email Rex




The grip of winter has set into our lives again. Who among us hasn’t had that extra piece of cake or helping of garlic mash potatoes. Maybe slept in instead of running or chose happy hour over a work out. The season is a long way off, it won’t hurt to miss a day or three of training. So while you relax in you home wherever it my be, lets reflect upon the past year and take a moment to ponder TOUR 05 and all it’s glory.

We started off in HAVERHILL MASS, which was cool because it was the same site where I took part in my first CHALLENGE. And CRUE newbee TROY KEISER drove the massive SCOTT RIG across this great nation braving NEW YORK CITY on his debut drive and was denied a rental of a TERCEL upon arrival because of his youth. I think it’s because they were concerned over some statute of limitations thing? And RICKY PAYNE also joined the world of transportation, and drove the TOWER TRUCK for the first time. A few bugs were worked out and TOUR 05 was off. And as winter set in everywhere else, we ended it all with WCXIV in DEERFIELD BEACH or was that the MIKE GILBERT show, staring TRAVIS AFB. And 5 glorious days in FLORIDA. Everything in between is what we are all about, the fellowship and CHALLENGE glory.

Who could forget the year MIKE ANDERSON <YORK PA> had, tearing up the course across the nation on his way to that sub two that he had been flirting with for so long. Or the girls from DELRAY BEACH FLA, who took over the mantel as the top group of  ladies on tour. Check out TANKS <DOD> dummy drag from where I’m standing, just make sure your out of the way because, I don’t want to be responsible for any injury or death on the course. Spend ten minutes with MR JESSE WALKER <GREENSBORO NC> and walk away a better person because of it. Try to hang with HARRY MYERS <TRAVIS AFB> for a night or two and then run with him in street clothes on game day, it can’t be done.  Check out STACY BILLAPONDO <COLORADO SPRINGS> when she’s ripping up the course in her mind the day before the event, extreme and beautiful. Be there as TED OVERCASH <MONOOKA IL> makes it to the finish line one more time despite all odds and a doctors order or two. Listen in as MIKE MELTON <TRAVIS AFB> talks competition, this guy is a champion through and through, nothing goes unturned, they will be ready. How cool is BIG JOE HORTON and his lovely wife JEANNINE, honorary CRUE members as well as, our family, and our friends. You got to love, the FIRE FROS<EL PASO> energy out there, and props to DAVE V for CHALLENGE dancer of the decade, with WARREN CANN< BOCA RATON> a to close to call second with his advent of the CHALLENGE DANCE. Behold MIKE GILBERTS<ST CATHRINES> calves in all their glory, or sneek in a dance with the SHOOTER GIRL or D-TOWN as her parents call her. Cheer for TONY CAVALO soon to be FDNY as he crushes the comp, or just sit by my beautiful assistant LISA and watch a race or two. Be honored that you got a lil’ bro like KRAFTY, who not only is a wealth of CHALLENGE knowledge, but takes some of the heat, this guy makes me look like MR RODGERS.  Spend your birthday with the boys from the mighty WINDSOR in a city where nobody will know any different, and they will think you always behave in that fashion. Or watch the masterful way they rule the course on their way to another victory. Witness a team like GREENSBORO NC join the greats of our sport as a top team, or pull for WARWICK RI on their first tour and making it to the big dance. Special shout to BRUCE FIELDS <GREENSBORO> for making the top ten overall, that’s in the world folks. How could you not say that SACRAMENTO 522 is one of the best teams on tour period. They do not like to lose, just ask Rescue Randy. Feel for the LADY HELLFIGHTERS from hurricane ravaged LAKE CHARLES LA splitting time between rebuilding their beloved city, and training for, and winning, the GNC for the relays, oh yea, working on their real jobs to. You could welcome back over 45 WORLD CHAMPION, BRET YUNT <WEST LAFEETTE IN> to the fold feeling certain that there is a sports god somewhere. And share in the glow as ANITA HORSLEY <DEKALB CO> wins a world title in her second year, just wait till she gets good. Be proud to be a Kansan because your homies would be the most stand up group of  young men <and yes,  PAT is still not ready for AARP> OVERLAND PARK has ever seen. Their whole CHALLENGE family thing is awesome to be around as well. Could over 50 WORLD CHAMP, DENNY PHEPPER <COLORADO SPRINGS> be any tougher? The CHALLENGE is like a vacation compared to some of the things he does at home to get ready. I’m pretty sure he’s not that fast because of the buffets he’s been pounding during the winter. How could you not cry along with the OVER 40 RELAY WORLD CHAMPIONS from WINSTON-SALEM NC when another CHALLENGE dream comes true. Get caught up in PETER REIDS<EDMONTON > infectious smile, or drink some NEWFIE BEER and cry out SCREECH!! And try to keep JACK HICKEY <ST. JOHNS NEW> off the course at any time of day or night, one guy on a mission can be a real pest, but loveable. Get tossed into the ocean by your friends from OHIO, and know it was done out of love. But I got to say it was easy, using ones wife to distract me will work EVERY time, but is still somewhat unfair. And last but not least. Can ERIC AKERS be for real? Now that’s one BAD-ASS dude! Yes, our beloved CHALLENGE is like an adventure every time we go. A year passes like nothing when your living the TYCO SCOTT FIREFIGHTER COMBAT CHALLENGE, it’s not a stick and ball sport.

All of this and much more await the CHALLENGE faithfull on TOUR 06. Props to TRAVIS AFB two time WORLD CHAMPIONS in team, and now relays as well, and MIKE GILBERT<ST CATHERINES ONT> for taking home most of the gold, and to all the new champions. In fact props to each and every one who even set foot on the CHALLENGE course in 05. It’s YOUR show! We just haul it around and proudly present it for your enjoyment. The racers are what we are all about, we bend to your will. The CHALLENGE will ALWAYS change, and ALWAYS be the same. Because you want it to be so. And to the wives and girls or husbands or dogs, kids or anybody who lends us their firefighter for the summer EVERY YEAR, we thank you for your undying support. The CHALLENGE can be a CHALLENGE to a household. But we know the fellowship is part of the charm so tell new people about what we do and bring them around. Go to a town near you and talk some smack and get a new team into the mix. Tell them it will be easy and watch them wilt, only fooling.  Cheer for them, and then watch them wilt. Get new sponsors checking out your program, and helping out your CHALLENGE habit. Work hard and look forward to another summer in the sun. And Spread the gospel of the CHALLENGE wherever your journeys take you far and wide.

And to the CRUE family, safe travels during our winter of dicontent. No TOUR, no happy, but we get by. We miss all of you out there in CHALLENGE land. Stay warm and dream of  a faster PR. See you out there on the road in 06. Thanks to everyone who showed the CRUE and myself so much love over the past year, we truly are blessed to be able to be part of your lives, and we feel honored to to have all of you as a very cool part of ours……..LONG LIVE THE CHALLENGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!





OCT 15TH & 16TH 2005

Here we are, once again we have arrived at the bitter end, the curtain call for the mighty CHALLENGE. Only WCIV remains of TOUR 05, and what a year. No more pre-dawn flights, or racing to get rentals back safely. No long ass days toiling in the summer sun with little or no food, no breaks or respite of any kind. A person can only live so long on FIREFIGHTER BRAND drinks and salted snack items, or can they? After all we are the CRUE. So we miss our fellowship and days on the road. We long for the rush of preparing the course for the BEST of the BEST and the BRAVEST. And our friends along the way, the people we love or who love us, suffer or forget about us almost completely. Or we forsake them in our quest to bring the CHALLENGE to the peeps. We lose out on real life. Our path has many consequences, both good and bad, but we don’t mind. We have the coolest job on the face of the land and we’re not going away. The mighty CHALLENGE will live forever in the hearts of  the fellowship, and we will continue to provide the stage for epic CHALLENGE battles to come. One more for the road before the big show. Off to CLAYTON CO GA and the second US NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS. I know that CLAYTON CO only had 30 days to ready themselves for us, and JERRY RUSSELL along with CLAYTON CO FD and many kind people from the ATLANTA area, did an outstanding job and the CHALLENGE went off without a hitch. About six thousand people enjoyed a great show throughout the weekend and the CRUE thanks all who worked so hard to see that it was a huge event. And I’ve heard that we may have NATIONALS there again, way to go CLAYTON CO.

TEAM CHARLOTTE brought home the overall title in the TANDEM, winning for the third time on TOUR 05. I’ve been hearing some really cool stuff about the TANDEMS from the spy network. It seems WCIV will be crazy wild with loaded duos, I can’t wait. GAINESVILLE F&R took the over 40s, CSI won the co-ed, what a powerhouse team of STACY BILLAPANDO and KEVIN VOYLES. The TRIAD OVER 50 TANDEM won over 50, MR WALKER and ROBERT killed the course. And the LADY HELLFIGHTERS won the ladies division. It was so good to see the girls from LAKE CHARLES LA back on the course after their city took a direct hit from RITA  just a few weeks ago, we wish all of them and theirs all the best in the recovery efforts for their beloved town. To say the STREAMLIGHT RELAYS were off the hook would be a gross understatement. Mere words could not begin to tell the story, but I’ll try just the same.  First off, WCIV will be unbelievable, o k. That being said, how in the world can you run a 1:08.76 and get beat! Because the best teams play hard and TRAVIS AFB brought their A plus game to CLAYTON CO. Yes it’s true OVERLAND PARK, one of the greatest teams ever and former world record holders, ran that 1:08.76, breaking the sound barrier along the way only to look up to see that TEAM TRAVIS ran a 1:08.28, WOW. All of this is on top of the new world record that TRAVIS had just set only minutes before of  1:09.55. And this is only the semis. The championship came down to a battle between TRAVIS and the DOD, with TRAVIS taking the win after a strong run from the DOD. OPFD placed third and will be there at worlds. But it won’t be easy. There’s PAUL DAVIS of MIAMI DADE lurking along with a host of very tough teams. GREENSBORO SAFE AIR is for real this year giving OPFD a good run, to go with the scare they put into the DOD in MYRTLE BEACH. ANNE ARUNDEL, FAIRFAX, TEAM YORK of NORMAN, SACRAMENTO, DR PEPPER, and many more will make some serious noise at WCIV. Not to mention almost every team from CANADA headed up by the mighty WINDSOR and EDMONTON, be there or else you’ll miss out. 2004 OVER 40 WORLD RELAY CHAMPIONS, team DR PEPPER OVER 40 took the over 40 title, and the girls from DELRAY BEACH won the ladies title. What a day.

STACY BILLAPANDO is one of the classiest athletes in our sport. Beautiful, and can run a very mean CHALLENGE, as she proved in CLAYTON CO. Her 2:20.54 is the fastest run for a lady in the world in 05 and she’s feeling good about her game going into DEERFIELD BEACH. I know she wasn’t really going to run this year but after the TANDEM in FREMONT the bug was back and here she is. Could this be the year that STACY makes it happen? Be there and find out. SARAH CONNER <DELRAY BEACH FL> placed second with a nice 2:48 and her teammate IRENA SUMANO placed third with her 2:57. The ladies from DELRAY BEACH have had a banner year in 05, and I’m sure it’s not over. Look for them to rock at WCIV. ANITA HORSLEY <DEKALB CO GA>  was running hard and giving STACY a great run when a fall ended her podium finish, but keep your eyes on her as well for another great showing at worlds to go along with her second place finish in 04. DENNY PEFFER <PAUL DAVIS of COLORADO SPRINGS> is a CHALLENGE god, this guy is carved from stone and is without a doubt the fastest over 50 firefighter in the world. His new world record of 1:49.23 edged out his run at WCXIII and there’s no signs that he will slow down any time soon. I’m just glad I was there to witness it. PAT HARTLEY <GAINESVILLE FL> is another CHALLENGE legend, and his 1:55 is proof of that, earning him second place. And DON KEMPH <CLEVELAND OH> placed third with a sweet 2:01. A shout out to MR JESSE WALKER <GREENSBORO NC> CHALLENGE vet of ten summers in the sun, displaying his mad skills for all to see, a sage and CHALLENGE great. KEVIN VOYLES <INL ID> ran a TOUR 05 best with his 1:32:22 and took the victory in the over 40s. KEVIN will be ready when it counts. LIGHTNING LONNIE LEWIS <CHESTERFIELD VA> placed second with a 1:37 and LES BAUMAN <DEERFIELD BEACH FL> ran for third with his 1:42. The over 40 division will be extra tough as usual.

One very cool part of my job is I get to watch BOB RUSSELL <OPFD KS> from the course. Even JAY, the hardest working man in show biz comes out of the TOC to witness his greatness.  It is something to behold, power and speed meets smooth, in all out CHALLENGE glory. BOB won the overall with his 1:26.14 and is running with reason in 05. Can you say new world record. HARRY MYERS <TRAVIS AFB> placed second with a strong 1:28.61 just edging out his teammate MIKE MELTON who ran a 1:29.17. And with three out of the top five at NATIONALS  the 2004 WORLD CHAMPIONS, TRAVIS AFB won team honors with a 4:28.95. Looking for a repeat preformance in 05 TRAVIS with be very tough. OVERLAND PARK KS placed second running a 4:32, and has the fastest time of the year going into WCIV.  And SACRAMENTO LOCAL 522 rounded out the podium with their 4:46. SACRAMENTO is a team to watch, they are always right there and things could go their way for a top placeing at worlds I’m sure, they are a quietly killer team.

The second US NATIONALS were great with over eighty sub twos, a world record, and a couple of fastest times of 05. And now it’s time for the big show. WORLD CHALLENGE FOURTEEN in beautiful DEERFIELD BEACH FL. It will be epic! We bid the road farewell for another year and perpare for what will be the best CHALLENGE ever. Miles to go before we can rest, and another CHALLENGE to throw. The gathering of the STARS AMONG HEROS at the beach. The SCOTT FIREFIGHTER COMBAT CHALLENGE goes worldwide and we’ll all be there. History will be made and dreams will be crushed, all in less than two minutes. The fellowship will live it up and get down. The peeps will love it, and the CRUE will make sure it’s all just so. See you on the beach..  




OCT 7TH & 8TH  2005

And now comes the two parts of TOUR 05 that we could do without, the end of the road, and winters chill. After sweltering in the heat for the last few months, without a rest, the CRUE was hit in the face and everywhere else with 38 degree weather in JANESVILLE. It was odd to see everybody in their bundled  up state. As for the end of the road, all good things you know. But we always look forward to our visits to WISCONSON. KEVIN MURRY and everyone at PAUL DAVIS RESTORATION along with JANESVILLE FD and a host of others, make sure that the CRUE and all who attend have a great experience at their stop on TOUR 05. Yes, they throw a great CHALLENGE and even if it’s cold the action is hot. Always try to make the JANEVILLE show if you can.

The TANDEM and relays were held Friday afternoon and a new WORLD RECORD was ran by the SAINTS, a powerhouse combo of TONY CAVALLO <ST CHARLES IL> and MIKE GILBERT <ST CATHERINES ONT>  the SAINTS put down a sweet 2:49.36 and will be the team to beat at WCIV.  A shout out to MISSOULA MONT for a great show.  LANSING MI won the co-ed and the OVER 60 DREAM TEAM including CHALLENGE icons DAVE CUSACK and TED OVERCASH won the over everything award with their 5:15. The STREAMLIGHT RELAYS came down to a battle between the mighty TEAM TREGASKISS <WINDSOR ONT>  and the boys from ILLINOIS, WAUKEGAN. In the end, TREGASKISS is just too tough for almost anyone and took the victory. WAUKEGAN was strong all day and gave WINDSOR a good run. The DOD <SAN ANGELO TX> placed third, and props out to CHALLENGE first timers LANSING MI for a great showing, welcome to the fellowship. The ladies from JANESVILLE WI did the home town proud with their evening on the course.

JOYCE SAUER <RAPID CITY SD> won for the ladies with her time of 3:06. Saturday was much warmer and the peeps enjoyed watching JOYCE set a new PR. JEANNINE HORTON <ESTERO FL> placed second with her 3:59 and will carry her championship skills into the second US NATIONALS in one week. And AMANDA McDONALD <LANSING PAUL DAVIS of MID-MICHIGAN> placed third in her first CHALLENGE. In the over 50s, we saw a return of CHALLENGE great KEVIN TJELLE <LOCAL 1236> who came out and blistered the course with his 1:58.34. It’s so cool to see KEVIN hasn’t lost a thing, he still looks every bit like the champ he is, running the third fastest time of TOUR 05. ROBERT HEINS <SARTELL/LASAUK FD> ran for second with a nice 2:22, and BOB STEWART <MINOOKA IL> placed third. RICK PRYOR <MORTON GROVE IL> won the over 40s with a strong 1:42.97. BIG JOE HORTON <LARGO FL> finished out his tour with a 1:49 and another championship. JOE has been lighting it up this season and will bring his A game to WCIV. SCOTT GRINNELL <PERRY AREA MI> placed third with a 2:00 and like JOE is now an honorary member of the CRUE, assuming the corp cup wrangler duties. Teaching regular people, the art of the CHALLENGE in as little time as we can give him. Sound like fun? SCOTT is good at it.

The mighty TEAM TREGASKISS of WINDSOR looked a bit more relaxed than usual in JANESVILLE. Maybe because CANADIAN NATIONALS are over and WCIV is a few weeks ahead. Whatever it was, it was working. They kicked major CHALLENGE butt and swept the podium, with JACK BAILEY taking the overall on a very smooth 1:24.78. GREG KOTSIS ran his new PR and scored a 1:29.65 for second, and displayed a new way of grabbing the hose for the drag never before witnessed by the fellowship, these guys are innovators. And DARREN HILLMAN placed third with a 1:30.38, looking fast as usual. I like their chances at WCIV, oh yea they also locked down 5th ,placing 4 in the top 5, very cool, I mean MIGHTY.  Of course they won team honors with their 4:26.81 and will be on time in DEERFIELD, look out. TEAM PAUL DAVIS of FLORENCE KY ran for second with a 5:14, and WAUKEGAN placed third with a 5:16. What a show for the great people of JANESVILLE.

Another huge tip of the hat to JANESVILLE for a great CHALLENGE. As the regular season draws to a close, we set our eyes on ATLANTA GA and the second US NATIONALS. The second season of TOUR 05 begins, and WCIV is right here now. Only one more show before the TYCO/SCOTT FIREFIGHTER COMBAT CHALLENGE throws a little world championship thing. The CRUE has been through a lot together this year, and thanks everyone for their continued support of the TOUGHEST TWO MINUTES IN SPORTS.  We love our job and live for the CHALLENGE, we work hard and play with the locals. We can’t wait to see  everybody we know across this great nation, and make new friends everywhere we go. We don’t sleep or have a life, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. The CHALLENGE consumes us and we go along for the ride, why, because of all of you in the fellowship. PROPS to the faithful out there who make it great. People who make a job a passion and we are honored to call our friends. To all who live the CHALLENGE, we salute you……… see you in CLAYTON COUNTY.




OCT 1ST & 2ND 2005

What can we say? We’ve got a great job. Where else do you get to take over a major street in a city and throw a CHALLENGE? EVANSVILLE IN is such a place. And the CRUE always enjoys their stay in the city by the OHIO. MIKE CONNELLY along with MIKE WHITLEDGE and EFD and many more brought the mighty CHALLENGE to EVANSVILLE for the second time, and did a great job. Thanks to all who helped them and all the course help, thanks again for the great job. The set up and teardown thing was smooth getting the CHALLENGE down the road… wishing they all were that easy.  Don’t get me wrong, it still hurts to run the CHALLENGE. Even an easy day for the CRUE would kill most people.

The STREAMLIGHT RELAYS were held on Saturday for a large crowd with perfect weather. OVERLAND PARK KS is an elite CHALLENGE team and on a mission in 05. Somebody sponsor these fine young men. OPFD wins again and with a 1:09.88 just missed the world mark by two one hundredths of a second. Try to blink that fast, well maybe twice, but still. OWENSBORO KY placed second and looked tough, and WHITEMAN AFB placed a strong third. Shout to EVENDALE OH for a good show. PAUL DAVIS of JOPLIN TANDEM CREW won the TANDEM, and SOUTHWEST MISSOURI COED COMBO won the co-ed portion of the event. OWENSBORO KY won the special BATTLE of the OHIO river against EVANSVILLE IN, and kept the trophy on their side of the river for yet another year.

2005 TUMS GNC JEANNINE HORTON <ESTERO FL> won another event on TOUR 05 and tied a PR with her 3:40, and hung with the CRUE as well. TERESA NEWTON <PAUL DAVIS SW MISSOURI> placed second and TONYA COFFMAN <INDIANAPOLIS IN> ran for third. TIM DINES <TEAM OWENSBORO PAUL DAVIS RESTORATION> got the special first timer award with his nice 1:58, 18 people took the CHALLENGE for the first time in EVANSVILLE! Hometown legend GREG KNIGHT <TEAM AXIOM, EVANSVILLE> won the over 50s with his 2:46, and MARK GRIMM <NEWBURGH VOL FD> placed second. MIKE CONNELLY <TEAM AXIOM EVANSVILLE> won the over 40s with a nice 1:49 proving to all that he can truly run a mean CHALLENGE, and run a mean CHALLENGE!  How cool is that? CHALLENGE legend KELLY ASH <PAUL DAVIS of SW MISSOURI> placed second with a strong 2:00, and MIKE ROA <EVENDALE OH> ran for third with a 2:04. Sunday was shaping up to be a fast day on the course.

When BOB RUSSELL <TEAM OPFD> runs, people watch, and if they are smart, they take notes because they are watching something great. His 1:24.64 was after a two second mark against him. A 1:22? All the sudden that 1:19 doesn’t look so far away. Being the best in the world at something is special. BRANDON CUNNINGHAM of TEAM OWENSBORO PAUL DAVIS RESTORATION placed second with a strong 1:26.45 and PAT SCHIBLER <OPFD> placed third with a sweet 1:29.64. OVERLAND PARK won team honors with a blistering, fastest team time of 05, running a 4:24.88. WCXIV is going to be off the hook, so far OPFD is the team to beat but I’m sure more than a couple of teams have something to say about that in November. TEAM OWENSBORO PAUL DAVIS RESTORATION placed second with a 5:02, that new guy they got is pretty good. And EVENDALE placed third with a sweet 5:07, edging out their mentors on the way.

EVANSVILLE was another great event on TOUR 05, tip of the hat again to all who took part. The spy network has reminded me to kick it a little more with the wraps, and I agree. This is the time we can’t spare a few seconds to write about our beloved CHALLENGE? I say no. But it is hard to keep up with the SCOTT FIREFIGHTER COMBAT CHALLENGE and the real world too. To heck with the real world! I say it’s time to go full on, complete CHALLENGE all the time, like it was any different. Props to the CRUE for being such a great family and TCB. Now on to JANESVILLE WI and glory. See you there for the last regional of TOUR 05.

REX  IV        



SEPT 24TH 2005

Fall is in the air and the CRUE dawns it’s cool weather gear for the last portion of TOUR 05. Although it’s not quite there yet, we know what awaits us on our fall drive to WCXIV. SOUTH PORTLAND is a very nice place and there was just a hint of the change of season. RICK URBAN and all of SPFD, and a host of local sponsors were great hosts and run a top shelf CHALLENGE. MAINE is very beautiful, and it’s worth the trip to visit SOUTH PORTLAND and run the CHALLENGE.

The STREAMLIGHT RELAYS were held under sunny skies and a couple thousand of the CHALLENGE faithful. It was a great show, with some good teams fighting it out for CHALLENGE glory. The championship came down to a battle between last years TUMS GRAND NATIONAL MALE RELAY CHAMPIONS, TEAM YORK from NORMAN OK, and the fast rising stars from WARWICK RI, with TEAM YORK coming out victorious. Great show from a solid WARWICK team. DEERFIELD BEACH placed third running hard and looking ready to make some noise at worlds. Props out to QUEBEC for a strong finish.

 A huge CHALLENGE welcome back to the number two woman in the world, ANITA HORSLEY <DEKALB CO, GA>. ANITA has been sidelined for all of TOUR 05 with an injury and we missed her. But we knew she would be back and tougher than ever, and she was. ANITA used SOUTH PORTLAND to tune up for Nationals and see where she was at after so long off the course. Oh yeah, she just happened to run the fastest time of 05 and kicked some CHALLENGE butt with her 2:36.28, winning the day for the ladies. I guess she still knows the fastest way to finish line. JEANNINE HORTON <ESTERO FL> placed second with her 3:46 and the 05 TUMS GNC is running strong every week. LAURA KUPINSKI <DIE TRYING> placed third, great show for all the ladies. When a dream is fulfilled it’s so cool, but to be right there when it happens is an honor. MICHAEL ANDERSON <TEAM PAUL DAVIS of YORK CITY PA> has been flirting with the sub two mark for a while. In SOUTH PORTLAND his dream, and a lot of really hard work finally paid off. His 1:59.37 was his goal and if you could have been there, it was so cool. As soon as he crossed the line he knew he had made his sub two, he did a couple of huge arm pumps with the hip thrust combo, and proceeded to grab TROY and pick him up and throw him a few feet back and then he took me and did the same thing, followed by more maniacal moves, all before he took his mask off! Then he really got pumped. Way to go MIKE, winner of the event with his well-earned sub two, and look out WCXIV, MIKE is on a tear. DAL LECK <WEST ROUTT CO> placed second running in RICKY PAYNE’S gear because the airline had lost his. DAL ran a nice 2:04 and it’s always good to see him. RICKY’S gear is always showing up on the box. I wonder if some of his go-fast mojo still remains in the firefighting fossils old garb? It must, because the last time it saw the course, SHERI carried a part of it with her to the podium at worlds last year, and now, DAL runs with the power of the PAYNE and does well. Science or voodoo? The world may never know. CHALLENGE legend CHUCK LEBLANC <LEOMINSTER MASS> placed third, running a 2:18. LES BAUMAN <DEERFIELD BEACH FL> won the over 40s with a very sweet 1:39.53. LES has been doing the CHALLENGE a long time and knows how to go fast. JOE HORTON, the 05 TUMS GNC took second with his 1:49 and will be ready for his show on the world stage. And DAVID McKinley <FREDERICTON N.S. CAN> placed third with his 1:51. A shout out to CHALLENGE great and former world champ JOHN McGRATTEN for a speedy recovery after a fall in MAINE.

LEE BRONCO <DEERFIELD BEACH FL> won his first event in his first season on tour and is turning some fast laps for a rookie. His 1:37.33 was good for the win in SOUTH PORTLAND and he has a bright future in our beloved CHALLENGE. STEVEN LAHAYE <QUEBEC CAN> ran a 1:38.12 for second and LES BAUMAN’S 1:38.53 earned him third overall as well as his win in the over 40s. DEERFIELD BEACH took team honors with their 5:14, way to go boys from the beach, my address but not my home. QUEBEC placed second with a 5:21, and WARWICK rounded out the podium with a 5:55.

SOUTH PORTLAND is a lot of fun, and way better if you don’t have to bribe anyone to get to your car or watch the sidewalk. But thanks to RANDY, the kid wrangler for getting us home this year, the CRUE doesn’t always pay attention when cruising in a new city, even if we have been there. Sometimes it’s better to just watch the after party than play along. We will be back to MAINE again I’m sure, but now we ride toward EVANSVILLE IN and another day in the sun as the mighty CHALLENGE rolls through our great nation. The SCOTT FIREFIGHTER COMBAT CHALLENGE is in the fourth quarter, the final lap, the last few shows of TOUR 05 and it won’t be long now and we’ll all be in DEERFIELD BEACH for WCXIV. Get out there quick and catch one soon before they’re all gone. See you out there……….




SEPT 17TH 2005

Summer is hanging on in most of the country and that’s cool for the CRUE, who are warm weather types. This is the changeover part of TOUR 05. We know fall is near and only a couple more months till our long winters nap. But we cling to the last part of our summer in the sun, daring the seasons to catch up. ELKTON MD was a new stop for the CHALLENGE, but the first time hosts were great. Our course was fast and the peeps came out by the thousands to see the TOUGHEST TWO MINUTES IN SPORTS. MIKE WIESS, and MARY JO LABLONSKI, along with a host of fine people brought the CHALLENGE to the ELKTON FALL FEST and held an excellent event. Please try to make the ELKTON event in years to come; you’ll be glad you did.

The STREAMLIGHT RELAYS came down to a battle between FAIRFAX COUNTY <VA> and ANNE ARUNDEL CO LOCAL 1563 <MD>. Both teams have been in the winner’s circle in 05 and it was an epic battle. One of the closest races of the year, LOCAL 1563 came out on top, much to the delight of the spy network that have been reported as 1563 locals themselves.  FAIRFAX ran hard and looked ready for Worlds, if you can keep them off the motorcycles, but then I’m not one to talk now am I?  FT MEADE <MD> placed third, and props to TEAM GOTTA LOVE IT <CONWAY ARK> for a great show. It’s always cool to see the boys from CONWAY.  Another win for LOW MAINTENANCE <CHESTERFIELD VA>, in the ladies division. These girls are a fun team to be around and the peeps can’t help but pull for them. A big CHALLENGE welcome to the other ladies team from CHESTERFIELD, FULL THROTTLE for making their debut in ELKTON.

JEANNINE HORTON <ESTERO FL> the 05 TUMS GNC, finished on top of the podium again with her 3:40. The MACHINE hasn’t looked back since HAVERHILL and round one. It’s always been her championship this year. MIKE ANDERSON <PAUL DAVIS RESTORATION of YORK CITY PA>  won yet another round on TOUR 05 for the over 50s, and is more than just flirting with that sub two. This guy is good. ERIE host and over 50 racer, BRUCE EICHER <RIVER of LIFE -EFD> ran a 2:18 for a strong second, no doubt more relaxed now that his event in ERIE went so well. And ALAN BRIGHT <HAPPY PUPPY-SPOOGIE> named for a beloved family pet, placed third with his 3:20. Props to JOHN McGEE <FAIRFAX CO VA> who runs hard at the ripe old age of 67, turning in a sweet 3:34! LIGHTNING LONNIE LEWIS <CHESTERFIELD VA> came back to the course in ELKTON and whipped out a strong 1:42 to win the over 40s. BIG JOE HORTON <LARGO FL> placed second with a 1:52, this guy is one reason the fellowship loves our sport so much, JOE makes it cool. GARY METZBOWER <BCFD> rounded out the podium with his 3:32. LONNIE’S winning time placed him in the top 5 overall as well.

ROB SHEPPERD of PAUL DAVIS RESTORATION of MIAMI DADE won his second event of 05 with a nice 1:31. And the number two-guy thing is back.  DAVID BOWMAN <CHARLOTTE NC> placed second with a tough 1:37, running on healer power, both blue and red. And a big shout out to ED KRANSKI <PALM BEACH CO FL> for his entry into the sub 100 club, running a very sweet 1:38, and finishing third. ED is recently engaged to the lovely AMANDA and has been chasing this goal for a while now. It felt good to see all the hard work pay off in ELKTON, another dream fulfilled between the banners. PAUL DAVIS of MIAMI DADE took team honors with a 5:14 with three doing the work of five. TEAM PAUL DAVIS of YORK CITY PA placed second with their 5:58, and first timers HENRICO CO placed third.

ELKTON was very cool. Now we are off to SOUTH PORTLAND MAINE and yet another CHALLENGE. A huge thanks to JOHN UPP <RISING SUN MD> former CRUE boy and family member. JOHN was, as always a big help to us and it’s always so great to hang with him. And my girls IZZIE and ALLY UPP for loving me despite my misgivings, you ladies are the best, thank you for the necklace. The SCOTT FIREFIGHTER COMBAT CHALLENGE is winding down. Only another month or so left on TOUR 05. The CRUE is as good as it gets right now, and ready for the homestretch. Props to all former CRUE members who carry on the spirit through their days, good luck to them in everything they do. You can leave the show but the show never leaves you, that’s another reason we do this. WCXIV is right around the corner and CRUE 05 is feeling the push to gather the spirit to roll for five more weeks. And we of course will do just that. The CHALLENGE must go on through wind and rain, gloom of night and so on. To our appointed rounds, and a city near you. Be a part of the action. See you in MAINE.




SEPT 9TH & 10TH, 2005

 As CHALLENGE lore grows every day, some things seem to hold true. One of those things is that ERIE PA is a very cool event. Every time we go there we have a great time and thousands of the fellowship will witness a good comp. This year was no different; BRUCE EICHER and ERIE FD along with a host of kind local people came together to throw a top shelf CHALLENGE. I always tell everyone that ERIE is a show to make, we take over downtown for a few days every year, and the large, very loud crowd, make for a good time. Props to all who make it so on the shores of LAKE ERIE, great job. The CRUE spent their time well in ERIE and look forward to our trips there every tour.

Friday night the STREAMLIGHT RELAYS, and the TANDEMS were run under the lights on Main St. The peeps were out in the thousands to see the third CHALLENGE speed fest in their city. The TANDEMS were won by GREENSBORO SAFE AIR, with a time of 3:09.42. Good run for the first time TANDEM team from NORTH CAROLINA. FREMONT FIRE TANDEM <CA> placed second, and TEAM STIHL <VA BEACH VA> ran for third. TEAM PAUL DAVIS of YORK CITY PA won the over 50s.  LAST MINUTE placed second, and ERIE/WEST RIDGE ran for third.  ERIE-TOWER 2 won the over 40s, and team MALLETS BAY VT/LATHAM NY won the co-ed.

HERC’S Over 40 won the Over 40 class in the STREAMLIGHT RELAYS, good show from the BOCA Over 40 team. The open came down to a rematch of the final from round 2 in DEERFIELD BEACH with TRAVIS AFB CA vs. BOCA RATON FL. It was a tough race, and TRAVIS won with three guys doing the work of five. Great show for BOCA with strong runs and a new CHALLENGE DANCE that you got to see. ERIE placed third to the delight of the hometown fans.  Props to SACRAMENTO 522 for a great show as well.

CHALLENGE great JACQUELINE RASENBERG <VAUGHAN ONT> returned to the course in ERIE and proceeded to set the fastest time of 05 for the ladies with a 2:42.34.  It was so cool to see her back again this year and run so hard. I’ve got a soft spot for tall girls who kick ass at the CHALLENGE.  Nice run JACQUELINE. ERIN JOHNSON <TEAM TOYO TIRES DENVER CO> placed second with a 3:31, and JEANNINE HORTON, the 2005 TUMS GRAND NATIONAL CHAMPION placed third, running a 3:53. In the Over 50s DON KEMPF <CLEVELAND OH> ran the fastest time of 05 for the 50s with a strong 1:56.52, and looked very tough. MIKE ANDERSON <TEAM PAUL DAVIS of YORK CITY PA> placed second with an always-smooth 2:05, and the title of Over 50 GNC winner. Our gracious host, MR BRUCE EICHER from the RIVER of LIFE- ERIE FD team ran for third.  After all his work to bring the CHALLENGE to ERIE it was a great run for BRUCE, with a 2:16. BIG JOE HORTON <LARGO FL>, the 05 TUMS GNC winner in the Over 40s, chalked up another victory with his 1:47. Another banner year for the HORTONS. PAUL DEKAY <TEAM HERC’S, NIAGRA FALLS ONT> placed second with a 1:52, and DAVID HAWKES <RICHMOND HILL ONT> ran for third with a 1:56.

2004 WORLD CHAMPIONS TRAVIS AFB, made the trip to ERIE count with all three team members in the top 4 and first and second place over all. MIKE MELTON has broken the number two guy hex for 05 by winning with a sweet 1:29.14. HARRY MYERS placed a close second with a 1:30.27. And the spy network will chill somewhat, for now anyway. MARTIN ODESTIG <SACRAMENTO CA> placed third, running a strong 1:34. TRAVIS won team honors with a very fast 4:34.58, when your slowest guy is 1:35 your going to win a lot. SACRAMENTO LOCAL 522 placed second with a nice 4:50 and TEAM PAUL DAVIS RESTORATION of FLORENCE KY ran for third with a 5:21. A shout out to first time ever CHALLENGE run of 1:46 by SPENCE SOUTHARD of GREENSBORO SAFE AIR 2, welcome to the CHALLENGE SPENCE.

ERIE is history for another year and we had a great weekend in PA. The mighty CHALLENGE looks so cool in downtown. It’s off to ELKTON MARYLAND for now. I know I’ve said ERIE is the best, and it is.  Something was missing this year that is really part of why ERIE is so burned into my brain. Don’t get me wrong, ERIE is still one of the coolest stops on tour, and I would encourage all the fellowship to make it to the battle on LAKE ERIE every year. And good luck to all who didn‘t make it this year. ELKTON is waiting and we are on the road as we speak to make the SCOTT FIREFIGHTER COMBAT CHALLENGE rise again. I’m already looking forward to ERIE again, and can’t wait to see what adventures await in ELKTON. The spy network is starting to boil with the frenzy that will be WCIV. And the fellowship is restless. The CRUE is working together as one, and the times keep falling. TOUR 05 is on the way to a city near you. See you out there…………….




SEPT 3RD, 2005

We get reminded from time to time that the CHALLENGE is cool, but real life is tough. The course relocation gang had to make their run through the aftermath of KATRINA last week. After waiting it out in Florida for short time, they made their trek west through a maze of back roads and byways to HOUSTON. Along the way they stopped in MONTGOMERY AL for some much needed rest. During the night our beloved CHALLENGE VAN was broken into and we lost some things, BILLY was hurt the most, but most everything we replaced the next day. That same night a family of 6 from SLYDELL LA was seeking shelter in the same hotel and lost what little they could grab from their lives back home, on the same night. They don’t even know if they have a home or not, and some how its hurts more. This wrap is dedicated to them and all who had their lives shattered by Mother Nature, good luck to all.

HOUSTON is a very cool city, and ERIC KELLMAN and all of HOUSTON FD picked up the stop on TOUR at the eleventh hour, and did a great job throwing a good CHALLENGE.  Thanks to all who brought the CHALLENGE to the Lone Star State. It takes a lot of work and way more time than they had in HOUSTON, but they made it happen.

The SYREAMLIGHT RELAYS saw the return of the ladies from EAGLE ID. It was a strong run for the girls, but the LADY HELLFIGHTERS <PPG LAKE CHARLES LA> continued their run at the TUMS GRAND NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP, by winning again and are in the drivers seat points wise. Good job by all the ladies and congrats to PPG for a great year in 05. They deserve this championship, by working hard, and coming a long way since we first saw them a couple years ago. The MIGHTY WINDSOR came, saw and kicked CHALLENGE butt once again. Winning a second event on TOUR 05, and looking more than ready for WCXIV. Team DR PEPPER <ALTUS OK> took second, running hard. They still want to adopt me you know. The FIRE FROS <EL PASO TX> placed third, and put on their usual great show, much to the delight of the peeps.

JEANNINE HORTON <ESTERO FL> took the win for the ladies, running a 3:56, and has a solid lock on the TUMS GNC. Way to go JEANNINE. MIKE ANDERSON <PAUL DAVIS RESTORIATION of YORK CITY PA> is perfect in 05 as far as podiums go, and also has the championship locked down. ART VAUGHN <EL PASO TX> won the over 40s with a 2:32. ART has recovered from a heart attack to victory at the CHALLENGE, how cool is that? JOHN FLOYD <PPG LAKE CHARLES LA> ran tough for second, with a 2:42. And COREY AIKEN <TEXAS CITY TX> placed third with a 2:51.

This just in, the MIGHTY WINDSOR <ONT> kicks major CHALLENGE butt, and are poised to make their usual run at a world title. Making it a podium sweep with DARREN HILLMAN taking the win with a 1:26.22, and continuing the year of the number two guys, I like this trend. Last year’s HOUSTON area winner GREG KOTSIS placed second with a 1:33, and BOB BAILEY taking third on a 1:34. WINDSOR also taking team honors of course with a 4:35.01, what a day for the MIGHTY WINDSOR. EL PASO ran for second with a 5:35. The FROS are as cool as ever, it’s always fun to hang with them. And the USAFA <COLORADO SPRINGS CO> made the trip to HOUSTON count with a podium finish, running a 5:44. Welcome to the winners circle to boys from the academy.

Now it’s off to ERIE PA and another chapter in the continuing saga of the SCOTT FIREFIGHTER COMBAT CHALLENGE. HOUSTON was great, and we look forward to going back. But now we ride off into the night on our way to more CHALLENGE glory. As all of the fellowship goes through their days, take the time to think about those who have less than nothing left. We are very blessed to be able to do what we do, and I know a lot of our CHALLENGE family will take part in the clean up effort and to help things get going again. Props to all of them as well. Please be safe in your travels and we’ll see you out there…





AUG 26TH & 27TH  2005

Onward through the days of summer. Pressing ever forward to bring the mighty CHALLENGE to the peeps. This is the time of year when resting is not an option. It is with great pride that the CRUE brings you the TOUGHEST TWO MINUTES IN SPORTS, and it’s at the point where we are like a machine and nothing can stop us now. Every set-up or tear-down is flowing, with the help of many kind people along the way. People like TIM BOWEN and GAINESVILLE FD for providing the fellowship with a first class CHALLENGE. The SOUTHEASTERN US CHAMPIONSHIPS  is a very cool event, and everyone should make it to GAINESVILLE for the next one. Props to everyone who helped bring the CHALLENGE to central FLORIDA.

The teams and individuals went first on Friday evening. If you haven’t been around there’s a new group of tough girls on the CHALLENGE tour. The ladies from DEL RAY BEACH FL are kicking some major CHALLENGE butt this year. All they did in GAINESVILLE was sweep the podium and get the two fastest times of the year. SARA CONNER posted a 2:58.41 for the win, followed closely by IRENA SUMANO with a 2:59.33. ILENE ROSE placed third with a 3:21. The DEL RAY BEACH girls totally rock, and so far are the team to beat in 05. Some ladies were apprehensive about the new 4:30 qualifying time but all 8 women made cut with time to spare at the SEUSC. CHALLENGE legend PAT HARTLEY<GAINESVILLE FL>  won the over 50s with a fastest time of the year run of 1:57.12, and is gong to make some noise at WCXIV. MICHAEL ANDERSON <PAUL DAVIS of YORK CITY PA>  placed second with a 2:06 and is in space with the points. Nobody will catch him now and I know he feels good winning that TUMS GRAND NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP for 05. And JESSE WALKER <GREENSBORO NC> , another CHALLENGE legend ran for third with a very fast 2:16. JESSE is the sage of the CHALLENGE, wise men are few and far between and he is all that, and he runs a mean CHALLENGE as well. And again all 8 of the over 50s ran under the qualifying time also. JOE HORTON <LARGO FL> won the over 40s with a very sweet 1:45.46, and also is out of sight points wise, collecting his third TUMS GRAND NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP in a row. Nobody else has ever won the over 40 title but him, and do you think for one minute it will be his last, I say no, congrats BIG JOE.  BRAD DUNCAN <CHARLOTTE NC> placed second with a 1:46.74, and the man of steel SCOTT STEELE <RIVIERA BEACH FL> rounded out the podium with his 1:53 and is on the box every time he runs now.  And 12 of the 16 field made the time, for the trip to WCXIV. ROB SHEPPERD <PAUL DAVIS RESTORATION of MIAMI DADE 1> won the overall with his 1:34 and continued as the spy network call’s it, the year of the number two guy, huray for them I would think. JEFF RUPP<TEAM BOCA RATON FL> ran for second with a 1:38.20, barely edging out DAVID BOWMAN <CHARLOTTE NC> who ran a 1:38.62 for third. What a great evening of CHALLENGE action. PAUL DAVIS RESTORATION of MIAMI DADE 1 won team honors for the second year in a row and get to keep the coveted GATOR HEAD for another year, with a 5:05.69. CHARLOTTE placed second with a 5:12 and TEAM BOCA 1 was third on their 5:30.46

Saturday saw a little rain but we were spared the wrath of KATRINA as we were IVAN the year before. I like to think we are blessed and very fortunate. The peeps gathered around to see the TANDEM and STREAMLIGHT RELAYS and were treated to a great show. CHARLOTTE FIRE TANDEM won another event with their 2:55.20, the second fastest time ever in the TANDEMS short life. VOLUSIA COUNTY FIRE TAMDEM placed second with a 3:06, and DEERFIELD BEACH ran for third, the DY-LON SEMBER team making it tight with a 3:07, way to go homies. Even though I live far away, my address is always DEERFIELD BEACH FL, home of WCIV, Nov 1st-5th. WINSTON-SALEM NC  OVER THE HILL TANDEM, won the over 40 TANDEM and the TRIAD OVER 50 TANDEM won the over 50s. The BIG MACHINE won the co-ed, and JASPER CO SC won the ladies TANDEM.

The DEL RAY BEACH ladies, took the women’s title of STREAMLIGHT RELAY champions. And left with a lot of lot from GAINESVILLE. The LADY HELLFIGHTERS  <LAKE CHARLES LA> placed second and are right there on clinching the TUMS GRAND NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP for 05, good luck to them on that. These ladies travel in a van for hours through the worst sort of weather and all manner of things, just to run the CHALLENGE and deserve the title. The COMPANY 5 BLAZING WORRIORS <CLAYTON CO GA> rounded out the podium. CLAYTON CO GA won the over 40 relay title, and BOCA  placed second. WINSTON-SALEM placed third and ran both TANDEM and over 40 relay, as well as individual. Man those dudes are tough. TEAM PAUL DAVIS of MIAMI DADE won the open title for the second year in a row in the relays to go with their team title. We saw th return of the fastest firefighter in Florida, the MODEL CITIZEN, RICK STEPHENS to help his team to victory. FAIRFAX VA placed second, and MYRTLE BEACH SC place third. A shout out to ROCK HILL SC for a good show.

Well it’s off to HOUSTON TX for the next CHALLENGE and KATRINA has plans for the boys as they make their way across the GULF COAST I’m sure. But we WILL be in HOUSTON and the SCOTT FIREFIGHTER COMBAT CHALLENGE will live again. Good luck to BILLY, RICKY, and TROY and to all who bear the brunt of mother nature over the next few weeks. GAINESVILLE throws a great CHALLENGE, and the SOUTHEASTERN US CHAMPIONSHIPS were off the hook.  For now, it’s the road that is calling and the CRUE grows restless much quicker these days, it’s one of the pitfalls of life on the road. Everything else is in slow motion. Hard to take a breath and get caught up when TOUR 05 is at full speed.  Time to sleep in November, for now, it’s all out spreading the word of the mighty CHALLENGE to all who will listen. Join us won’t you, see you out there. Come up and say hi, and cheer on your team.




AUG 20TH 2005

The mighty CHALLENGE has stood tall in many places. It’s our quest to cover every state in this great country. And now we can add IOWA to our list of almost 40 states. SIOUX CITY was host to the LONG LINES CHALLENGE. ED           and  JESSIE        along with LONG LINES, and PAUL DAVIS RESTORATION,  and SIOUX CITY FD, throw a great CHALLENGE. The help was excellent, and a record tear down for the CRUE, with the locals, of two hours and eight minutes was a nice bonus. Props to everyone in SIOUXLAND for a outstanding show.

The STREAMLIGHT RELAYS saw the return of CHALLENGE greats, OVERLAND PARK. And they made it count, it was a stellar performance out of the boys from KANSAS. Running the fastest relay time of TOUR 05 of 1:11.13, and taking the championship over the first timers TEAM VELOCITY <O’FALLON MO> . It was a great day for CHRIS and the gang from the ST. LOIUS area. PAUL DAVIS of OMAHA placed third, and a shout out to JOPLIN MO for a good show.  But the day belonged to OPFD and they looked very tough for their 05 debut.

JOYCE SAUER of  RAPID CITY SD took the win for the ladies, running a nice 3:40 on her first ever CHALLENGE, welcome to the course to JOYCE.  MICHAEL ANDERSON <TEAM PAUL DAVIS RESTORATION of YORK CITY PA> won another event in the over 50s with his very sweet 2:07 and is ready to clinch the points chase at any event now. Congrats to MIKE and his 05 race program. ROD ANDERSON <SIOUX FALLS SD> placed second with a 3:15. BIG JOE HORTON is also on a tear this year, running faster as the year goes by. Winning the over 40s with a nice 1:46, JOE is also beyond catching in the TUMS GRAND NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP points race, making it a three-peat for the man from LARGO FL. KELLY ASH from PAUL DAVIS of SW MISSOURI <SPRINGFIELD MO> placed second with a 1:55 and ALAN ERTZNER <OMAHA  LOCAL 385 NE> rounded out the podium, taking third with a 2:14.

What can you say, but OVERLAND PARK rules. Placing four in the top five and winning the team title with a 4:36.49. World record holder and CHALLENGE legend BOB RUSSELL <OPFD> ran the fastest time of TOUR 05, with a 1:25.99, for the overall win, and I know he’s got more to show this fall. PAT SCHIBLER <OPFD> ran a strong 1:32.52 for second and looked smooth. And TONY CAVALLO <ST. CHARLES IL>  has arrived. He has been putting on a quiet show of greatness all year. Not only placing third in SIOUX CITY, with his 1:36, but earning his place at the starting line with only the best players out there. Only the CHALLENGE elite have beaten him on TOUR 05 and TONY can run with anybody at anytime. RAPID CITY SD placed second in team with three in the top 8 and a 5:16.88 team time. This is the second podium of the year for them, previously placing third in ROCKFORD now second, only one more step for RAPID CITY. OMAHA LOCAL 385 placed third with a 6:15. My homies form the flatland are looking great a usual, and OPFD is back for another run at the world title in 05.

SIOUX CITY was great. Where else do you go where you can get lost in three states in a matter of minutes? The peeps are a great group of  Americans and showed the CRUE a great time as well as a great day of CHALLENGE action. Now it’s off to GAINESVILLE FL and the SOUTHEASTERN US CHAMPIONSHIPS. We will be back in IOWA again someday I’m sure. Once more the CRUE hit’s the never ending road, and heads off to another place in the distance. So long to friends new and old along the way, may the SCOTT FIREFIGHTER COMBAT CHALLENGE be with you till we cross paths again. Miles to go before we rest, and why should it be any other way. It’s the CHALLENGE we live for and there’s still half a tour to go. Join us for the TOUGHEST TWO MINUTES IN SPORTS and see for yourself what it’s all about. The fellowship is on the rise with the new IOWA CHAPTER added in the mix, and it grows everyday. See you out there………




AUG 6TH & 7TH  2005

As TOUR 05 rolls across the nation, some think it’s almost half way through the season. But the CRUE believes there’s still more than half a tour to go.  We always look forward to our trips to CALIFORINA; the CHALLENGE stands tall from coast to coast. The FREMONT FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS, is a great event and we are proud to take part in it, and display the mad skills of the BEST of the BEST & BRAVEST.  Dan Cardenas and  Gerry Fogel, with FREMONT FD and the FREMONT CAMBER of COMMERCE, put on a great CHALLENGE and everyone in the fellowship should go there and play. The EXPLORERS of  FREMONT FD are the best group of young people we hang with all year. They work hard and have a true passion for the CHALLENGE, and after we worked them CRUE style for two days they ran a 1:50 relay! Props to the everyone who helped put on a great show, and kept the fellowship happy with lots of cool after dark activity.

The teams and individuals were first to take the course on Saturday, and I think the fellowship likes it that way. Better to enjoy the social aspect of our beloved sport. And a big welcome back to ANDREA BELCZYK <VANCOUVER BC> winning the ladies division with a nice 3:03.02. ERIN JOHNSON <TEAM TOYO TIRES, DENVER CO> placed second on a 3:47, and LAURA KUPINSKI <DIE TRYING-MIAMI-DADE> placed third and was matched up against her beau GIL BAIZ in a head to head race. We all thought GIL should have helped her on the force machine or opened the door for her, or at least carried her across the threshold, but no, instead he talked trash the whole time. It was done out of love I’m sure. CHALLENGE legend JOHN CHILDE <CDF> took the victory in the over 50s with a smooth 2:04. He is a mentor for more than a couple of CHALLENGE heavy’s. MICHAEL ANDERSON <TEAM PAUL DAVIS of YORK CITY PA> finished on the podium in second and continues his streak of podiums to 7, lets see if a perfect season is in order. And 2003 rookie of the year DAVE CHIODO <TEAM TRAVIS> placed third. KEVIN VOYLES <INL> ran the fastest over 40 time of the year with his 1:38.79. It was good to see KEVIN as always and he never lets the peeps down with his usual strong run. LES BAUMAN <DEERFIELD BEACH FL> ran a 1:43 for second, and JOE HORTON  <LARGO FL> placed third with a smooth 1:48.

HARRY MYERS <TEAM TRAVIS> ran the fastest time of the year with a 1:27.46, to win the overall and is looking very tough. MIKE MELTON <TEAM TRAVIS> took second on a 1:30.21, and will no doubt push it even harder now. And JOE ALMONY completed a TRAVIS sweep with a 1:32.40. 2004 WORLD CHAMPIONS, TEAM TRAVIS won team honors with the fastest time of the year, running a very strong 4:30.07, looking like the champs they are. SACRAMENTO LOCAL 522 placed second and are always there, and VANCOUVER LOCAL 18 ran for third.   13 sub 100s and more than 30 sub twos made for a fast day of racing in FREMONT.

Sunday was another beautiful day, and the peeps were there by the thousands to see it all happen. The TANDEM was off and running and EDMONTON INOTEC TANDEM set a new world record with a 2:52.47 and the win. VANCOUVER LOCAL 18 placed second with a 3:06 and CLUB SPORT of FREMONT TANDEM ran for third with a 3:21.26, barely edging first time TANDEM team of ENGLEWOOD FIRE who ran a strong 3:21.49. This TANDEM event is cool, a lot of great match ups are out there. We love the TWO to TANDEM team of KEVIN VOYLES and STACY BILLAPANDO, who ran a 3:25 by the way, winning the co-ed group. And DIE TRYING with GIL and LAURA, or the very interesting combo of TONY CAVALLO and MIKE GILBERT coming to a CHALLENGE near you. Get a partner and run hard.

The STREAMLIGHT RELAYS were great and some powerhouse teams put on a show for the peeps. The return of the 2004 TUMS GRAND NATIONAL CHAMPIONS from NORMAN OK, TEAM YORK, was good, they ran hard, and placed third in a run off with the always tough DOD. SACRAMENTO CA placed second and as usual looked very good. And TEAM TRAVIS took the victory for the second time on TOUR 05. It was cool to see the FIRE FROS from EL PASO, they always please the crowd with their game. And TRAVIS looks like the team to beat in both relay and team right now. They have the best time and are working to get even better. You know they will be there when it counts.

FREMONT is a nice city and all the people who help the CHALLENGE are very kind. We will be back on the left coast again, but for now it’s off to SOIUX CITY IOWA, and round 8 of TOUR 05. Yet another state in a never ending quest to bring the SCOTT FIREFIGHTER COMBAT CHALLENGE to everybody, everywhere. The CRUE is solid and the CHALLENGE lives on through the fellowship. Soon all the peeps will know of the mighty CHALLENGE, and see the mad skills for themselves. See you out there………………..




JULY 16th & 17th 2005

Hello from the road again. We are trying to cover this entire great nation, one great lake at a time. In our continuing quest to spread the word of the mighty CHALLENGE, our travels take us to a lot of cool new places. MICHIGAN CITY, IN is one of those. KYLE KAZMIERCZAK and the MICHIGAN CITY FD are first time hosts, but we know we will be leaning on them for years to come. They throw a great CHALLENGE there and we were proud to help ring in their 100th anniversary as a department. The CHALLENGE stood tall at the beach of the Lake Michigan and it was a great place for the peeps to enjoy the TOUGHEST TWO MINUTES IN SPORTS. The help was outstanding and the CRUE was made to feel at home. The word throughout the CRUE was “we really like this place”.

The TANDEM was held first and the new WINDSOR – TEAM TREGASKISS TANDEM took the victory and looked very smooth. TEAM  FREMONT placed second and TEAM VELOCITY from O’Fallon placed third. The TANDEM is pretty cool to watch, and the combined two run score is interesting. One bad run isn’t an end-all situation, teams get two runs to make it happen. So if you’re close your team could still steal a win.

The STREAMLIGHT RELAYS were next on Saturday afternoon and the mighty WINDSOR - TEAM TREGASKISS 2004 WORLD RELAY CHAMPIONS, were on hand for their first appearance of TOUR 05. As well as EDWARDS AFB, back in full voice if you can believe it. The vacations over, if you thought the world was a little more peaceful when NEAL’S voice was gone, he’s back and it’s more fun than ever. The two teams clashed in the championship round and put on a great show, with WINDSOR winning. EDWARDS only had nine days to prepare but looked very tough coming in second. TOPEKA, IN placed third and made their first trip to the podium. Props to TEAM OLD NATIONAL BANK for a good showing. TEAM TREGASKISS is working on this new move called the ONE TWO PUNCH, and it will leave the peeps astonished and amazed. Look out WCXIV, the champs are even stronger in 05. After a great day of CHALLENGE action, the CRUE was given a three-hour shore leave, and we hit the beach. It’s not often that we relax on a Saturday, and hours can seem like days when you live life two minutes at a time.

CHERI ARDOIN <LAKE CHARLES LA> took her first win in MICHIGAN CITY, running a 4:28. Welcome to the winners circle, a hard working lady who runs 100% all out, and gets better every time she try‘s. JEANNINE HORTON <ESTERO FL>  placed second, and is in good shape for the TUMS GRAND NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP. I know it’s still July but she is driven and will be hard to catch at this point. MICHAEL ANDERSON of TEAM PAUL DAVIS of YORK CITY, PA continues his tear through TOUR 05 with another victory in the over 50s, running a 2:19. He is in command of the OVERCASH AWARD, and TED himself was there to see his win. Sometimes the TATER <MR JOHN TILLETT PHD> won’t be able to make an event or two. So in his place will be the newest member of the CRUE, JOHN FORSBERG <PALATINE IL>. JOHN also runs the CHALLENGE, much like COUP DE VILLE does as well, placing second in the over 50s with a 2:23 and working very hard with us to boot, nice job and welcome to JOHNNY 4s.  CHALLENGE legend DAVE CUSACK <LYONS-MUIR MI> placed third in his first event of 05, his 70th time total, no joke, 70 runs!  RICK PRYOR <MORTON GROVE IL> won the over 40 set with a strong 1:40, one of JIMMY NEVILLE’S boys is very powerful this year. JOE HORTON <LARGO FL> placed second on a 1:48 after a few weeks of hurricane related duty. SCOTT GRINNELL <PERRY AREA MI> placed third with a 2:00 run and also was a huge help to the CRUE tutoring the CORP CUP group, a big thanks for that to SCOTT.

There were 24 sub twos in MICHIGAN CITY and the peeps were out in legions to witness a great CHALLENGE. DARREN HILLMAN of TEAM TREGASKISS - WINDSOR ON, won the overall with a sweet 1:32.40 and is amazing to watch run down the tower. JACK BAILEY <TEAM TREGASKISS> placed a very close second with a 1:32.75, don’t blink, you’ll miss something. TONY CAVALLO <ST CHARLES IL> placed third with a 1:34, and quietly takes on the best in the world every event now. Playing with the best makes you play fast, and TONY plays real fast. He’s one of those powerful, deceptively quick, where did he come from guys that hound the very best at our sport for his own piece of CHALLENGE glory. TEAM TREGASKISS of WINDSOR took team honors with a 4:40.29, and is as mighty as ever. PAUL DAVIS RESTORATION of OWENSBORO, KY ran a 5:30 for second, and the new team is tough. And PAUL DAVIS RESTORATION of FLORENCE, KY, placed third with a 5:31. Good day for KENTUCKY on TOUR 05.

The lovely STEPH and I share our b-days on tour every year, and MICHIGAN CITY was the 05 version. Thanks to the guys from WINDSOR for joining in and making it cool. MICHIGAN CITY was “on time” for sure, and I’m looking forward to our return. FREMONT, CA is next and we can’t wait to be a part of the west coast scene. So you want to be a member of the infamous CRUE, consider this… I was dropped off in CHICAGO by TROY in the big rig and we headed toward KANSAS, me by jet airliner, and T-ROY in the flashy SCOTT FIREFIGHTER COMBAT CHALLENGE 18 wheeler. When a back-pack is your condo, you spend way too much time in airports, you learn to be sort of flexible with your time, and sometimes a 14 or more hour day of being shuffled around the land is part of your job. We now know that T-ROY is faster than a speeding aircraft. I’m not sure about the able to leap tall buildings in a single bound thing yet though. But he’s kind of a chick magnet and that’s good enough. Don’t worry ladies and gentlemen, I’ll look after him. Props to all the fellowship for another year of this great life and to the CRUE for putting up with me. And to the newly named, honorary CRUE member BIG JOE HORTON, for his guidance. I’m truly blessed, no matter how messed up real life can seem at times, I know the CHALLENGE is the coolest thing to be a part of, and every day on the road is a gift. See you in CALIFORINA………






JUNE 24th & 25th 2005

As has been said more than a few times, the CRUE loves the cities with the word “beach” attached to them. Round 5 of TOUR 05 had the word beach in the event title as well… The former home of MISS PAULA is one place where a young man can really feel alive. BLAST AT THE BEACH is always cool, and CAPTAIN HEATH SCURFIELD, along with MIKE MEDEIROS and MIKE WEICH went all out to make our stay a great one. HORRY CO FD works very hard to throw a top shelf CHALLENGE, and GALE MULCAHY <our angel> with everyone at BASS PRO OUTDOOR WORLD made sure the mighty CHALLENGE stood tall.  Always try to plan this as a regular stop on during your CHALLENGE season. The CRUE now has a new word for cool or really good, thanks to the guys from HORRY CO, the new saying is that’s “ON TIME“. I like it, maybe we could make it part of our CORE LINGO, our own course talk if you will. Say it loud, use it proud!

The TANDEM was interesting again; I really think this is going to be a cool part of CHALLENGE lore. A new world record was set when TEAM PAUL DAVIS RESTORATION/GMB of MIAMI DADE ran a 3:00.98, they were followed by DEERFIELD BEACH in second, with the first ever winners of the TANDEM, CHARLOTTE placing third. I can start to see some team energy happening out there, with the bi-country DEERFIELD BEACH/ST CATHARINE’S thing and more really cool combos to come I’m sure. Remember ANYONE can be a team, so if you don’t have a relay team from your city, pick someone fast, have some fun and get extra course time. Maybe TONY CAVALLO and THE CHAMP should make it happen, or ANITA HORSLEY and STACY, or J MCGRATTEN with DENNY, you get my point. The combinations are endless…

The STREAMLIGHT RELAYS were held under the lights on Friday night. A very large crowd of peeps was there to see it all unfold under the cool night sky. The LADY HELLFIGHTERS from PPG <LAKE CHARLES LA> took another win (somebody sponsor these hard charging ladies!) and looked very tough, but the girls from ORANGE CO FL gave them a good run on their way to second place. For the second event in a row, a new ladies team has made some big noise on the course. COMPANY 5 BLAZING WARRIORS, another FAIRFAX VA team rounded out the podium and had this very cool energy about them as well, much like the LOW MAINTENANCE group. This is a great year for the women’s relay, I can’t wait to see how the new crop of future stars stack up against the VAUGHNS and DEERFIELD BEACH GIRLS of this sport we all love. The open division was a great tourney with a host of very good teams. One of the highlights came when second year hot shots, ROCK HILL SC, gave more than CHALLENGE regulars from the DOD wanted. It was a monumental contest of epic scale with BIG MAN and TANK on the course at the same time, something has got to give. DOD came out on top but ROCK HILL is for real this year, and ended up third for the night for their first podium of many to come I’m sure. Another team with marked improvement is BOCA RATON 1. They gave TRAVIS AFB a close race in DEERFIELD, and made it another second place finish in round 5. My spy network has been on these guys from the start and I know they are ready to kick some CHALLENGE butt at WCXIV. The DOD won yet another event, and continues to be one of the strongest teams out there.

Saturday brought rain and a very soggy course. The peeps were trying to enjoy the TOUGHEST TWO MINUTES IN SPORTS, and a hearty bunch did brave the elements to see a great CHALLENGE, with a total of 23 sub two’s. IRENA SUMANO <DEL RAY BEACH FL> came from the CZECH REP to the shores of south FLORIDA to fight fires and crush the AMERICANS at the CHALLENGE. So far it’s working out pretty good. I know she wanted that sub 3 but with the more than wet course, she settled on the side of caution for a 3:06, and it was enough to take the win. IRENA runs very hard and will have a say at Worlds. PAM BYRNE <ORANGE CO FL> placed second with a 3:24 and MICHELLE HERNANDEZ <PAUL DAVIS/GMB of MIAMI DADE> made her first podium, placing third on a 3:43. Way to go MICHELLE, see you in the winners circle again soon.

MIKE ANDERSON of TEAM PAUL DAVIS of YORK CITY PA is on a tear. He has been on the podium every stop on TOUR 05 and took another victory in the over 50s at the BLAST AT THE BEACH III, with a nice 2:16. CHALLENGE legend MR JESSE WALKER <GREENSBORO NC> came out for his 11th year in a row to the joy of the fellowship, and placed second, running a sweet 2:25. JESSE is so cool, and a very wise man as well. GREENSBORO is a place close to my heart, and he had some sage insight to one of life’s riddles that made this kid from KANSAS proud to know such a great man, thank you JESSE for being you. JAMES MALEY JR <HILTON SC> placed third.  Should a guy in the over 50s keep the JR on his name? I say yes, I’m sure SR is very proud.  LES BAUMAN <DEERFIELD BEACH> has been around the CHALLENGE for a while and has always been a top player. His 1:47 earned him top spot in the over 40s, nice run LES. And welcome to the over 40 set, the MAN OF STEEL himself, SCOTT STEELE <RIVIERA BEACH FL> made his first over 40 run count with a strong 2:05 placing him in second. It does take more than 100,000 volts to keep a good man down. DUANE CHEEK from WINSTON-SALEM NC ran for third with a 2:07.

Two time CANADIAN NATIONAL CHAMPION, MIKE GILBERT <ST CATHARINES ONT> made the trip to SOUTH CAROLINA and won his first event of 05, running a 1:36 on a swamp. I know he made the trip via FL, MIKE has been spending a lot of time in south FLORIDA this year. I wonder what could it be? I’ve heard that he’s purchased a surfboard and has been overheard calling somebody dude. His tan is sick and he has thrown his shoes away and gone totally a sandals man, I mean dude, what’s next, a funny beard and a southern accent?  Only time will tell. ROB SHEPPERD <TEAM PAUL DAVIS RESTORATION/GMB of MIAMI DADE> ran a tough 1:37 for second.  And new TANDEM star, DAVID BOWMAN <CHARLOTTE NC> placed third with a nice 1:40. TEAM PAUL DAVIS/GMB of MIAMI DADE took team honors with a 5:31 and still no MODEL CITIZEN.  Get well soon Rick, we miss you!  GREENSBORO NC placed second, running a 5:34. The guys from GREENSBORO all had good runs despite the conditions and should be there when it counts. Their relay team is killer as well this year. DEERFIELD BEACH rounded out the top three with a 5:35. A big welcome back to DAVE HARRIS from DEERFIELD BEACH, making his return after two years and running a strong 2:01.

So off we go to MICHIGAN CITY IN, and round 6. MYRTLE BEACH is in the mirrors and the CRUE finished up the most insane week on TOUR 05. We really are pretty tough, but remember we get our power from you, the fellowship. The SCOTT FIREFIGHTER COMBAT CHALLENGE is the tie that binds. We all live for the course and spend our time either getting ready for, or running another CHALLENGE. It takes over our souls for a few months every year and we wouldn’t have it any other way! Sometimes real life can let you down, friends can turn on you, a trusted dog could bite you and the kitty could claw your face. Your most recent tax hike for your new whatever has added 3 cents to your Big Mac and you already had to dig for what you had anyway. You could poke your eye out with a sharp stick or fall off a cliff. You could let life pass you by like a warm summer day, or you could jump off the couch and run the CHALLENGE, where you only have yourself and the course to deal with. Where life inside the banner line won’t waver, it gives back what’s put into it. You can count on it every time. You can hang with the fellowship, and be a part of something very special. Join the CRUE on TOUR 05 and keep the spirit alive. See you all out there


Currently recruiting members of the spy network. To join, e-mail me. Be the life of the party and become a member. All spies will receive a secret decoder ring and a license to kill (the course, people!!

MSFA/Rhem Lane Memorial Challenge

Ocean City, MD

June 21, 2005

The mighty CHALLENGE is hard to keep up with sometimes.  As many of you in the fellowship know, this is a hard week even for the hardest working CRUE in show business. But the peeps can’t wait, and who are we to deny them of their CHALLENGE fix? So we live a few days in the real world and it’s off to the Eastern Shore for round 4 of TOUR 05. A Tuesday is good day for a CHALLENGE as are they all, so OCEAN CITY MD has become our mid-week CHALLENGE for a few tours now. JIM DICKERSON and the FRANCIS SCOTT KEY MOTEL always welcome the CRUE and provide us with some of the comforts of home on our never ending journey. OCEAN CITY is a fun place to be for sure!

In the STREAMLIGHT RELAYS, some new stars were born in the ladies division. The LOW MAINTENANCE team from CHESTERFIELD VA came on to the CHALLENGE tour with some serious noise. Not only qualifying for WCXIV on their first try, but with this really cool vibe about them as well. High fives all around the course and an instant bond with the peeps, the girls from CHESTERFIELD got it going on. With time and hard work, these ladies will be a force. I was hoping they would adopt me and I could be LIGHTNING LONNIE LEWIS’ neighbor! The championship in the STREAMLIGHT RELAYS came down to a battle between TEAM STIHL <VA BEACH VA>, and ANNE ARUNDEL CO MD. It was a great match with ANNE ARUNDEL getting a slight lead, and STIHL fighting back. In the end, LOCAL 1563 ANNE ARUNDEL was victorious, and it was a very popular win with the sort of home crowd. Lots of friends from the BALTIMORE area making the trip to see their boys glorious win. In a battle of RI, both PROVIDENCE and WARWICK took it to the course in a run for third, with WARWICK taking the honors. I know they all rode to the event together, I hope they sorted that out before the ride home…!

BONNIE BENSON <PROVIDENCE RI> took the win for the ladies with a 3:35 and has now won half the events we’ve had this year, way to go BONNIE! JEANNINE HORTON <ESTERO FL> placed second with a smooth 3:49. CHALLENGE first timer MICHELLE BORKHUIS <ANNE ARUNDEL CO MD> placed third. In the over 50’s MIKE ANDERSON <TEAM PAUL DAVIS of YORK CITY PA> continues to dominate. MIKE ran a very tough 2:08 for the win and has been on the podium every round of TOUR 05. He has more points than anyone right now! CHALLENGE legend CHUCK LeBLANC <LEOMINSTER MASS> ran a nice 2:18 for second and RICHARD HALPIN <PAUL DAVIS RESTORATION of YORK CITY PA> rounded out the podium with a 3:20. Those YORK CITY dudes are tough. BIG JOE HORTON is getting faster every event and looks better than I’ve seen him look in a long time. The PROFESSOR cranked out a sweet 1:47.59 for the Over 40 win and third overall. JOE means it this year folks. MIKE CONNELLY <TEAM AXIOM EVANSVILLE IN> ran a 1:55 for second and JAMES OKOLOWITCZ of PROVIDENCE finished third with a 2:12.

ANTHONY McMURTRY <DOD> took the over all with a strong 1:40.60. After that it was what the CHALLENGE is all about… three guys within one half second of each other! MARK WING <DOD> ran a 1:47.53 for second and JOE HORTON placed third with his over 40 winning time of 1:47.59. A big CHALLENGE welcome back to BILL “Leroy” BOCKELMAN <DOD> for his valiant effort, running a 1:47.98 for fourth. Plus it’s cool to hang out with such a great American. The DEPARTMENT of DEFENSE took team honors with a 5:16 and three guys in the top four. WARWICK RI made their first trip to the podium, placing second. Welcome to the winners circle! TEAM PAUL DAVIS RESTORATION of YORK CITY PA placed third for their new sponsor. It looked like a village over at the PAUL DAVIS of YORK encampment. Very top shelf.

OCEAN CITY is now history for another year, I’m sure the mighty CHALLENGE will find it’s way back to the Eastern Shore very soon. Thanks to JOE for hanging with the CRUE and all the people who helped, BREN and RON, and everyone else, huge props from the CRUE. I was alerted by my spy network during my stay in beautiful OCEAN CITY to some somber news. A beloved member of the fellowship has been going through some serious medical issues. I’m sure that the fellowship will send a lot of positive energy for a quick recovery to the toughest girl in CAROLINA, the sport misses you. The SCOTT FIREFIGHTER COMBAT CHALLENGE is truly a test of the spirit. Only the tough try so only the tough can win or lose and that’s part of why it’s so cool. TOUR 05 is going great and it’s a quick turnaround for MYRTLE BEACH SC this weekend. We will be ready and the CHALLENGE will stand tall for round 5. The road is calling to us and off we go to another spot in the SOUTH CAROLINA sun. See you there.

REX IV                   

JUNE 4TH 2005

Another year has past and we find ourselves back in ROCKFORD IL, and already TOUR 05 has been very cool. Where does it all go, the time that passes between the fellowship and the CHALLENGE? A year truly passes like nothing. Already the CRUE has mid-season form and after a couple of months with this bunch you hang, or fade into CHALLENGE lore, so all is well with the people who bring you the greatest show on earth. SAFETY FEST is a regular stop on our journeys every year, and BRETT BEAMAN, along with MARK and ROCKFORD FD and a host of other fine people always have a great CHALLENGE, and we look forward to our visit in this fine city each and every year.

The STREAMLIGHT RELAYS, had WAUKEGAN IL face off against the young team from FAIRFAX VA, in the championship round. The boys from ILLINOIS got off to a great start and began to pull away but FAIRFAX came back at the hose drag, to make a race out of it. In the end it was WAUKEGAN with the win over a very fast FAIRFAX team. MISSISSASUGA ON rounded out the podium with a great effort. Making the trip down from CANADA a good one. We hope to see them at more events on TOUR 05. Props to TOPEKA IN for a good finish as well.

JEANNINE HORTON <ESTERO FLA> continued her winning ways at round 3 with yet another victory and I’m sure a big points lead for the ladies. A member of the spy network reminded me that she has been at this for years and deserves her time to shine, and the fellowship agrees.

CHALLENGE first timer BETH ECKERT <WAUKEGAN IL> gets the max effort award for the day, using almost the entire allotted seven minutes but finishing just the same and took home some chrome for her second place run.

When I first started at this job it was not always easy, certain factions of the fellowship resisted the change that had befell them. And were somewhat less than happy to change the voice of their sport. But a certain family from IL befriended me and I have always remembered them as my first CHALLENGE family members, the NEVILLES from MORTON GROVE IL. CHIEF JIMMY NEVILLE has now competed in every tour there has ever been for the mighty CHALLENGE, all 14 years people. What does he do but come out in 05 with a new PR, running a 2:07, and winning the over 50s. I know I want to more like him when I grow up. MICHAEL ANDERSON <YORK CITY PA> placed second and has a point’s lead going into round 4, running a 2:10. STEVE WALTERS <BYRON IL> placed third on a 2:41. And welcome back to the course the man himself, MR TED OVERCASH, who ran the CHALLENGE again, to the delight of all his fans everywhere, and is looking very strong this year. RICK PRYOR <MORTON GROVE IL> ran a very smooth 1:42 for the win in the over 40s. JOE HORTON <LARGO FL> ran for second on a very sweet 1:49, and looked faster than I’ve seen him go for a while, he’s playing with it, tweaking his program to an even finer art. And the points belong to him, he’s had a lead since 03, for real. MARLIN HARTMAN <MINOOKA IL> placed third with a 2:32.

Welcome back to the US after three years in GERMANY, BRANDON CUNNINGHAM, who is now running under the OWENSBORO KY, PAUL DAVIS RESTORATION team flag. We all know how good he is though, it’s always going to be around 90. BRANDON ran just over the mark with a 1:30.05, so close, but it’s in there, you know he will make some big noise on TOUR 05. TONY CAVALLO <ST CHARLES> equaled his best finish placing second with a 1:32, and for the second event in a row TONY has let the competition know that he is one of the heavy hitters of the CHALLENGE right now, and a force on the course.

Long time CHALLENGE hero, JOEL VERBRICK <WAUKEGAN IL> rounded out the podium with a nice 1:41. WAUKEGAN took team honors with a 5:16. And newly renamed TEAM PAUL DAVIS RESTORATION FLORENCE KY, the same boys you know and love placed second with a very tough 5:18 and looked ready for another year defending their TUMS GRAND NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP in the months to come. And huge props for RAPID CITY SD for their first ever podium finish with a very respectable 5:23, welcome to the winner’s circle to the guys from SOUTH DAKOTA. The tough guy award goes out to RICK PRYOR, from MORTON GROVE IL for his win in the over 40’s and forth overall, as well as top 5 team finish.

The ROCKFORD event always hurts a little, we say it’s easier to run the CHALLENGE than run the CHALLENGE, sometimes. But, it’s very cool to be a part of SAFETY FEST, just a very long day for the troops; but worth every second, to bring the SCOTT FIREFIGHTER COMBAT CHALLENGE to the peeps in the north central region. ROCKFORD is over for now, but our mark will still be there when we return to DAVIS PARK and the CHALLENGE will stand tall in downtown ROCKFORD for yet another SAFETY FEST. OCEAN CITY MD is next in line for the fellowship. The CHALLENGE calls to us all, to test our skills, and chase CHALLENGE glory, and live the creed, NEXT TIME, BETTER TIME. See you out there, somewhere along the path of this crazy life. Join us on TOUR ’05 and see it all, be a part of the fellowship. Walk up and say hello and tell me a story about your town and what it’s like there. The real world has a lot of appeal to someone who lives out of a backpack. So long live the CHALLENGE, and props to the fellowship that makes it all so great.

REX IV                           



MAY 20th & 21st  2005

Yes, this is our job! More than once, the CRUE has to remind itself that indeed we are somehow graced with the task of throwing a new CHALLENGE almost every week. And everywhere we go it’s very cool. This week it’s DEERFIELD BEACH and round 2 of TOUR 05, and our annual trek to the BEACH BLOWOUT.  It’s no secret that this is one sweet spot for a CHALLENGE. All of the fellowship big and small, young and old alike should make the pilgrimage to south Florida at least once in their CHALLENGE life. But it’s way cooler to go every year. The CRUE works hard, but somehow it seems like fun on this trip. JIM MATHIE and the entire staff of the BEACH BLOWOUT make us feel like family and you can’t help but feel sorry for all the poor peeps who can’t be here.

The first ever CHALLENGE TANDEM was held at the BLOWOUT on Friday evening. I think this will turn into something pretty cool soon on TOUR 05. It will give players without a team a chance for more course time and add another chapter in the continuing saga of the CHALLENGE. The boys from CHARLOTTE NC, DAVID BOWMAN, and AARON LOVETT, will forever go down in CHALLENGE lore as the first ever winners of the TANDEM with a world record time of 3:13.59. FORT GORDON GA and B&D’s FREMONT/TRAVIS TANDEM, CA rounded out the podium. All of the competitors put on a great show and we all look forward to more CHALLENGE TANDEMs across the land.

The STREAMLIGHT RELAYS were next to take the course, and the peeps were packed into the area around the mighty CHALLENGE waiting to see the BEST OF THE BEST AND THE BRAVEST display their mad skills in an all out war on the beach. The girls from DEERFIELD BEACH are so cool, they come out every year and whip up on all who dare face them. We only see them a couple times a year now and of course we miss them, but it’s just one more reason to be there and see them for yourself. The DEERFIELD GIRLS add one more win to the list of many, and as always looked very tough in doing so. But look out world, and all the fellowship out there in CHALLENGELAND, there’s some new girls in town, and they play really hard. I’m here to tell everybody that that the women from DELRAY BEACH can kick some major CHALLENGE butt. Much more on that later as well… Placing a close second in the STREAMLIGHT RELAYS, DELRAY BEACH has just introduced themselves as a team to watch on TOUR 05. And the ladies from PPG <LAKE CHARLES LA> TEAM HELLFIGHTERS, rounded out the top three. The men took the course and it was on, kind of under the lights, but on just the same. What a show, 38 teams going for that sweet 16. A lot of good teams didn’t make the elimination rounds and props to all who gave it their best. TRAVIS AFB <CA> made the trip and as usual put on a great show, looking like a team should in September already. A quick win over the DOD team <SAN ANGELO TX> and it was business as usual for TRAVIS, running for the championship. Somebody forgot to tell the team from BOCA RATON the plan. I mean BOCA 1, sorry, there’s only about 20 teams from there, I’m sure one day I’ll say and now here’s BOCA 56. Anyway, BOCA 1, and all of BOCA, has been doing a lot of work in the off-season, my spy network has been keeping me up on their program. I’ve been to their practice place and have listened to them talk about their hopes for CHALLENGE glory. And there it was for all to see, BOCA 1 is for real. Are they that good, as my assistant LISA would say, YES! I was alerted before hand of their new found speed and now I too am a believer. BOCA 1 gave TRAVIS a run to the finish, crossing just one second behind the CHALLENGE powerhouse. The crowd was going completely nuts, and it was a great come from behind win for TRAVIS.  TANK and the guys from the DOD placed third and a shout out to FAIRFAX <VA> for a strong finish. 

Saturday, and here we go again. Another perfect DEERFIELD BEACH day, and another CHALLENGE. Like I said, the girls from DELRAY BEACH, not only run a mean relay, but they tore up the course by themselves as well. I hope they come out more on TOUR 05 because they could make some big noise out there. ILENE ROSE ran a 3:39 and it was the fastest time of the young season. Then IRENA SUMANO came out and ran a 3:18, and then SARA CONNER ran a 3:01, all on their first try. These women are the future of the CHALLENGE for the ladies. 2003 rookie of the year DAVE CHIODO <TRAVIS AFB CA> took the win in the over 50s with 2:18, and is looking for that sub 2 this year, we wish him luck in that. MICHAEL ANDERSON <YORK CITY PA> placed second and has picked up right where he left off in 2003, in the points lead for the TUMS GRAND NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP. He just went up an age bracket. CHALLENGE legend LARRY HINDS <SARASOTA COUNTY FLA> took third. 22 over 40 competitors made up a class field at the BEACH BLOWOUT. And with her points in this class as well SARA CONNER from DELRAY BEACH, pointed out in the STREAMLIGHT RELAYS, WOMENS OVERALL, and the OVER 40 division, becoming the most decorated  athlete at round 2 of TOUR 05. For the Over 40s, TOMMIE OSBORN <DELRAY BEACH FL> won with a time of 1:49.26. LES BAUMAN <DEERFIELD BEACH> placed a very close second with a tough 1:49.42. And BIG JOE HORTON <LARGO FLA> ran for third. I’m sure that JOE is up to almost 50 CHALLENGES by now, and every time it’s like watching a doctor out there. Props to former CHALLENGE great making his return to the course, JEFF ADAMS <BARTOW FL>, running a strong 1:51 after a 7 year break. I wonder if it still feels the same to him? He was once the fastest firefighter in Florida, and he can still show the fast way around the track.

Well it didn’t take very long for us to see the first sub 90 of the year. HARRY MYERS of the 2004 WORLD CHAMPIONS from TRAVIS AFB ripped a blazing 1:29.08 and took the overall. MIKE MELTON <TRAVIS> ran a close second with a 1:30.10 and as always is already thinking about retaining that number one status, with his eyes on another world title. Two time CANADIAN NATIONAL CHAMPION, MIKE GILBERT <ST. CATHARINES ONT> came down for some fun in the sun and placed third, running a 1:32, and is planning on being at a few more stops in 05, beware of CALFZILLA. And of course, TONY CAVALLO made all of ST. CHARLES IL proud with his 1:35. Tony is going to be in ROCKFORD for sure and may be ready for his first win, he’s right there and it won’t be long. TEAM TRAVIS is the current WORLD CHAMPS and they looked that way running a sweet 4:40 to take team honors. SACRAMENTO 522 placed second with a 5:09 making it a left coast mini sweep of the BEACH BLOWOUT.  DEERFIELD BEACH placed third. And with a top 5 finish in a stacked field, PALM BEACH COUNTY is now in the points lead for the TUMS GNC.                   

As the sun sets, and another CHALLENGE is history, TROY-BOY, RICKY, and BILLY are trucking their way to ROCKFORD IL, and round 3 of TOUR 05. TATER and TOT are keeping it real in KNOXVILLE, RANDY has to work the CHALLENGE to relax. J-BIRD and DR. P are tending to the masses. And the girls from OTC and I are hanging out for all the VBT <valuable beach time> we can get. Hey, it’s our job. So long DEERFIELD BEACH, see you in Nov. for WORLD CHALLENGE XIV. For now, ROCKFORD IL is the place to be for the fellowship. And the SCOTT FIREFIGHTER COMBAT CHALLENGE rolls along to a city near you, see you out there……..




MAY 14TH 2005

At long last, TOUR ‘05 is here and the mighty CHALLENGE is on the loose once more, with its cast of gypsies in place, and ready to roll. After the long winters nap, and for some the winter of discontent, the CHALLENGE moves out on to the road for the first time in 05. A lot of very long hours and hard work went in to the prep for this year, and it shows. Props to those who put in the sweat to make it so. Wow, I can’t believe it’s here. We just did this right? The CRUE lives again, with the new faces of TROY KEISER behind the wheel of the totally fresh big rig, and PAULA GRUBBS as STEPH’S co-star, and JAY’S right hand in registration, and the sweetest voice in the nation. Along with the coolest man in show biz, JOHN TILLETT, as the MR. FIX-ALL and course official. You all know the rest of us, MR. BILL, RICK PAYNE who now commands the tower truck, and watches over the course, RANDY REETZ with the kiddies, and of course, your host. Good luck to the all the CRUE members past, with all their new adventures, may the CHALLENGE always be with you.

HAVERHILL, MA was the first stop on TOUR ‘05, TYLER KIMBALL & HAVERHILL FD, along with, HI-TECH WINDOWS AND SIDING, ROSENGARD MOVING SYSTEMS, and believe me, a host of others came together to make round one a great one. The help was great and the CHALLENGE stood tall in downtown HAVERHILL. A large crowd was on hand to witness the event, and round one was on its way.

The day was dominated by the team from PROVIDENCE, RI, during the STREAMLIGHT RELAYS they controlled all they faced on their way to their first victory. One of the worlds only co-ed relay teams, BONNIE and the boys showed everybody the fast way to the finish line. WARWICK, RI made it an all RI final and ran hard all day as well. The THREE NORSEMEN from NY, rounded out the top three, and a shout out to BIDDEFORD for a good day.

What can you say but it was BONNIE BENSONS <PROVIDENCE RI> day. She took the win for the ladies, and the STREAMLIGHT RELAY trophy, third in team honors, and was the most decorated athlete at round one. It couldn’t happen to a better person, BONNIE is SO cool, and it was great to be there for her. She is the most electric person to be around on a regular day, always with the smile. I would have loved to be in the car on that ride home, the positive vibe was immeasurable I’m sure. JEANNINE HORTON <ESTERO, FL> returned to the course for another tour, and finished second. It’s always good to see her tearin up the track, and now the HORTONS can build that fourth storage facility for all the hardware they have! In fact they can build it out of FCC awards!  JAMES MALEY JR. <HILTON, MA> took the Over 50 win with a nice 2:22.05. CHALLENGE legend, CHUCK LeBlanc <LEOMINSTER, MA> ran a very close second with a 2:22.54. And after almost two years off with a injury that took him out of a championship run at ANAHEIM in ‘03, MICHAEL ANDERSON from YORK, PA made his Over 50 debut count, with a podium finish, with a respectable 2:33, welcome back MIKE, we missed you. DAVID McKINLEY <FREDERICTON NB> made the journey from CANADA to win the Over 40’s with a sweet 1:51 and looked ready for the coming season. JOE HORTON just keeps going and going, and you know,  another year, another JOE. This year JOE is running some marathons and is a little lighter than his CHALLENGE trim, and it will take some time for the master to find the speed he wants. I could see he was already plotting his next run at the finish line, so look out who ever draws him in DEERFIELD! But a solid 1:54 is still a great run. TYLER KIMBALL <HAVERHILL, MA> took third with a 2:07.

DWAYNE KILLINGBECK <FREDRICTON NB> won the overall running a strong 1:44.53, and also looks very tough for TOUR 0’5, FREDERICTON is going to be a force as usual . DAVID McKINLEY’S Over 40 run won him second overall as well.  CHRIS LOYD <PALM BEACH COUNTY, FL>, long time CHALLENGE fast guy placed third with a 1:54. PALM BEACH COUNTY made the trip to New England to get some track time and see where they were at with some new talent. They came, they saw, they kicked CHALLENGE butt. Taking team honors, with a 5:49, the FLORIDA boys ran four in the top ten to stomp the comp. And the story in the story, CHALLENGE first timer, JACQUES AIME from PALM BEACH is the rookie of the year, if it was given today. Reaching the top of the tower in 13 seconds and running a sub 2 his first run, this is a guy to watch for ‘05. WARWICK FD placed second with a 6:28 and PROVIDENCE, RI ran for third with a 6:51 and sealed their position as top winners of round one of TOUR ‘05. Huge props to PROVIDENCE for a great show.

Off we go again, the fellowship we love and need is underway. The SCOTT FIREFIGHTER COMBAT CHALLENGE is ripping up a path on its way to all the peeps across the nation. So much for the prep and the getting ready, we are on our way and all is right with the world again. The CRUE is already a road hardened group and honored with the task of bringing TOUR ‘05 to you. The off-season is cruel, when something you love isn’t there anymore, you miss it hard. It’s all that you think about and live for, and nothing can take its place. But you always take a part of it with you wherever you go. HAVERHILL is in the books, and DEERFIELD BEACH, FL, and the BEACH BLOWOUT is next on the chart for the CHALLENGE and the fellowship. We know how sweet it is there, it’s hard to leave. Join the CRUE and play hard on the course. TOUR ‘05 is calling you I know. Be there to take part in history, as the CHALLENGE lives again showcasing the mad skills of the BEST OF THE BEST AND THE BRAVEST. See you out there………..