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Obstacle course mirrors obstacles faced by firefighters

Saturday, September 29, 2007 | 9:07 p.m. CDT; updated 7:03 a.m. CDT, Monday, July 14, 2008

Sarah Burbee, wearing a firefighter’s uniform complete with a hood covering her eyes, crawled into the unknown to complete a blind maze at Stankowski Field on Saturday afternoon.

The maze was part of an obstacle course designed to test the strength and endurance of students who wanted to experience the obstacles facedby firefighters. The event was sponsored by the Boone County Fire Protection District, the Columbia Professional Fire Fighters Local 1055, Mizzou After Dark, the Missouri Students Association and the Graduate Professional Council.

“We had 20 volunteers out here and we began setting up at 8 a.m.,” Brad Fraizer, a representative from Columbia Professional Fire Fighters Local 1055, said.

“Each team consists of four people and each person is timed going through the obstacle course,” Sara Garner, the competition’s director, said.

The winner was determined by the team with the fastest time.

“The teams begin with the blind maze crawl and end with the dummy drag,” Garner said.

For 27-year-old MU student Michael Kobs, of team Halli Galli, carrying the equipment kits over stairs and platforms was easy, but dragging the dummy was the hardest part.

“It’s kind of heavy,” Kobs said. “It’s demanding and it’s really hot inside the clothing.”

Burbee, 21, participated in a miniature version of the competition last week on the MU campus.

In that competition, she received recognition as the fastest female at MU. When she found out about the Fire Attack Team Challenge, she asked fellow members of the MU Track and Field team to participate.

“I wouldn’t be here without my team,” Burbee said. “We did our best.”

Burbee’s teammates, 21-year-old Krishna Lee, 21-year-old Kendra Richardson and 23-year-old Shernelle Nicholls, agreed the course was difficult. Richardson said she thought the maze was scary but Burbee disagreed.

“If you followed the wall with your left hand, it was fine,” Burbee said.

Lee was the quickest girl on her team, with a time of 1 minute and 26 seconds. She also won for fastest individual female overall.

The winning team earned $500, and the fastest individual male and female participants were awarded $250 each.

“We had a lot of fun and tried our hardest,” Burbee said.


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