Green Beret Challenge interview with Mark Ballas
SGPT: Tell us about the Green Beret Challenge.
MB: A few years ago, I developed an adventure race concept now called the Green Beret Challenge (GBC). This concept is derived from a segment of our Special Forces Assessment and Selection (team week). The GBC incorporates the thinking aspect into the physical challenge whereas teams will need to utilize a little ingenuity to complete each event along a 12 kilometer course as they push, pull or carry themselves to the finish line.
These “events” can be adjusted for numerous fitness levels… one of our greatest assets as an adventure race is our flexibility in the concept and design. GBC is not a mud run nor an obstacle course, rather a very unique endurance race which a certain level of team work and camaraderie is achieved amongst the team.
We currently have 3 races lined up and expecting to host another 6-8 during the 2013 calender year leading up to the National Green Beret Challenge next fall.
SGPT: So what are some of the obstacles that we will see on the course?
MB: Each event provides a specific set of materials which each team has to work with. Teams will need to “size up” the situation, make a plan and build an apparatus to either push, pull or carry that apparatus and materials an unknown distance. To maintain the ambiguity of the events for the participants until race day, we currently do not disclose the exact nature of the events. What I can say is there is nothing on the market quite like this…
SGPT: What are some ways we can train to get ready for the Obstacle course?
MB: Crossfit and core focused training is perfectly aligned with what we would recommend towards training and successfully completing the GBC. I will add that road marching with a significant amount of weight and distance is also highly recommended.
SGPT: Where do we register and get signed up?
SGPT: On a side not, we heard your a NASCAR racer – can you tell us more about that?
MB: Yeah, I was recruited as a developmental driver for NASCAR in 2006. The premise behind the idea was to get a veteran behind the wheel of a car in the most patriotic sport in America.
Currently, I am not racing this season due to sponsorship, however hope to get back on the track in 2013. Next to becoming a Special Forces Operator, driving a car in the sport of NASCAR runs a close second.
SGPT: Thanks for the interview and best of luck with the upcoming Green Beret challenge.
MB: Thanks guys for taking some time to learn about the most unique, up and coming adventure/endurance race on the horizon!
My Obstacle Course Journey