Carmel Valley resident tops at grueling Gut Check Challenge

By Karen Billing
Original Article

The fifth annual Gut Check Challenge was held at Mt. Woodson in Poway on Nov. 9 (Veterans Day weekend). The event, limited to just 60 elite athletes, is the only strongman, trail running and military fitness event in the world and is hosted by Carmel Valley-based boot camp Gut Check Fitness.

Participants were required to carry 100 pounds up Mt. Woodson for over 3 miles and complete strongman exercises such as flipping 450-pound tires and perform military calisthenics like burpees and hill runs.

The overall winner and female champion was Carmel Valley resident Christina Kamme. Thomas Lopez and Mark Jones tied for the male championship.

“Being a vet myself I wanted to pay tribute to all those that have served this great nation so I decided to host this event over Veterans Day weekend,” said Joe Decker, founder of Gut Check Fitness.

At the race, a wall was set up where participants posted photos of veterans they cared about.

“Each time racers passed the flag they were required to turn and salute the flag and the vets,” Decker said. “This is one of he most grueling four-hour events in the world, as well as the most inspiring.”

Gut Check runs boot camps throughout the week at the Carmel Valley Recreation Center, Sage Canyon Park, Torrey Hills School and Torrey Hills Neighborhood Park.

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