The Big Red Challenge Aims to Help Veterans Transition to Civilian Life

Every year, the Big Red Challenge puts on a race in Lincoln, Nebraska, dedicated to helping Veterans transition from life in the military to life as a civilian. This year on June 8th, the Big Red Challenge will host its 6th annual obstacle course competition. The race is designed to push every individual to their limit and give civilians the opportunity to feel the challenges that military members encounter on a day-to-day basis. All Veterans and active duty military members can register for $20 until May 9th.

This isn’t Your Typical 7k

Although the race is considered a 7k, it does not resemble many of the marathons and half marathons that individuals are used to. The Big Red Challenge features an obstacle-style race course that is littered with challenging hurdles and tasks for the runners to complete. The race features approximately 20 unique, all military-inspired obstacles to pay homage to the training that Veterans go through when they prepare for war, including challenges such as:

  • Over / Unders – Fastmovers
  • 5’ Walls – Marine Hurdles
  • Low Crawl – Under Fire
  • Tire Carry – Save Your Buddy
  • 8’ Walls – Berlin Walls
  • Rope Climb – Fast Rope
  • Salmon Ladder – Ranger Up
  • Ammo Can Carry – Ammo Resupply

The course begins and ends in the Railyard in Lincoln, Nebraska. Runners will start in the Railyard and continue to into a more rural scene before looping back around to the Railyard for the finish line.

Race Categories

The race is also broken down into categories based on age and competitiveness. The 3 tiers that you can sign up for are the Lil Red Challenge, the 7k Elite, and the 7k Non-Competitive. The Lil Red Challenge is geared towards young kids ages 5-11 years old who want to run but do not compete in the full 7k course. The Lil Red Challenge is approximately 1 mile and features smaller obstacles throughout. The 7k Elite and 7k Competitive are both run on the same course, but those who participate in the elite division are eligible to compete for the main prize (a full-sized, heavy duty, Captain America inspired Big Red Shield) and other monetary prizes (1st Place – $200 | 2nd Place – $100 | 3rd Place – $50). However, individuals in the elite style course must complete all obstacles. Failing to complete any obstacle will disqualify them from the competition.

The Mission of the Big Red Challenge

Veterans all over the country have experienced difficulties adjusting to life after service. The idea for the challenge comes from the fact that when a Veteran gets out of service, there is little help they really receive in terms of how they should pursue the goals they may have. The goal of the Big Red Challenge is to assist service members when they get out of service, whether that assistance is helping the Veteran find a job or helping them go to college, the overall mission of the event is to make the transition back to civilian life easier. As the Big Red Challenge progresses, they hope to create a hub of connections with Veterans and Veteran-run businesses throughout the country that they can use when assisting service members who are transitioning out of the military.

Where Does the Money Go?

This is one of the few Veteran based events where the race is put on by entirely volunteer work. The challenge has an oversight committee that works on a volunteer basis because of their dedication to the mission of the race. Furthermore, none of the runners’ entrance fees pays overhead for the event. All the money spent is used for logistics for the event, marketing, and/or renting the obstacles used in the race. Also, all runners who sign up for the event will receive a T-shirt and will be given dog tags upon completion of the course.

How to Register for the Event or Donate to the Cause

Registering for the event is simple. To register for the Big Red Challenge, click here and follow the directions on the webpage. To donate to the race and support the cause, you can visit www.BigRedChallenge.com, click the link in the upper right corner labeled “Donate,” and follow the directions on the screen.