By SHEILA SELMAN email@example.com
ELKHART — Four local men intend to rescue at least three children from trafficking and sexual slavery by participating in a 24-hour, physically grueling event this weekend.
Team CCWC — Jeremiah Olson, Jonathan Corbin, Andrew Rumfeldt and Kevin Castetter — left Thursday for the 2013 World’s Toughest Mudder event in New Jersey to raise money for Destiny Rescue, a North Webster-based international non-profit organization that rescues children from human trafficking and sexual exploitation.
From 10 a.m. Saturday through 10 a.m. Sunday, the four-man team will attempt to complete as many 5-mile/40-plus obstacle laps as they can. Along with running, the men will face multiple military-style obstacles used by British Special Forces for its training. The obstacles range from wall climbing, to electric-charged wire dodging, to mud-slicked monkey bars, to carrying heavy logs through mud bogs.
“We’ve been training for about 10 months,” Olson said as he and his teammates demonstrated some of their training moves at Island Park in Elkhart Thursday morning.
The team qualified last year in Kentucky by finishing in the top 5 percent of Mudders.
Since they knew this weekend’s Mudder was going to be a 24-hour event and possibly give them a good case of hypothermia, they started preparing early.
The men have not been easy on themselves. Some of their training has included: eight-hour overnight training where they scaled walls, treaded water and ran outside; a 60-mile run/walk (alternating walking and running each mile); a 20-hour playground workout (they started at Ox Bow County park and ran to several parks through Elkhart, worked out at each park, and when they reached Crossfit Michiana by Elkhart airport they turned around and started all over again for a total of 34 miles); and they did a 24-hour workout at a dirt runner in Illinois.
Olson said it was a rough-terrain obstacle course. “That was a real dress rehearsal for us,” he said.
Corbin said he’s not sure the World Toughest Mudder course will be as tough as the one in Illinois, but it was great training.
All of the men said they’ve heard multiple times from multiple people that they are crazy. But the men figure that this race will give them a platform to raise awareness and money for Destiny Rescue.
The winner of the World’s Toughest Mudder will receive a $12,000 prize. If the men win, they’re donating it all to the rescue organization.
But even if they don’t come in first, the men are raising money on their own.
Corbin said his team has had donors commit so much money per lap or give a flat donation. In adding up lap commitments, the men will earn about $125 per lap. Also, whatever the men raise, sponsor Encompass Nutrients, will provide a matching donation.
Castetter said it takes $1,500 to rescue a child. “Regardless of whether we win or not,” he said, “we will be rescuing three children.” They have that much money committed. Although more would be welcome.
They have several others sponsors, too, including Community Chiropractic and Wellness Center, which is where they got their team name — CCWC.
They were thankful to have CCWC on board with them. The team received 50 percent off of chiropractic care during training.
Rumfeldt said one thing he realized from training, “My body’s not indestructible.”
Each of the men suffered some form of injury while training — but they persevered. The men learned how to train better, how to fuel their bodies with nutrition and how to dress for the competition. At the World’s Toughest Mudder, competition officials make participants take a physical after each lap to see if they are in good enough condition to go again. Many participants get disqualified because they get hypothermia, Olson said. That’s why having the right equipment is just as important as the training, he added.
They also managed to work and be with their families all while training. “A lot of our training was done while people were sleeping,” Castetter said.
The men said their families have been extremely supportive and three wives are attending the Mudder as support. “The way our wives have been supportive is just huge,” Olson said. “This takes us away from our family a lot.”
But they feel rescuing kids from human trafficking and sexual slavery is worth their sacrifices. “We have a reason to keep going,” Olson said. “Every lap we run is $125 toward rescuing a girl. So that’s motivation.”
Other team sponsors include Nutrition Station, Scott Signs, Metro Run & Walk and John Darr.
To make a donation to the team so it can be donated to Destiny Rescue, email either a flat rate pledge amount or a per lap commitment pledge to firstname.lastname@example.org. On Sunday after the race, the team will send an email update and let everyone know how the did and given information on howto send tax-deductible donations directly to Destiny Rescue.
To find out more about the World's Toughest Mudder competition, go online to http://toughmudder.com/worlds-toughest-mudder-series-finals/
About Destiny Rescue
Destiny Rescue is based in North Webster but operates in six nations: Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar (Burma), India and Mozambique. It also operates prevention programs to keep children out of trafficking or returning to it. The organization can be found online at http://www.destinyrescue.org/us/
Follow Sheila Selman on Twitter at sselman_TGN