AP NEWS

‘Challenge’ is No Walk in the Park

October 10, 2018

LOWELL -- More than 1,000 tough-mudder athletes from around the area participated in the second annual City Challenge Race Saturday.

Teams with as many as 40 members, couples, adventurers and elite runners navigated the 22 obstacles set up along the downtown stretch of river.

The 5K course -- In this case it could have meant “killer” instead of “kilometers” -- featured cargo-net climbs, police-car hops, a sandbag carry and heavy-bag gauntlet, rope climb, wall scaling and balancing along moving fingers and hopscotching on mock stones.

The competitors had staggered start times, between 8:30 and 11, and their progress was measured via electronic microchips taped to their body. The $49 entry fee helps pay for the organization, City Challenge Race out of New Jersey, to transport the elaborate series of apparatus around the country as well the staging of the event and marketing. All finishers were awarded a medal of completion, T-shirt and entrance to the after party.

Runners started off east along the southern bank then crossed over Bridge Street before heading west along the north side of the river. The existing wall along the boulevard was worked into the route as competitors had to climb over it to return to the trail below. -- SCOTT SHURTLEFF

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