VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- More than 350 participants gathered on Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek (NABLC) May 19 for the 3rd annual Rudy's SEAL (Sea, Air, Land) Challenge.
The 8K obstacle course covered the length of NABLC, directing runners through the woods into various waterholes, mud puddles, over logs, sand dunes, and under crawl ways to raise money for the Naval Special Warfare Foundation (NSWF).
The NSWF is a non-profit organization that assists families and members of the special warfare community.
"The foundation takes care of the kids who are left behind," said retired SEAL Master Chief Rudy Boesch, who designed the run to give back to the Naval Special Warfare community that he spent more than 45 years serving.
"Last year we gave out over $100,000 dollars in scholarships," said Boesch. "Last year they (NSWF) made $12,000 (from the event). This year we'll probably do a little better. It seems to get bigger every year."
One sign that the race is growing is the distance people are traveling to participate in it.
"We came from St. Louis just to run today. It's for a good cause and its fun to do a challenge," said Mike Diamant, who took part in the race with his teammate. "There are no losers here. For me it's not fun to do a 10K race where you're only trying to win. I like to do stuff where there are other obstacles and things, because you can run anywhere."
Volunteers including active-duty SEALs lined the course to encourage the competitors.
"We get on the mega phones and talk to people to help them find their motivation to get through the run," said Zack, a Navy SEAL, assigned to SEAL Team 4. "It's all about getting out there and doing it. We want people to run and have a good time."
"You might say I'm a glutton for punishment. I like doing this stuff," said Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class Shawndaniel Yocum. "This is the second year I've run. This year was better, there were more obstacles and it was a lot more fun."
Children ages 12 and under also participated in the Kid's Frog Jog, a shorter obstacle course.
"She did great. This is her first run," said Jen Otis, about her daughter Skyler. "She wasn't willing to get dirty so she was tip-toeing through the mud, but beside that she did awesome."
Some race participants ran as individuals while others came as teams, pairing up with friends and family to share the experience.
"We came out as a team, the 'Runabouts,' and we do races together. This is our second year at the Rudy Run," said Laura Cvitanovich. "It's a challenge, but different from your regular 5K. It's more fun, more mud and getting down on your hands and knees doing push-ups is something different. It's all for a great charity."
After the run participants stayed to enjoy food and activities while talking about the challenges they overcame.
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