Do you have what it takes?
Stranded 6: Sole Survivor, possibly the ultimate in rucksack endurance events, is gearing up to be the best and toughest event yet.
“This is our sixth extreme endurance experience,” says KASEY MEUNIER, event creator and FitMo Spartan certified coach.
Different from a series of obstacle courses of varying distance and difficulty like a Spartan Race or a Tough Mudder, Stranded Survivor is a thirty-plus mile, twenty-plus hour challenge for body, mind, and spirit.
“It will be grueling,” Meunier says. “Your mind will tell you it’s hard. You’ll want to quit. But, your heart will remind you why you signed up for something so crazy. In the end, it comes down to who’s got the spirit to keep their mind strong enough to keep their body moving.”
Participants carry their own backpack with nutrition and hydration. But, that’s not all. Everyone carries mandatory supplies such as weights, duct tape, trash bags, wooden skewers, blindfolds, and PVC pipe needed to complete physical challenges and mental puzzles based on a socially conscious theme.
Past themes included the topics of addiction and homelessness. Participants carried one-pound metal blocks for the first twelve hours.
“At first, it’s laughable; it fits in your hand. Soon, it becomes a bother and eventually causes pain,” Meunier says. And then, there was the challenge of lugging sacks of rice. Coach Kasey is teaching lessons. “The weight represents addiction. Carry it regardless of how uncomfortable it is. You can go back to normal life tomorrow. Some people aren’t so lucky.”
The rice was delivered to Good Shepherd Center, a homeless shelter, along the route.
Participants who make it through the first twelve hours receive a finisher patch. Back by popular demand, this year’s format will also recognize the last one standing.
“The prize is a goofy gift like a fire starter or a swag compass. The sillier the prize, the harder people try to win,” Meunier says, adding that this year’s prize is a secret, just like the challenges.
Meunier wasn’t always so dedicated.
“Seven years ago I was not doing much good with my life. Then, I discovered fitness. I found I could make a business out of coaching and training,” Meunier says.
After he participated in an obstacle race in the Vermont mountains, Meunier decided to bring his own endurance event to Wilmington under his logo Outside the Box Endurance.
According to Meunier, this year is special. “Because of what’s going on in the world today, this event is really needed to help re-evaluate life and get away from the craziness while forming lifelong bonds with those alongside you,” he says.
“There is nothing better than to watch people push beyond what they thought they couldn’t do. Those who doubt themselves the most, step up the most. That’s awesome.”
Stranded Survivor is for all ages, physiques, and fitness levels. The event is planned for September 5-6 in and around Wilmington pending any new COVID-19 restrictions.
To view more of photographer Terah Wilson’s work, go to terahwilson.com.
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