The “Black Ops Elite” category of the race involves a 16km route with 30 obstacles that test the mental and physical ability of the athlete. In order to complete this route and be categorised as an “Elite Warrior”, no assistance over any obstacle is permitted. Such warriors will cross the finish line wearing a black armband and their individual times to finish the race place them in the running for both the Warrior title and the Jeep that is given to the winner to drive until the next race takes place.

Three UP students recently achieved ‘“top ten Elite” results. Greg Avierinos, who handed over the keys to the Jeep after winning the last race, achieved a podium place with a solid third position. Dale Smith, a second-year medicine student, improved from his eighth position in the last race to seventh. When asked about his achievement, Smith told Perdeby that he was pleased with his results, describing the event as “a race against yourself”. Third-year biokinetics student Jonah Young broke into the top ten for the first time. Young described the buildup to his accomplishment as one which involved a training schedule dominated by CrossFit and running. Young says the highlight of the race was to have “overcome obstacles that [he] thought would be very difficult to accomplish”.

Smith and Young are currently preparing for the National Warrior Race that will be held later this year. Among the other Black Ops competitors were Tuks medicine students Zein Darwish and Shannon Britt. Darwish obtained an “Elite Warrior” title for the first time and proudly crossed the finish line with his black armband fully intact. Britt, who entered the race with a close friend in the “Black Ops” category (which permits assistance) is proud to have finished the race as a young woman and says, “We enter to be each other’s support. My strengths are her weaknesses.” 

Image: Warrior Race Facebook page.


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