Fitness fanatic behind the Triple Challenge
Jason Correia loves watching people climb walls. As far as he is concerned, the more difficult, the better. The 33-year-old is the “evil genius” behind the annual Triple Challenge. The walls, buses, cars, dumpsters, tyres and ropes participants have to manoeuvre have all been staged by him.
“I enjoy the thrill of blood, sweat and tears,” said Mr Correia, a fitness fanatic who works as a property underwriter. “I’m just a big kid with a wild and crazy imagination.”
He loves watching people try and cross one of his most difficult obstacles: a 300ft rope slung across The Camber in Dockyard.
“Most people get two-thirds of the way and fall in the water,” he said. “That is part of the challenge and the joy of it.
“No one has ever gotten more than three-quarters of the way across. I’ve tried it myself and I can say it is difficult.”
The three-day competition also takes a lot out of the organisers, Mr Correia insisted. He runs the entire course at the start of every race day to make sure everything is working correctly.
“The hardest part is probably the physical strain over the three days,” he said. “During the event, we do very little sleeping and a lot of lifting and carrying.
“Everything has to be set up, the event run, and then everything broken down, packed away, moved and then done all over again two more times. It is harder to put on the event than it is to do the event.” Things do not always run like clockwork, he said.
“Once we had Auto Solutions deliver a bunch of old cars to St George’s. The windows wouldn’t wind down. People were supposed to climb through the open windows. I guess that’s why the cars were headed to the dump.
“We took apart the door panel and started trying to remove the windows. In the process we shattered [them]. We had to clean up the glass and put it all back
He got the idea for the event in 2010, after taking part in Tough Mudders. The “hardcore” race in Vermont included rugged terrain, ice baths and even electric shock as part of the fun.
“Myself and Reid Robinson had taken part in a number of triathlons and were looking for another challenge,” he said.
“It is more a test of fitness than about camaraderie. It is a true test of mental and physical fitness to complete the course. I wanted the event to be as impactful in the community as possible. We didn’t want to put it on a pedestal that only the
Bermuda elite could do it.”
The race is run over three locations: St George’s, Warwick, and Dockyard. Participants help raise money for charity by getting sponsors to pledge cash. The Reading Clinic, WindReach Bermuda, Knowledge Quest, Somerset Primary PTA, Scars and Raleigh Bermuda will all benefit this year. The event has raised $250,000 since it started four years ago. At least 1,000 people are expected to race.
“The event has become so big that Reid and I can no longer take part,” said Mr Correia. “Organising it is like a second job.”
He is proud of the uniqueness of the event. “It is not a running environment,” he said. “It is a little bit of running, hop over this, run over a car.
“We try and provide something you can’t do day in and day out. Who wants to crawl under a truck? Who wants to run over a roof of a car or a pink and blue bus? It is that unique aspect of training and obstacles that we try and bring to the forefront and keep people excited.”
He is particularly pleased that 50 people are travelling to the island to take part.
“We always knew we wanted to incorporate some kind of tourism element to it,” he said.
Personal pride and cash prizes provide necessary incentives. The first corporate team across the finish line gets $1,000; the first individual gets $500.
Finishing first does not necessarily mean you have won overall.
“You get a large quantity of points for finishing each challenge and there is a differential for how quickly you finished,” Mr Correia said. “If you finish it faster then you get more points, but if you raise $10,000 for charity you get 10,000 points. That is always the distinguishing factor.”
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