Racers participate in Sisu challenge, a blue collar obstacle course

HOUGHTON — Sisu means perseverance and determination and participants in this weekend’s obstacles course are going to need a lot of it.

Over 100 contestants will participate in the Sisu Challenge on Saturday. The inaugural event is being put on by the City of Houghton and CrossFit Haakapeliitta. It’s five kilometers of the toughest obstacles and terrain that could be devised for the teams to compete on.

CrossFit Haakapeliitta’s Micah Stipech says, “It’s a blue collar race. It’s tough, it’s gritty, it’s hardworking. It’s pretty humble as far as the obstacles are low budget obstacles that are difficult so we thought that this would be a race that represents our community and would be a good, healthy thing to be involved in.”

Proceeds benefit a scholarship program being established by the ROTC. Racers start out at Kestner Waterfront Park and then climb Chutes and Ladders with the fire department blasting them with water.

Then they must scamper across a cargo net on this beach before belly-crawling through the sand. The racers then hustle down the waterfront while carrying heavy sandbags…then survive the dreaded mudpit, eventually making it to the east end of the city and heading back with more obstacles to come.

The race will finish right here where it started. What the contestants don’t know is that on top of all the other obstacles, they’ll have a special surprise waiting for them. They’ll find out what that is on Saturday.