By Bryan Boggiano
Soldier Rush’s 2023 boot-camp-style race is set to return to Parkland with a military-style obstacle course race, giveaways, and more.
Held on Saturday, November 11, at the Parkland Equestrian Center, starting at 6:30 a.m., the race, now in its ninth year, has 60 total obstacles, including tire flips, a low crawl underneath barbed wire, monkey bars, water balloon grenades, a farmers carry, log carries, a cargo net slide, and 17 four-foot-high climbing walls serving as a memorial to the 17 victims of the MSD tragedy.
Soldier Rush is open to all ages and all fitness levels.
Founder Manuel Mair said the event aims to give back to and support veterans, active duty service members, police officers, firefighters, and other first responders.
“I always wanted to give back to veterans and first responders and make a difference for those who served and are serving right now,” he said.
All funds from the race go to various causes to help first responders and military members, past and present. Since 2015, Mair estimates Soldier Rush has raised $180,000 from donations and registration fees.
“We’d like to build the event up to be bigger and raise more,” he said.
Besides the race, there will be competitions for pull-ups, tug-of-war, and tire flipping. The event will also feature a “Most Patriotically Dressed” contest, and all participants are encouraged to wear patriotic clothing, such as red, white, and blue.
Each race participant will receive a goody bag, medal, and t-shirt. Special prizes, including trophies, will be given to overall, masters, and age-group winners.
Mair said the race and the Soldier Rush organization itself help to give the community an appreciation and respect for what first responders and military personnel experience on the front lines.
He said this is especially true as wars affect people in places such as Ukraine and Israel, adding nowhere is immune from war.
“War is real, and I don’t think people conceptualize that,” he said.
Mair said most importantly, he wants people to have fun and enjoy themselves.
He said, “At the end, you have a true sense of accomplishment because you’ve been able to triumph over all these obstacles.”
From now until November 11, registration is $99.
- A University of Florida journalism graduate, Bryan plans to pursue geosciences at Florida International University for his master's. He has a strong interest in weather, entertainment, and journalism.
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