Adventure race to put would-be warriors to the test

Blood, sweat and fears — that’s what the Scorpion Warrior Adventure Race promises. It’s scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at the Las Vegas Sports Park, 1400 N. Rampart Blvd.

The Scorpion Warrior Adventure Race includes a 2½-mile run and a wet and dry obstacle course and has family-friendly elements for all ages. The event also showcases a unique approach to fitness.

"It’s not so much about competing head to head as it is just trying to complete the course," said organizer Chris Gitersonke.

The outdoor event will utilize the walking trail that leads from Bruce Trent Park for the run portion, as well as the gully that divides the Las Vegas Sports Park and the Angel Park Golf Course.

The first race is scheduled to begin around 10 a.m. There are as many as eight heats planned for runners. One of the event’s tag lines is: "Are You Tough Enough?"

"A big part of this is not giving up," Gitersonke said.

Jeff Hanson is a neighbor of the park and tried out some of the obstacles. He ended up signing up for the challenge. Why?

"Just for fun, to basically test yourself and see what you can do," he said. "It’s a chance be a kid again. You get to play in the mud."

Gitersonke expects that as many as 2,000 people will participate. Some of the entrants, perhaps 20 percent, will be professional-level competitors — triathletes, marathon runners and Ironman competitors — coming to town to be a part of the event. They are from Utah, California and Arizona and as far away as Virginia. Such athletic challenges have been hosted in other states.

The 2½-mile run will be familiar to many, but that’s about where the familiarity ends. Other challenges include climbing an 8-foot wall with only a dangling rope to assist oneself and walking a balance beam that’s about 2 feet off the ground. Other challenges are varied and do not favor any one type of athlete.

"Someone who’s a runner, that person has no advantage over being, say, a powerlifter," Gitersonke said.

"In fact, a hiker (may not run fast), but they probably have a certain advantage on the obstacle course because they’re used to scrambling over rocks."

There are more than two dozen back-to-back obstacles, half of them mud-prone. Viewing areas will be roped off so spectators can enjoy the challenge from good vantage points.

One does not have to be sports-minded to have fun. There will be family-friendly activities and food vendors for a block party atmosphere. The event is set to include celebrity appearances.

Charitable organizations have been invited to have booths. That, too, is a calculated part of the event.

"One whole area is dedicated to nonprofits," Gitersonke said. "We want to help people connect with their community. Maybe people want to volunteer, want to give of their time, but life gets away from them and they never get a chance to (reach out). This allows them to find out, ‘Hey, is this group really for me?’ "

This is the first race he’s put on in Las Vegas, Gitersonke said, but not the last. There already are two more events planned — one in Henderson and one at Lone Mountain Park in northwest Las Vegas.

The cost to enter the Scorpion Warrior Adventure Race is $65 for those 13 or older and $30 for those 12 or younger.

Event proceeds will benefit Final Salute, which assists homeless female veterans and their children.

For more information about the race, visit

Contact Summerlin/Summerlin South View reporter Jan Hogan at or 387-2949.

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