Rentschler Field to host 'Fit-athlon' in April

By Evan Pajer - Staff Writer
East Hartford - posted Fri., Mar. 1, 2013
Rentschler Field will host the 2013 Fit-Athlon Challenge in April. Photo by Evan Pajer.
Rentschler Field will host the 2013 Fit-Athlon Challenge in April. Photo by Evan Pajer.

On April 13, the area around Rentschler Field in East Hartford will be turned into a massive obstacle course for the 2013 Fit-athlon Challenge. The event aims to promote fitness and physical activity while raising money for two prominent charities - the Channel 3 Kids Camp and the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.

Doug Dorsey, an event organizer, said that although the primary focus of the event is a 5k obstacle course, there are also events for children. "It's not just an individual event," he said. "A lot of people do the obstacle course in teams, and we also have a kids' obstacle course. Along with that, we're going to have a health and wellness vendor area and a band and music," he said.

The obstacle course will consist of 18 different obstacles, ranging from a wall climb to tire flipping. The obstacles will vary in difficulty, depending on skill level. Dorsey said that those at the higher skill levels can expect to have a much more challenging run. "Everyone does the same obstacles. The difference is the number of repetitions, distance and time," he said.  "We adjust it based on their level - for example, one of the things they have to do is climb a 5-foot wall. What we do for the competitors is move it around so they have to climb more walls than the newbies have to climb," he said.

Dorsey said that participants will be able to work in teams to get through obstacles, and that they can skip any they do not feel ready for. "We have people out at each obstacle to assist. The way our event is set up, if you feel uncomfortable with an obstacle, there's someone there to help you, or you can just skip it," he said.

Dorsey said that the obstacle course will focus on all aspects of fitness. "The participants can expect to be challenged, physically and mentally, based on what their current level of fitness is," he said. "They're going to use all the components of fitness - muscle strength, muscle endurance, cardiovascular endurance, core strength, balance - all of those things are going to come into play at some point on the course."

Dorsey said that Rentschler Field was selected as the location for this year's Fit-athlon because of the large amount of open space it provides. "We did our first event last year in Glastonbury and our second event last year in Farmington. This is our third event, and we wanted to get a nice big space so we could expand the number of participants we could have," he said. Dorsey said that 1,600 participants have already signed up, and that he expects 500 more will sign up by the end of March.

Registration for the Fit-athlon is $89 as of March 1. A registration form is available on the event's website, www.fitathlonchallenge.com.


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