Bay Ridge

Fort Hamilton obstacle course tests skills of athletes

Civilian Military Combine to take place 9/11 weekend

August 12, 2016 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
A contestant jumps over a box in the obstacle course in a previous Civilian Military Combine event. Photos courtesy of Civilian Military Combine LLC
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Civilians will get the chance to feel what it’s like to be in basic training if they take part in a special charity event at the historic U.S. Army Garrison at Fort Hamilton in Bay Ridge in September.

The Civilian Military Combine (CMC), a unique competition to take place Sept. 10, is a hybrid between an obstacle course and a road race. The competitors will include military personnel and first responders and the sponsor, Civilian Military Combine LLC, is inviting members of the public to take part in the race.

The CMC will take place at the fort on the weekend marking the 15th anniversary of Sept. 11.

Part of the CMC LLC’s mission is to raise money for soldiers. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Fort Hamilton Army Morale, Welfare & Recreation program, which works to improve the quality of life for active duty personnel. Participants of any age or fitness level are welcome and contestants can race as an individuals or on teams.

The CMC is an exciting event that is sure to attract enthusiastic audiences, the sponsors said.

The fact that civilians and military personnel work together adds to the meaning of the event, according to the sponsors.

The official race launches Sept. 10.

CMC stands apart from other obstacle course races, according to the sponsor, because it is an original hybrid obstacle course race featuring a Workout of the Day, a strength training segment and a five-mile race in which participants have to deal with more than 25 military-grade obstacles.

At the Fort Hamilton event, the CMC will introduce new elements, including new obstacles, cash prizes for some of the heats and a special children’s event.

“I am extremely excited about the relaunch of the all-new CMC,” said Garfield Griffiths, vice president of event operations. “While we have many new features and upgrades in store, we have stayed true to the original hybrid obstacle course race format.”

One of the contestants who has signed up for the CMC is Lisa Casale, a teacher’s aide from Bay Ridge, who said she is looking forward to the challenge.

Casale, 50, who works out every day at the Bad Ass Academy, a gym on Bay Ridge Avenue, said she and a group of her fellow gym members are forming a team to compete in the event at the fort. “At my gym, we do Crossfit training. It can help a person prepare for something like the CMC,” she told the Brooklyn Eagle.

Casale said she is a former couch potato who decided one day several years ago to change her life.

“I was never really an exercise person. I was a smoker and when I got pregnant, I quit smoking and gained weight. I was not happy with myself,” she said.

Casale, who frequently watched NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” got to meet one of the show’s contestants through her sister and was inspired by him. She started working out with friends at Midland Beach on Staten Island.

One day, she saw a post on Facebook about the Bad Ass Academy and started going there.

The results have been miraculous. “I lost a ton of weight and I’m stronger now than I have ever been,” she said.

Her advice to overweight couch potatoes? “If I can do it so can you. Just get started. Take that first step,” she said.

Founded in 2011, the CMC is a health and lifestyle fitness brand that has developed a cutting edge, military-inspired hybrid obstacle course race series. It features an additional challenge, a timed workout called The PIT™.

For more information, visit

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