'WYLD" Obstacle Run a Huge Success.
TORRINGTON: If you’re going to do an obstacle course, why not use one that was put there long before your event was planned.
At the WYLD Obstacle Run, held on the magnificent grounds of Camp Moe, one of the challenges facing runners who braved the 3-mile course was a drainage pipe that went under the road on the way down to the lake.
In order to get to their next set of obstacles, participants had to make their way through and out the other side.
Once they got through, they were greeted by a small water hazard for good measure.
Such is the life of an obstacle course and on Saturday morning, hundreds joined in to celebrate two great institutions in the Torrington area. Camp Moe and the YMCA.
“It was a fantastic day here at Camp Moe,” Greg Brisco said. “We are so glad to have the Y, WYLD run back in Torrington after two years away.”
Brisco is the Chief Executive Officer of the Northwestern Connecticut Y and is a strong advocate of anything and everything that has to do with folks; young and old being physically active.
The event had been held over the past two years in Southfield, Massachusetts but found its way back to Torrington and the 200-acre beauty that is Camp Moe.
After thunderstorms that were forecast for the morning were not as severe as first expected, the weather cleared, the humidity lowered and it was challenge wason for the participants, which thrilled the organizer.
“Great day, great course,” Brisco said. “A fantastic amount of kids, adults and families that came out to support us.”
Camp Moe is here due to the extraordinary effort of Katherine Marchand-Beyer who developed the program in 2011 after spending decades working with Camp LARC.
How did she feel about the efforts of all involved?
“Two great agencies came together,” Camp Moe founder Katherine Marchand-Beyer said. “I’m just thrilled with the community at Camp Moe and I am hoping that they all had a great time with the run, but that they also get to see what a great facility we have out here and share that news with others. I hope it leads to them sending their children to Camp Moe.”
After finding the venue, the real work started for Brisco and a dedicated group of volunteers.
“We have a committee that’s been working for six months on this,” Brisco said. “First of was finding a new location and charting a new course and then for the last six weeks, coming out on a regular basis to build and set up the obstacles. They put a ton of work into it.”
Having an outdoor event leaves organizers at the mercy of Mother Nature who likes to throw in her own obstacles but not on Saturday.
“It couldn’t have been any better,” Brisco said. “Because we thought it was going to be a washout. We were set up, we were ready for the rain but it was nice that the sun came out and made for a great day.”
Anyone who runs an event the size of this understand the magnitude of planning that goes into it and what it usually comes down to is the boots on the ground day of, as it did on Saturday.
“Then today to get a cadre of about 25 volunteers our here to work on the course, to cook and to do registration so it’s really quiet an undertaking,” Brisco said. “Everybody did a great job.”
How do the prospects of coming back to the same location look to the folks who did the planning and saw the results?
“You know,” Marchand-Beyer said. “I see smiling faces, I see people are happy, the sun is shining and it’s a local event. I can only see it growing. I think it’s a win-win for everyone.”
Camp Moe is a day camp for boys and girls from the ages of 5 to 15 years old. It is owned and operated by the Arc of Litchfield and is designed to serve both children with or without special needs.
Everybody is welcome at Camp Moe which has under gone major upgrades over the past year, a welcome development to their founder. The camp opens on Monday for the 2017 season.
“We are absolutely thrilled,” Marchand-Beyer said. “We have done some incredible improvements to Camp Moe this year. We updated out water system and we’ve redone our lodge so now that we have AC in it. We have new siding, roofing and windows. We set up a new adventure area and are hoping to increase our enrollment as we go along.”
Local runners who are familiar faces on the running circuit were on hand on Saturday as well.
“This was fun,” Raider boys basketball coach Eric Gamari said. “The course was smoother than it was in the past, there weren’t as many roots and stuff to go through but it was good. It was a fair lay-out, the obstacles were challenging and it was a good day.”
This is a big picture day with bigger goals in mind, as the organizer spoke about.
“The reason that we do this event,” Brisco said. “Is that the Y’s three areas of focus are Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility and we believe that this event hits all three of those. We’re helping kids and families have physical activity, enjoy that and we are raising money for families and kids who can’t afford Y programs.”
Another great effort by two terrific organizations who are so important to the communities they service.
And a storm drain got in on the action to boot.