116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
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By Katherine Bauer, The Gazette
CEDAR RAPIDS - Aqua assaults and cargo charges sound like obstacles on a military training course.
They are actually parts of a HARD CHARGE course.
“People are looking for a challenge,” HARD CHARGE Commissioner and race director Brent Wolf said. “They're looking for something beyond running.”
HARD CHARGE is bringing the obstacle mission to Cedar Rapids on Saturday. The course took eight days and eight crewmen to build at Seminole Valley Park earlier this week.
“The course is 4.2 miles with between 20 and 30 obstacles,” Wolf said. Obstacles range from man-built structures to natural deterrents.
These obstacles are designed to push “chargers” to their limits. Besides challenging stamina, strength and speed, the course tests a participant's ability to overcome mud, sweat and fatigue.
“It offers a whole body workout,” Wolf said. “Part of it's mental.”
Around 1,200 individuals and teams are registered for Saturday's races. The weather is expected to be hot and sunny.
“Rain has little effect on the course,” Wolf said. “We just look out for lightning and people's safety. The course has lots of mud so rain helps with that.”
Two different types of races will be run. One is a CHARGE for Fun, which allows participants to run at their own pace and does not enforce penalties for an uncompleted obstacle.
The other is a CHARGE for Glory, which is timed. If a CHARGER cannot complete an obstacle, they must sit out for two minutes. The first 10 male and female finishers in each division qualify for the CHARGE Championship. The top six co-ed teams also qualify.
KCRG 9.2 will broadcast the CHARGE Championship, starting at 1 p.m.
“Our first place male finishers can complete the course in under 30 minutes,” Wolf said. “People running for fun can take about two hours.”
HARD CHARGE is charitable partners with Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and Cedar Rapids Parks and Recreation. The CHARGE donates $500 for every 25 volunteers a charitable organization registers. It's also partners with BarrelAid, a non-profit, to clean up the muddy shoes after the race and give them to those in need.
“We have a great relationship with our charitable sponsors,” Wolf said. “The support in Cedar Rapids is outstanding.”
[naviga:li]More information is availableatwww.hardcharge.com/eastern-iowa.[/naviga:li]