CAMDEN — The first-ever Run For Your Life race at the Camden Snow Bowl this spring is attracting a variety of competitors, from seasoned triathalon competitors to runners ready to experience a different kind of adventure. And, it is drawing television stars, such as the ruggedly handsome Maine game warden Kris MacCabe, who appears on the popular Animal Planet show North Woods Law.
The May 25 race welcomes competitors of all levels — already, participants range from local business owners to cops to women who just like to run. Registration is under way for the race, but space is limited and organizers are encouraging sign-ups now at the Run for Your Life Emergency Service Challenge website. Registration fee is $50.
This is no ordinary endurance race. Coordinated with the effort of the Camden Fire Department, Hope Fire Department and Camden First Aid Association, the competition has a unique mission: To recruit a new generation of motivated firefighters, law enforcement, and emergency medicine providers, and to challenge them to actively provide emergency services within their community. In addition to the race, the day will promise an opportunity to talk with representatives from a range of departments and organizations dedicated to public safety — fire departments, police and ambulance, Maine’s Forest Service, Coast Guard, National Guard, and more.
The Run for Your Life Challenge will send competitors on a course that winds up and down ski and bike trails at Ragged Mountain, with spectacular views over Penobscot Bay. The contest of physical and mental stamina ends with a 160-meter swim across Hosmer Pond and a final leap over fire before finishing in front of the Snow Bowl lodge.
The Challenge is an endurance trial, inspired by actual situations encountered by firefighters, EMS, and law enforcement. Obstacles for the course include:
Blazing Forearms – Hoist cinder blocks 15 feet into the air with a rope and pulley, hand-over-hand.
Bucket Brigade –Fill two 5-gallon buckets with gravel and carry them to the dumping location.
Maiden Cliff Rescue- Climb 15 feet up a rope.
Rescue Sandy – Using teamwork, carry Poor Sandy on a stretcher over a wall and to her destination.
The Burning Building – Crawl 15 meters under barbed wire with smoke pouring over your head.
Abigail’s Alibi – Use your brain to solve the puzzle and get Abigail’s Alibi. You will be quizzed about Abigail’s Alibi before the Get Wet! obstacle.
High-Rise Hell – Carry a hose pack on your back up and down a steep ski slope.
Mighty River Jump – Using a rope, swing like Tarzan over a a mighty stream.
Who Put These Here? – Run through a sea of tires, just like football players.
Just Add Water – Crawl through a culvert that is partially filled with water.
Get Wet! – Swim 160 meters across Hosmer Pond
Fire Jump- Need we say more?
“The Run For Your Life Challenge is a fun, energetic way to increase awareness of the need for citizens in our communities to help provide emergency services,” said Camden Fire Chief Chris Farley. “We are challenging participants to push themselves mentally and physically, and we are promoting involvement in local fire departments, ambulance services and law enforcement agencies.”
Diminishing volunteerism is an issue that has been affecting fire departments across the country, mostly in rural areas where communities rely heavily on volunteer firefighters. The declining rate of volunteerism began in the early 1980s. As firefighters age out, there has been a corresponding lower number of younger men and women stepping up to take their places.
The Emergency Service Challenge intends to reverse that trend, and is actively recruiting a new generation of volunteers and career first responders.
Register now for the Run for Your Life Emergency Service Challenge. Visit the Challenge website or friend the event on Facebook to keep up with the latest Challenge news. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 207-236-7950.