BRONX, NY – It’s tough enough for many students to wake up and be at school by 8:00am on a regular school day, so getting them to travel to Orchard Beach at 6:30am on a Sunday can mean only one thing – it was time for the annual Merrill Down and Dirty Obstacle Race. The event drew nearly 30 members of the Air Force JROTC and Media Programs.
“I love the energy, the people, the volunteers and the runners that I meet,” according to Truman alumna and Mercy College sophomore Stephanie Romero. It was her second time volunteering at the event.
Over 3,300 racers from across the tristate region ran in 3-mile and 6-mile challenges around Orchard Beach and Hunter Island. The courses included over 20 obstacles, from mud pits to cargo net climbs. Some racers even ran the circuit with a backpack full of bricks. The Truman students volunteered around the course, guiding runners, distributing refreshments, running the registration and bag check areas – and even cleaning up trash across the park at the conclusion of the event.
“This is our fourth year doing this, and every time the kids get more excited because they heard about it from last year’s volunteers,” said Media teacher Mr. Roush. “It is a ton of hard work, but at the end of the day, everyone has a blast.”
After cleaning up, students got a chance to conquer one of the course’s challenges: a giant inflatable mountain. Needless to say – many of them ended up taking an afternoon nap on Sunday, but were back in school bright and early Monday morning.