By Kent Tidwell
USAREC, 6th Brigade
June 1, 2016
Nine 6th Brigade Soldiers arrived in Las Vegas May 16th with a goal to win - not money at the casinos, but to engage in physical fitness and come in first place in the 4th bi-annual Brigade Outrider Challenge.
The challenge promotes fitness and camaraderie and recognizes the most physically fit male and female Soldiers in the brigade.
The competition began with a 5-mile run at Nellis Air Force Base in the early morning and was immediately followed by a shuttle run, bench press, push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, a deadlift, and dips.
Male competitors had 95 minutes to finish all of the events and females had 100 minutes.
The second day consisted of a 12-mile march through Red Rock National Park, followed by a surprise event - a truck tire drag.
Wearing 35-pound rucksacks, competitors had three hours to complete the event in the wind and rain.
This was the second time male first-place finisher Staff Sgt. Eric Giovannucci, Central California (Fresno) Battalion, competed in this event.
"I value the total experience more than any award I might receive," Giovannucci said. "I have now met fellow Soldiers who have become not only my competitors but new friends that I will have the rest of my career."
Though she's run in four full marathons and 13 half marathons, this was the first time female winner Sgt. 1st Class Caren Evangelista, Northern California (Sacramento) Battalion, competed.
Staff Sgt. Colten Niklaus, Southern California Battalion, said he participated because he likes to compete.
"This is my third time competing in the event," Niklaus said. "I like the camaraderie that comes with the event and competing with like-minded Soldiers."