Natchitoches’ own Team Strange Woods won fifth place out of 10 teams at the Mission-Uncharted event March 3-5 in Kisatchie National Forest. Members included firefighter and Crossfit trainer Josh Pulley, NPSO Deputy and firefighter Robert Griffin, firefighter Brandon McKnight, Shreveport Police Officer and Marine Corp Reservist Jonathan Dranguet and NSU E-Lab PE Teacher Ryan Schrecongost.
The team completed a 26-mile hike in 20 hours and 56 minutes on the Wild Azalea and Valentine Lake Trails (including a mandatory 10 hour camp).
There were three different survival challenges including fire building, making snare traps for small animals and making a stretcher out of a tarp and tree branches, then evacuating a person on it. There were also different hidden caches containing extra food, water and chips that counted for 20 minutes off a team’s final time. Strange Woods found four of these.
“We completed all of our challenges and were complemented on our ability as well,” said Pulley. “It was an awesome learning experience and we had a great team. I can’t wait for the next one, even though I’m moving like a 90-year-old man today.”
It was Mission-Uncharted’s first event in Louisiana and a representative had this to say: “All of the teams participating in the Louisiana event were exceptional. But we were impressed with the people who displayed great leadership skills with their enthusiasm, encouragement, and strategy. Josh was definitely one of those we saw that in and we were proud to have had the opportunity to work with him this past weekend.”
Mission-Uncharted is a competition, a sport, and a challenge all in one. Teams of 2-8 must work together to travel 25-40 daunting miles, (depending on the area) in 43 hours. The goal is to finish with the quickest time while completing the required challenges. The top three teams of every race during the year qualify to enter an Elite Race at the end of 2017, the winner of which will receive a cash prize starting at $10,000.