Waves of rebels ran through the St. Leonard area Oct. 20, testing their strength and endurance in the Rebel Race, a military-style obstacle course mud run.
Race coordinator Mike Keifer said this was the second year in which the Rebel Race took place in Maryland. The first time, it was in St. Leonard at a property on Cage Road.
More than 1,400 people participated in the race, which offered a 5K, or 3.1-mile, course and a 15K, or 9.3-mile, course, according to the Rebel Race Web site. Depending on when a racer registered, registration fees ranged from $50 to $79 for the 5K race and $70 to $99 for the 15K.
Beginning at 9:30 a.m., waves of people left the starting line and ran the 5K course every half-hour until 2:30 p.m. At 3 p.m., the last wave of people took off for a 15K race. Along the raceway, runners had to conquer about 25 obstacles, including climbing over a huge hay bale and a wall, scrambling through tunnels and squeezing through tires.
Just before their wave time at 10:30 a.m., the 11-person Fuddy Muddies team from Virginia was preparing for the race.
Team member Hyrum Laney, 44, of Vienna said the team, which was made up of co-workers and some of their family members, originally was entered in the Tough Mudder Mid-Atlantic race, but it was canceled. So team members decided to sign up for the Rebel Race.
“This one is shorter, but probably more our style,” Laney joked.
Laney said the team had been practicing for the race, which the group entered as a team-building exercise for its members’ company. He said everyone was looking forward to meeting the challenges of the obstacles.
“When you do it, the idea is we’re going to go as a group, do the obstacles together, do the whole thing,” Laney said. “That’s the fun of it.”
Team member Shimin Day, 32, of Rockville said she just participated in a marathon in Chicago, so she was ready for this race.
“I ran the first six miles, and then I had to walk the rest of it,” Day said of the Chicago marathon. “I almost crawled to the finish.”
Members of You Only Live Once, a team of Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant employees and their families, were dressed in a team uniform of superhero costumes.
“We read on Facebook for the Rebel Race to wear our costumes out for the Oct. 20 race, and we just decided to wear superhero costumes,” team member Sam Martinez said.
Martinez, 28, said he participated in the race because it was close to home and he was looking forward to getting muddy.
“It’s always fun getting muddy,” he said.
Team member Jessica Koehn, 25, said Calvert Cliffs holds a workout class for employees, and the race was something for them to work toward.
“We try to get everyone in the workout class in the races just so they can see their progress,” she said. “It’s also a way to encourage safety, health and fitness.”
About an hour after leaving the starting line in the first wave at 9:30 a.m., the team Girls Gone Dirty crossed the finish line.
Nicole Warnock, 32, of Arlington County, said that the team originally had four members but that one had to back out at the last minute.
“We still came and had fun,” she said.
Warnock said when team member Kelly Casino, 31, signed the group up for the Rebel Race, she thought it was a joke.
“Then it got closer, and I’m like, ‘We actually have to get in shape for this,’” she said, laughing. “So that’s what we did. We came together as a team. We had a lot of laughs, and we’ll be back.”
The toughest part of the race, Warnock said, was climbing a rope to cross the lake. Team member Jenny Van Riper, 35, said to cross the lake, participants were supposed to use their arms and legs to pull themselves across the rope.
“We didn’t make it very far,” she said.
Although team members ran into a few obstacles they couldn’t conquer, all three agreed that if they had the opportunity to participate in the Rebel Race again, they would.
“This is definitely an experience. We all realize we’re going to do something like this again,” Warnock said.