By James Beaty
They haven’t had to leap over fire or trudge through mud yet, but a group of local residents are making a Herculean attempt to bring the Warrior Dash to McAlester.
The Warrior Dash is described as an extreme 5K run — with a number of obstacles added. Organizers of the dash, which benefits St. Jude’s Medical Center in Memphis, Tenn., are considering bringing one of its 2013 events to McAlester.
Although no commitments have yet been made, just the possibility of bringing the Warrior Dash to McAlester has a number of local residents highly enthused at the prospect — including those who are trying to land the event and those who have already participated in a Warrior Dash in other parts of the state.
Pam Kirby, of the Human Resources office at City Hall, is among those assisting with the effort.
Some representatives from the Warrior Dash planned to travel to Oklahoma from Chicago and to be in McAlester Friday to check out the city as a potential 2012 site in Oklahoma, she said. However, because of the holiday travel, the trip has been moved back until later this month, Kirby said.
“They want to find the community with the most enthusiasm,” Kirby said.
She said she’s been working with Pittsburg County Sheriff Joel Kerns, McAlester Police Chief Jim Lyles, local firefighters, members of the McAlester Chamber of Commerce, members of the city’s tourism department, city officials and others who are banding together on the effort to bring the event to the city.
“McAlester wants a Warrior Dash,” Kirby said.
Meanwhile, anyone wondering what all the enthusiasm is about has only to speak to some local residents who have already participated in a Warrior Dash to get an answer.
They include McAlester firefighter Kenny Barone, McAlester Police Det. Sgt. Brent McAlester and McAlester Police Dispatcher Kim Troussel.
Barone participated in the Warrior Dash at Morris, in Okmulgee County, earlier this year.
“It was probably one of the funnest things I’ve been involved in,” Barone said
“They had a wall-climb, a simulated water fall and mud pits,” Barone said. “There was a line of fire, and you jumped over it.”
Barone said the mud pit at Morris proved to be more ankle deep — at one point reaching so deep, he had to swim through it.
“It was awesome!” Barone said.
Det. Sgt. McAlester participated in a 2011 Warrior Dash in Tulsa, with his entire family.
“It was good; I loved it,” McAlester said.
“My wife and both my kids ran it. We had a good time.”
Like Barone, McAlester said he saw a number of other McAlester people at the Warrior Dash in which he participated.
“If there’s any way we can do it, we ought to do it.”
McAlester Police Dispatcher Kim Troussel said she and her husband, Chris Troussel, participated in both the 2011 Warrior Dash in Tulsa and the 2012 event in Morris.
“We’re going to do it every year we can,” she said.