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Are you as strong as a Bone Frog?

Obstacle course offers members of the public the physical challenge Navy SEALs face

  • Recorder/Paul Franz<br/>Brian Carney and his 'Bone Frog" obstacle challenge at Berkshire East.

    Recorder/Paul Franz
    Brian Carney and his 'Bone Frog" obstacle challenge at Berkshire East.

  • Recorder/Paul Franz<br/>Brian Carney and his 'Bone Frog" obstacle challenge at Berkshire East.

    Recorder/Paul Franz
    Brian Carney and his 'Bone Frog" obstacle challenge at Berkshire East.

  • Recorder/Paul Franz<br/>Brian Carney and his 'Bone Frog" obstacle challenge at Berkshire East.

    Recorder/Paul Franz
    Brian Carney and his 'Bone Frog" obstacle challenge at Berkshire East.

  • Recorder/Paul Franz<br/>Brian Carney and his 'Bone Frog" obstacle challenge at Berkshire East.

    Recorder/Paul Franz
    Brian Carney and his 'Bone Frog" obstacle challenge at Berkshire East.

  • Recorder/Paul Franz<br/>Brian Carney and his 'Bone Frog" obstacle challenge at Berkshire East.
  • Recorder/Paul Franz<br/>Brian Carney and his 'Bone Frog" obstacle challenge at Berkshire East.
  • Recorder/Paul Franz<br/>Brian Carney and his 'Bone Frog" obstacle challenge at Berkshire East.
  • Recorder/Paul Franz<br/>Brian Carney and his 'Bone Frog" obstacle challenge at Berkshire East.

CHARLEMONT — The U.S. Navy’s SEAL teams have a slogan — “The only easy day is yesterday.” And the grueling, nine-month physical training that Brian Carney of Deerfield got as a Navy SEAL was designed for physically fit men who must learn underwater demolition, how to scale walls, climb through windows, and other combat-ready skills.

“Every week, (during training) you had to run an obstacle course for them,” said Carney, 31, who enlisted when he was 17 and left the Navy Sea, Air and Land force in March, after 13 years.

“If you couldn’t run the course within a certain amount of time, they would drop you from training — and you could kiss your dream goodbye of becoming a SEAL. ”

Carney decided the SEAL obstacles used to train soldiers would make a compelling course for any athlete, who might like a change from conventional marathons and triathlons.

So Carney and another SEAL created the “Bone Frog New England/Tri-State Challenge,” which will be held Sept. 13 and 14 at the Berkshire East Ski Resort.

The Navy SEALs are among the country’s most elite soldiers, conducting special warfare and special operations for the Navy. During the Vietnam War era, the SEALs were called “Frogmen,” according to Carney, and the “Bone Frog” skeleton tattoo that he and many Afghanistan-based SEALs now have are in homage to that earlier generation.

At least 36 military-style obstacles will circle the ski resort’s Thunder Mountain and about 40 volunteers from Westover Air Force Base will be positioned at these obstacles to help direct those who are unfamiliar with them. Vendors will be selling energy drinks and sports gear.

The obstacles will include a slant wall, hurdles, crawling beneath a barbed-wire fence, a log squat-press, deep-forest running, mud race, rope climbs, water crossings and “lots of mud,” says Carney.

“The idea is, people are looking for new ways to stay in shape,” he said. “The marathons and even triathlons are getting too monotonous for some people.”

“Harder than Hell,” Carney promises on his website. “The course will test everyone and leave no one unscathed. We will try to place an obstacle every quarter-mile, so your running ability alone will not carry the day. You must be functionally fit ... You will get muddy. You will get beat up. You will be exhausted. But you will finish.”

People can sign up individually and in teams, with teams of 10 or more getting discounts. Also discounts are offered to active duty military with proper identification.

By the end of August, 500 had signed up to do the course. Carney is expecting between 2,500 and 3,000 people to come to the event, counting both participants and spectators.

The resort’s ski lift will bring spectators to the mountain top, for live music and other special events, besides the views of the competitions.

Carney said every participant who completes the course will get a medal.

Carney said he and a partner started this competition to create a business doing work they love and a business that Carney could do while living in his hometown.

He noted that the 5-year-old Tough Mudder obstacle course event at Mount Snow drew about 26,000 people this year, and he hopes the Bone Frog will draw more entrants in future years.

“This is a course that not only includes Navy SEAL obstacles, but Navy SEALs to run with,” he said.

Carney is also organizing a second Bone Frog Challenge to take place next spring, in Cedartown, Ga.

The Bone Frog Challenge kicks off with the “SEAL Wave” on Sept. 13, when a very limited number of entrants can enjoy the course and camaraderie with Navy SEALs. The minimum SEAL-to-participant ratio will be 1 to 10 in the SEAL Wave, and 50 percent of the entrance fee for this wave goes to the Navy SEAL Foundation.

Sept. 14 is the primary race day. Contestant waves start every 15 to 30 minutes from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The bands that will play that day include Orange Crush and Prime Suspects. There will also be a disc jockey and emcee from Boston.

Registration fees for racers is now $125 and the deadline for registering is Sept. 11. That fee includes a timed-race entry, spectator pass for the full weekend, sweat-wicking T-shirt, admittance to an after party, and a free beer for those over 21.

The after party, near the front lodge, begins immediately after the first racers complete the course, around 11 a.m., and continues until 5 p.m. It is open to all.

Spectator passes, which are included in each race participants’ entry package, can also be purchased for $5 online or $10 at the gate, for ages 10 and older.

More online information is available at:

www.bonefrogchallenge.com

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