Firefighters, Police are Encouraged to Race in New 'Obstacle' Event

Swing over an obstacle, duck inside a tunnel, climb a wall, and stomp through mud…. Sounds like a hard day at work. But for a crew of firefighters from Milford, Mass., and two of their sons, it’s also a typical day on the racecourse.

A new race series, Extreme Wolverine Challenge, pits firefighters, EMTs, police and civilians against one another in an obstacle-racing format.

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Climb a wall of tires at the Extreme Wolverine Challenge

Held in Vermont, the Wolverine race includes a 6-mile course with 18-20 military style obstacles. The organizers support numerous charities and encourage “everyday” people to sign up, not just honed endurance athletes.

Participant categories include civilian, corrections, educators, fire, military, and police.

The Milford Fire Department dominated the first Wolverine race in January. “It’s fun to bring a trophy back to the fire department,” said Scott Keefe, one of the six men on the winning team.

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Four firefighters and two sons pulled together to win the first Extreme Wolverine Challenge. Pictured are Dan Martino, John Dumont, Brendan Keefe, Brian Keefe, Scott Keefe and Mike Goncalves

Keefe continued, “We like running, we like challenges, and doing these obstacle races presents a whole new angle.”

That “angle” included beer kegs hanging from ropes that you’re required to “monkey bar” across; scrambling on hands and knees under obstacles; carrying heavy objects through the woods and up hills; and steep trail running on Stratton Mountain to get from challenge to challenge.

A couple editors from GearJunkie.com will toe the line at the next Extreme Wolverine Challenge on July 13 to see how our “civilian team” of endurance-oriented athletes stacks up against the (ostensibly burlier) firemen, police, and corrections officers on the course.

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A giant slip-and-slide was a part of a Wolverine race last month

We asked Keefe for advice going into the event. He said that while standard training and physical fitness are important, the event is all about “good times shared with friends.”

“We won the first time around, and we like to be competitive,” he said. “We don’t want to get crushed on the next race. But ultimately it’s all about fun.”

—By Sean McCoy

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Milford, Mass., fire truck

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