Fred Kaiser and his friend Brian Schweitzer like a good challenge.
They practice what they preach and regularly test their skills by running, biking, swimming and the like. Both have competed in several race events, such as Muddy Buddy and Warrior Dash, and both have organized fitness races for their students.
But the two have now joined forces to create a race that tests participants' minds and fine motor skills, as well as their physical endurance. The first-ever RUNdezvousRace is slated for Saturday, July 14, at Lippold Park, 951 Route 176, in Crystal Lake.
"We haven't seen an event like this anywhere," Kaiser said.
"This offers the race environment of today with the skills of survival of the 1800s. Even if people don't have the skills for all the events, they should do this for the fun and experience of trying something different."
RUNdezvousRace promises to be five to six miles of adventure. There are 14 specific skill events - fire starting, logging, hatchet throwing, archery, lassoing, orienteering and more. Competitors have the flexibility to choose which direction, or loop, they take so the amount of running involved will vary, Kaiser said.
"It'll be about five miles with one-third mile between events," Kaiser said. The race is named for "rendezvous," an 1880s gathering of mountain men, fur traders, frontiersmen and Native Americans. They met once a year to trade, buy and sell their goods. They even held their own competitions, Kaiser said.
The Crystal Lake Park District, which owns Lippold, will approve the final course and all safety measures.
Kaiser urges men and women to sign up now as the event will be limited to 300 racers since it's the first year. The cost to enter is $65. Racers will be divided by age group, and must be 18 to compete. People can register for the race on the RUNdezvousRace website.