Bone Frog Challenge for aspiring Navy SEALs

  • Bonefrog Challenge Elite Heat winner Junyong Pak swings through the final obstacle at Berkshire East at the 2015 event. Pak finished the course in 1:37.15 – he is a two-time champion of the World’s Toughest Mudder, where participants log as many miles of Tough Mudder course as they can over 24-hours straight. Recorder FILE PHOTO

Recorder Staff
Thursday, October 27, 2016

CHARLEMONT — If you competed in the HESCO Bone Frog Challenge obstacle course in May, you may want to come back to Berkshire East again Saturday, to see if your skills have gotten stronger.

At least 2,400 people competed in the spring Navy SEAL-inspired obstacle-course racing event, according to founder and race organizer Brian Carney of South Deerfield. And they’ll have a second chance Saturday at Berkshire East.

With at least 36 Navy SEAL-style obstacles spread out over 9 or more miles, the course will test everyone, says Carney. An obstacle is placed every quarter-mile — so running ability alone will not carry the day.

The three-year-old race has added a second run this year at Berkshire East Mountain Resort in Charlemont. But the fall run “will be a new course layout, using the best part of the mountain,” Carney said. “It makes for a really great experience.”

“Spectators can ride the chairlift for free to the top of the mountain. Not only will they see the obstacle course but fall foliage, the Mountain Coaster, and other events there,” he said.

Carney, who spent 13 years as a Navy SEAL, started the event in 2013 at Berkshire East, modeled on the grueling training that Navy SEALs undergo to learn underwater demolition, how to scale walls, climb through windows and develop other combat-ready skills. That first race brought 300 competitors, but the race has expanded locally and nationally as well.

Since its beginnings, $75,000 in proceeds from the race have been raised for the Navy SEAL Foundation, which provides support to combat Navy veterans and their families through family services, education and legacy services.

Carney named his race the “Bone Frog Challenge,” in honor of the Navy SEALs’ mascot. HESCO, which manufactures protective military equipment has become the event sponsor, so the name is now HESCO Bone Frog.

Many Navy SEALs compete in this challenge that is open to the public. Bone Frog has also developed a quarter-mile children’s course, with scaled-down obstacles, for children ages 3 to 13.

“We’ve been hosting races since 2013,” Carney said. “This will be challenging in new ways. There is going to be water to go through, and a dusting of snow is expected Thursday on the mountain,” he said. “This is a new course layout, with at least 6 miles of unused terrain, and over 5,000 feet of elevation. People who ran in the past will see new views of the mountain.”

Cash prizes and Navy paddle awards with etched inscriptions will be awarded. The gates open at 7 a.m. and opening ceremonies are held at 8:15.

The first “Elite Wave,” begins the race at 8:30 a.m., followed by consecutive groups every 15 minutes from 8:30 until noon. Admission is free for spectators, but parking is $10 per vehicle.

To register, go to the website:

www.bonefrogchallenge.com/ and click on “events.”