The Amazing Ruck took place at Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area, Saturday, with 12 teams of four taking on the challenge.

The competition is part of a number of new events that the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation is trying to offer to Soldiers and their families to add a little bit of variety to recreation on Fort Hood.

“It provided something new to the mix. It was something different that catered to a different crowd. It brought out a different type of competitor and they loved it,” Toni Kornegay, recreation specialist for DFMWR, said.

The Amazing Ruck consisted of a 5.6 mile ruck race, with every participant required to strap a 45-pound rucksack on their back to wear throughout the entirety, to exclude certain portions for safety’s sake.  Teams had to contend with five different challenges in order to progress through the race. The challenges included a paintball target shoot, kayaking, ropes course, rock wall climb and a “mystery challenge.”

The mystery challenge required a team member to eat the contents of a Ziploc bag – that was chosen at random. All of the bags contained a rocky mountain oyster. A rocky mountain oyster, for those who don’t know, is not an oyster, but a bull’s testicle.

“During the planning phase it was actually suggested by Abigail Crosby of Outdoor Rec/Adventure Programs,” Kornegay said. “She thought it would be fun to add a ‘Fear Factor’ style challenge.”

Those who were unlucky chose bags that contained not only a rocky mountain oyster, but a couple of extra elements – a habanero pepper and Limburger cheese.

“I loved seeing the teams pull together to get it done,” Kornegay said.

Team 18 came in first place consisting of Staff Sgt. Dani Bari, Sgt. Josh Miltier, Spc. Brandon Peterson and Major David Autry of 7215th Medical Support Unit.

With two members returning from air assaults and two members training for air assaults the group had planned to do ruck training on Saturday mornings. When they heard about the challenge they decided to put together a team and “crush it.”

There was a lot of camaraderie amongst the participants. One Soldier in particular, Sgt. Kyle Krull of 7215th MSU, was a favorite of the participants and the observers, sporting sparkly spandex and a neon pink “Golden Girls” T-shirt. His energy was contagious and he took every chance he could to make people laugh.

“I look to them as a source for inspiration in a lot of aspects of my life,” Krull said of the Golden Girls. “Blanche for example, she’s fierce. She’s a woman with not whom to trifle and I hope to emulate that someday.”  

By all appearances, the Amazing Ruck Race was a big success and the hope is that it may become a regular event.

“We would definitely love to do it again next year. We have a few months to come up with more challenges. We hope to make it bigger and better next year,” Kornegay said.  

For those who just can’t wait, the Sprint Triathlon is Fort Hood DFMWR’s next big event.

“It includes a 300 meter swim into Lake Belton, 12 mile bike ride and ends with a 5K run.,” Kornegay said.

The next event is the Spring Triathalon on Sept. 14 at Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area. For more information, call 254-285-5459.