class, Zombie Bees, Zombie Nurses and a chicken made for an especially wild event.