Walter N. Levy attended Norwich University, Class of 1963 and served as Marine Corps Second Lieutenant Infantry Officer who was killed in action on September 18th, 1965 in Quang Nam Province, South Vietnam. The event in his honor will be held at scenic Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont site of the oldest private military college in the country on October 4th, 2015. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Walter N. Levy making the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, so please visit Norwich University and have a great time challenging yourself in the Levy Challenge!
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* Event Details
The Walter N. Levy Challenge is held every autumn at Norwich University, the nation’s oldest private military college in the pristine Green Mountains of Northfield, Vermont. It was held this past Sunday on October 4th, 2015. Norwich is an amazingly beautiful campus that is in a small valley, flanked by mountains on both sides with the Dog River running behind the school. It’s a bit easier to get to than Killington, as the campus is right off the highway from exit 5 on Interstate 89. Parking is free, and is aplenty in all areas of the campus. If you ever find yourself lost, one of the many friendly cadets (the military college students) around campus will gladly guide your way-while giving an esteemed sir or ma’am salutation.
This race has been held for several years, and is in honor of Marine Corps 2nd Lieutenant Infantry Officer Walter L. Levy, a Norwich graduate from the Class of 1963. While deployed in Vietnam, he was killed in action on September 18th, 1965 in Quang Nam Province, South Vietnam. This year marked the 50th anniversary of Walter N. Levy making the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
Levy Challenge is a 10k endurance race that challenges you mentally and physically. The event includes obstacles such as: The Marine Corps obstacle course, steep grade of Hill 488, Quang Nam mud crawl, Rock Pile ammo resupply mission, pull-up challenge, Hue City ruck run, and the Da Nang serpentine. You can run this race individually or as a 4-person team. It’s quite a bargain as well-the individual rate is only $35 and the 4 person team rate is $120. The Facebook page for the race is: https://www.facebook.com/Levychallenge and the active.com race information and registration page is: http://www.active.com/northfield-vt/running/distance-running-races/walter-n-levy-challenge-2015
The race proceeds go to the benefit of the Semper Fi Fund. The Semper Fi Fund is a charity that supports military members and their families from all branches who have been injured or have a life-threatening illness from post 9/11 combat. The sacrifice the men and women of our armed forces have made have inspired us to give back as much as possible. Learn more at https://semperfifund.org/
Although there was no medal this race (there has been in the past), there still was an outstanding finisher shirt! In the past individual medals at Norwich events have been dog tags. The winner awards were quite bad ass though. They were an engraved ammo can, E-tool, shovel, helmet, and gas mask (see photos).
* Race Details
The course is advertised as a 10k, however it was slightly beyond the 7 mile mark. It incorporates all the terrain in the area, including the streets and pathways of the campus, the permanent Marine Corps obstacle course and fitness stations on campus, two mountains that surround the campus, many trails both wide and single track, natural obstacles, and the Dog River that runs behind the school.
There was a race briefing at 0755 by some motivated Marines from the Semper Fidelis Society. The first wave was at 0800, with waves continuing every 5 minutes thereafter. The outside temperature was 34F at the start, with frost covering most of the course.
The course started at the Wise Student Center on the mainside of campus. The obstacles were as follows, in this order:
-1st sandbag carry (individuals) OR teammate carry (teams)
-5gal jerry can haul around basketball court
-pullup station (do a combo of 10 pull-ups and/or burpees)
-Marine Corps obstacle course. The O Course is approximately 100 yards long and includes high frequency sets of low and high log hurdles, an mounting bar, traverse bars, 8′ wall, double mounting bar, and ends with a rope climb. Any part of the O Course that was skipped or could not be completed had a 10 burpee penalty. The double mounting bar was closed due to frost (10 burpees instead) as well as the traverse bar (that was a low crawl instead)
-double ammo can haul (filled with sand)
-railroad tie flip 15 yards and back
-worm pit low crawl
-run through the Dog River (mostly ankle to knee deep; and cold)
-sled pull 50 yards and back (sleds had 6 full sandbags)
-2nd sandbag carry
-exercise stations (with knowledge to remember): 15 pushups, 15 squats, 15 leg raises, 15 burpees
-low crawl pit
-“natural” obstacles in dense trails (i.e. downed trees)
-dummy grenade lob (hit the target area or 10 burpee penalty for a miss)
-sandbag overhead press – 30x
-100 yard bear crawl
These final obstacles had to be done while running up the trails of Paine Mtn, carrying a rifle and flak jacket:
-A frame walls (several 4′, 6′, 8′)
-2nd pull-ups (10x or combination of burpees)
-paintball (3 shots-each must be a hit or 10 burpees for each miss)
-sit-up station – 25x
-knowledge test (10 burpees for each incorrect answer)
-box jumps – 15x
I took my phone along this time, and managed to grab many photos. They can be viewed here: https://www.facebook.com/lcplbenee/media_set?set=a.10207831103283892.1073741836.1484341867&type=3&pnref=story
This was one of the most amazing races I have ever taken part in. The Norwich races are a bar-none military style obstacle course event. They challenge every part of you mentally and physically, they are not too far off the beaten path, and offer AMAZING natural Green Mountain terrain: fresh air, fresh water, mountains, scenery, peace, and serenity. Best of all-100% of the proceeds go to an outstanding veteran’s charity; and they’re CHEAP 🙂 It would be great to see the Walter N. Levy Challenge and other Norwich events such as the winter Brian R. Bill Memorial Challenge be part of #racelocal in 2016.