Marine organizing Citadel event
Want a fun, physical challenge that's a bit out of the ordinary? The Bulldog Challenge is just that.
The event, to be held at The Citadel on March 7, involves negotiating obstacles over a six-mile course that covers the school campus.
We discussed the event with Staff Sgt. Melchizedech "Zeke" Cunningham, an active-duty Marine attending The Citadel who is organizing the 13th annual challenge:
Q: What does the Bulldog Challenge consist of?
A: The challenge course is just over six miles long and stretches throughout the campus of The Citadel and the city of Charleston. Throughout the course, competitors will have to negotiate various obstacles and challenge stations individually and as a team. Just a few of these events include a rope climb, stretcher carry and our newest addition: a truck pull!
Q: Is it open to anyone to participate?
A: Yes, it is open to anyone who would like to participate. Participants can register for this event by going to www.active.com and searching for Bulldog Challenge. They can register in four different categories: four-person male, four-person female, four-person coed and four-person age 40+.
Q: Who traditionally participates in it, and do you wish that more civilians would do it?
A: The majority of the competitors are from other ROTC units around the country, but we also get many military and law enforcement teams who participate. In the last couple of years, more and more civilians in the community have become interested and come out to compete.
Q: For those who aren't used to doing military drills, do you have a suggestion on how, and how long, to train for this?
A: Serious competitors should begin training for this at least a month out. My biggest suggestion would be to start running in your boots now and break them in. Many competitors are not prepared to run the six-mile course in boots and trousers, so it slows them down drastically.
Q: Tell me about what you have to wear for the competition? And about team uniforms?
A: We only require the competitors to wear boots, long trousers and a modest shirt. Anything in addition to that is up to the individual teams. Creativity is encouraged, however, and there will be a prize given out to the best team uniform/costume. We have had everything from simply matching shirts to Fruit of the Loom costumes.
Q: Do you have many participants from out of town?
A: We have many participants from all over the country. Last year, we had participants from Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Virginia, North Carolina, New York, Texas, Oregon, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Colorado, and, of course, all over South Carolina.
Q: Is this fun for spectators, too? If so, where would you suggest they watch?
A: Spectators are more than welcome to come out and watch as well. The best place for them to watch is on the parade deck of The Citadel. This is where the race will begin and end and all of our sponsors will be present. We do ask that spectators give a donation to the cause and, in exchange, we will give them a Bulldog Challenge T-shirt.