Barksdale to hold its first ever alphARace this weekend

963
Paul Williamson, 2nd Force Support Squadron Outdoor Recreation manager, explains alphARace specifics to community members. (U.S. Air Force photo/2nd Lt. Chris Sullivan)

Story by 2nd Lt. Christopher Sullivan, 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE — A natural terrain and man-made obstacle course race is scheduled to be held for base and local community members on the East Reservation today and tomorrow.

The 2nd Force Support Squadron’s Outdoor Recreation office is partnering with alphARace, Inc., to design a course that will bring both communities together for some healthy competition.

“Runners can expect the most difficult terrain on base,” said Paul D. Williamson, outdoor recreation manager. “This is a very challenging course with multiple water and mud challenges, which enhance the difficulty of already established obstacles.”

The 3.9 mile race will take place over two days and, because of the large number of expected participants, will be split into multiple heats with staggered start times.

The July 12 heats will start at 9:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. with individual runners navigating the course via headlamp. The July 13 race will begin at 9 a.m. and will run until the final, 12:50 p.m. heat.

Insect repellent and headlamps will be available for purchase the day of the event, but coordinators urge participants to purchase these items prior to the run.

“The terrain itself makes this a challenging course,” said Michael A. Green, Jr., chief of operations for alphARace, Inc. “Runners should expect mud, water, nature, and a fun competitive atmosphere with our friends in the community.”

A one-mile child’s course has also been designed to confront younger runners with a less intense, but still challenging option.

“The youth course is a mile long and will have obstacles such as a hay bale jump, belly crawl, 45 degree high frame climb, and a 24-foot long mud crawl,” Williamson said.

The night race will feature a bonfire, music and refreshments. During the race base organizations will provide security, on-site medical professionals, vending, and food and beverages.

“The Base’s role in the race is to coordinate and assist,” said Williamson.

alphARace was founded by former Airmen who are going back to their roots to provide a service for the military.