MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga., --
Dozens of hard-charging Marines put their physical strength to the test during the first-ever Marine team challenge aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Apr. 27, 2018. The Marine Corps Community Services Semper Fit sponsored a 3-mile obstacle course to measure the Marines strength, endurance, marksmanship and strategy.
"We want to keep them motivated, we want to build camaraderie, and we want to teach them to work together in stressful situations," Whitney Hendrix, coordinator, Fitness & Health Program, Marine Corps Community Services, explained.
Five teams of Marines signed up for the challenge, with one being an all-female team who called themselves Wonder Women.
"We’re going to give it all we got, we’re going to cross the finish line no matter what the scoreboard says, and we’re out here to show that we can do it," said 1stLt. Delaney Bourlakov, adjutant, MCLB Albany.
Like the other teams, Bourlakov had no clue of what to expect from the course.
In fact, the participants got a brief rundown of the events just a few minutes before the challenge started at 8 a.m.
From Covella Pond to the Skeet Range, the three-mile course included five different events like flipping tires, performing pushups and even pushing a high mobility multi-wheeled vehicle nearly 50 yards.
And with four all-male teams, the Wonder Women were sure to strategize.
The entire team was decked out in candy paint, and if that didn’t boost their spirits, one member even had a speaker stashed away in a camelbak blasting motivating music throughout the challenge.
Through blood, sweat and tears, every team gave it their best shot.
"Nothing but teamwork, motivation…teamwork is probably the best thing, I mean this is what Marines do," Sgt. Brian Harrington, administrative clerk, Military Personnel, MCLB Albany, of Rapid Retraction team remarked.
Another team member of Rapid Retraction, Sgt. Josh Robles, color sergeant, Military Operations and Training Branch, MCLB Albany, added "I think it’s a great event to see how well rounded the Marines are with cardio, lifting heavy things, moving, agility and shooting. All the fundamentals of being a Marine."
Three teams took home awards for the top speed times: 1st place Rapid Retraction with 1:15:26, 2nd place Vault Dogs with 1:20:03, and 3rd place Swole Team Six with 1:23:45.
Although Wonder Women didn’t snag a top spot, Bourlakov says the event was all about building camaraderie, "We’re competing together, we’re a team, that’s different from working day-by-day with somebody, so I absolutely agree that camaraderie is a great part in teamwork, and we’re very excited to get out there.
Hendrix is already planning another Marine team challenge next year, and she hopes it will be bigger and better than ever.