The Andover Townsman
---- — Several local gyms and fitness studios are coming together for a fun but potentially grueling event called the Troop Challenge.
A tie-in with the annual Run for the Troops, the event will raise money for the national Homes for Our Troops organization that builds free homes for service members who were severely injured fighting the War on Terror in Iraq or Afghanistan, according to organizers.
The Troop Challenge is tomorrow, Friday, Jan. 25, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Yang’s Fitness Center, 5 Dundee Park, Andover.
Troop Challenge participants can warm up for the April 7 race by competing to see who is the best at push-ups, pull-ups or dead-arm hangs, timed wall sits, jump roping and carrying 45-pound backpacks while jogging on an inclined treadmill. Prizes will be awarded to the top female and male in each event. This is the first year for the event.
Contenders from the YMCA, Matrix Fitness, Yang’s and other fitness studios are among the more than 100 people who have signed up, said Troop Challenge organizer Cindy Garrett-Rayner of Yang’s Fitness Studio.
From the masters of ceremony (Bill Fahey, Andover Youth Services Director and Sobhan Namvar, Andover High School wrestling coach) to the official counters for all those exercise challenges (Coach Wayne Puglisi and his Andover High lacrosse team) to local businesses taking part (Whole Foods, Elements, Greater Boston Running) many in Andover are involved.
The Troop Challenge will help promote the Run for the Troops 5K road race being held on Sunday, April 7 in downtown Andover. This year will be the fourth year that Andover has hosted the race. Last year, Andover raised $30,000 for the home-building project, according to race organizer Bill Pennington of Andover. The money was used to help build a home in Granby, Mass. for veteran Josh Bouchard.
Garrett-Rayner said Tom Fleming from the Lowell Police Academy will be at the Troop Challenge with soldiers demonstrating proper training techniques. His group is supplying backpacks for the challenge.
The cost to participate is $25, which includes wine and light appetizers. For more information visit yangsfitness.com; or call 978-475-2020.