Naval Station Yorktown to Host Last All-Military Wilderness Challenge

Story Number: NNS140825-04Release Date: 8/25/2014 1:08:00 PM

By Mark O. Piggott, Naval Weapons Station Yorktown Public Affairs

YORKTOWN, Va. (NNS) -- Naval Weapons Station Yorktown Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) department is preparing to host the last All-Military Wilderness Challenge after 14 years of the competition.

The Wilderness Challenge is scheduled to take place Oct. 9-11 in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains on the New and Gauley Rivers in Minden, West Virginia.

Military personnel representing more than 30 teams from around the world are expected to compete for the title of the "Ultimate Extreme Military Race Team."

The challenge contains a series of five outdoor adventure races in a team format, including an 8-kilometer mountain run, a 12-mile mountain bike race, a 14-mile forced hike through the mountains, a 13-mile whitewater raft race on the Gauley River, and a 7-mile kayak race on the New River; a total of more than 52 miles travelled in two days.

"The All-Military Wilderness Challenge brings together the best athletes the Armed Forces have to offer and puts them to the test," said Michael Bond, event coordinator. "As the competition has gotten tougher and tougher, so have the competitors as more teams join in to battle it out for the title."

The race is designed to bring camaraderie, competition, and team spirit between all five branches of the armed services. Teams must be comprised of four active duty military members, one of whom must be female. Teams may also include active reservists, retirees, and Reserve Officers Training Corps.

"This is one of the most grueling, hard-fought competitions in the Armed Forces, so the winning team will be one of the few to hold the title of Wilderness Challenge Champion," Bond added.

Since 2000, the All-Military Wilderness Challenge has tested the limits of human endurance as teams push themselves to finish the race. To the competitors, it's not just about winning, it's about crossing the finish line and getting that Wilderness Challenge Coin -- something only given to those who complete all 52 miles of the race, said Bond.

"The Wilderness Challenge will always be remembered as the ultimate test of strength, speed and endurance, both mental and physical," Bond concluded. "That's something the men and women of our military rely upon each and every day in defense of our Nation."

Registration is open to all branches of the military. The registration fee is $600 per team and can be made online at or by calling (757) 887-7256.

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