A team of former Navy SEALs has recently taken over the Frisco Adventure Park. Throughout the week they’ve been digging holes and erecting poles, cargo nets and ropes. No, the military isn’t coming to Summit County, but for one day this weekend, residents and visitors will get the opportunity to challenge themselves in a very militaristic way.
These Navy SEALs are all members of Commando eXtreme, a company that specializes in creating obstacle courses. Using their military background and expertise, the Commando eXtreme builders create challenging courses similar to those used to train soldiers. Anyone, regardless of skill level, can complete the course, organizers said, which is designed to be challenging but not impossible.
The town of Frisco has been organizing the logistics of the mud race since March, said Frisco Adventure Park general manager Jon Zdechlik. This will be the first year that the town will host an obstacle-focused event.
“It’s not something you see every day,” Zdechlik said of the reason the town chose the event and why such courses have become popular throughout the state.
The obstacle course is meant to be more of a fun, social event with a family atmosphere than a serious, competitive race, he added. “It’s not so much a race, it’s more about come out and challenge yourself and see if you can get through this.”
Participants ages 14 and up are welcome to try their hand at more than 20 different obstacles spread over the four-mile course, including climbing poles, cargo net climbing and mud pits. Teams and costumes are encouraged and, except for the competitive heat, the race is not timed, keeping the focus on defeating each obstacle rather than defeating the other participants.
“You’re always going to have that competitive class to say, ‘How fast can I do this’ and that’s great, but really the mainstream, the folks who are trying to get out here (say), ‘I want to challenge myself, I want to try something else,’” Zdechlik said. “We want people to come out and explore.”
After completing the course, participants can enjoy a free barbecue lunch provided by the town of Frisco and take the opportunity to brag and compare experiences with other competitors.
The makers of the course also emphasize the fact that the event focuses more on camaraderie and group experience rather than straightforward competition.
If a racer comes upon a particularly difficult obstacle, for example, “you might have to grab somebody and ask for help,” said Brett Morganti, managing member of Commando eXtreme. This is a perfectly normal and acceptable practice in Commando eXtreme events, drawing on the idea of the camaraderie of Navy SEAL teams.
That’s also why the course is designed in a way to be at once challenging yet manageable.
“You’re getting a taste of it. You’re not getting punished or destroyed,” said Commando eXtreme principal Jason Elliott. He added that he and other Commando eXtreme members will be standing near the particularly challenging obstacles, ready to offer motivation and advice.
While adults and older children can take on the main obstacle course, a smaller course is available to young children, at no charge. Spectators are also encouraged, and much can be seen from the back patio of the Adventure Park day lodge, Zdechlik said. That, added to the barbecue afterward and the kiddie course option, should create a fun weekend event with a family friendly atmosphere.
“It’s more of a social opportunity to come out and hang out and go do something a little off the beaten track, and enjoy it,” he said.
Registration for the course is still open. Participants can sign up by visiting the Commando eXtreme website at www.commandoextreme.com.