By Ed Harris
Southington YMCA officials are planning a Storm Sloper Trails Challenge for early next year. The race is billed as being part run, part obstacle course and part scavenger hunt.
“It is very much like a Warrior Dash or Tough Mudder, but at the same time it is its own unique event,” said Brian Belanger, the Health and Wellness night supervisor and trainer at the Southington YMCA. “YMCA Camp Sloper is a special place with a rich history, beautiful scenery and rugged terrain. All of these elements will be highlighted within the near five mile course.”
Though they did not want to give too much about the race away, race officials did say that the course is divided into two main sections.
The first section will take participants to the top of the scenic ridge overlooking Sloper. Nature will provide all the obstacles in this section. The second section begins once participants come down off of the mountain and enter into the lower half of Sloper. The second section will included physical challenges, both natural and man made.
“Challengers should be prepared to get muddy, sandy and wet,” said Belanger, one of the architects of the race. “They will be absolutely filthy by the end.”
Much like the annual bench press competition and cyclethon, proceeds from the race will benefit the YMCA’s Livestrong program.
“Since this event will benefit cancer survivors, each participant will have the opportunity to race in honor of or in memory of a loved one,” said Linda Prus, Health and Wellness Program coordinator at the Southington YMCA. “To symbolize taking the challenge together with them, we will provide a yellow bandana or arm band that they can write the name of the loved ones on and wear throughout the challenge as if they are carrying that person along the way. It provides a way for the challenger to dedicate the race or draw inspiration from a loved one.”
The Storm Sloper Trails Challenge will take place on Sunday, April 27. To register visit the Southington YMCA’s website, sccymca.org. The event is $99 and open to adults 18 and over. Registration is limited to the first 500 entrants.