Race like a Marine at the BootCamp Challenge


Oorah! It’s time to see how tough you are compared to the few, the proud, the Marines. The BootCamp Challenge, held on Saturday, Oct. 1 at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD), is a 5K race with over 50 obstacles that give civilians a taste of Marine Corps boot camp.

“BootCamp Challenge has become a staple not only aboard MCRD, but also in the community, with participants coming from the local area, across the U.S. and the world,” said Jocelyn Jackson. The event, which started in 2002, is designed to give civilians a chance to challenge themselves and get an inside look at the world of the Marine Corps. It also supports Marine Corps Community Services, which supports Marines and their families by providing morale, welfare and recreational programming throughout the year.

If you think you’ve got what it takes, you can register as an Elite, Individual (male or female) or as part of a three- or five-person team. To run in the Elite category, men must be able to run a seven-minute mile and women must run an eight-minute mile. There are no time restrictions on individuals or teams.

All participants will complete a 5K course that’s filled with obstacles, including tunnel crawls, log hurdles, a six-foot vertical climbing wall, cargo net crawls and push-up stations. Marine Corps Drill Instructors will be stationed at each obstacle to provide Marine-style encouragement and motivation. (Participants won’t be required to complete obstacles to finish.)

“Anyone who enjoys fitness events, fun runs or wants to try something new is encouraged to sign up,” Jackson said. “When competing as an individual, you’ll battle the obstacles, challenge your abilities and even achieve personal goals. Competing as a team allows you and your comrades to help each other through the course.” The Challenge can also be a great opportunity for corporate groups looking for a team-building experience-corporate group rates are available.

The race is meant to be challenging, requiring both endurance and upper body strength, but don’t feel like you have to be super-fit to participate. The BootCamp Challenge website has some recommended training routines you can complete in the weeks leading up to the race to build your fitness and confidence. Visit for the routines.

Spectators are welcome as well-buses will transport family and friends from the venue to the course to support participants. Spectators and participants can visit the pre-race expo, with sponsor exhibits and military activities. Celebrate your accomplishment post-race at a party with live music, beer and the awards ceremony for top finishers.

“BootCamp Challenge is the only obstacle course race on a Marine training circuit that allows participants to run through the same obstacles that turn recruits in to Marines,” Jackson said. For more information and to register, visit

Source: DiscoverSD