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St. Louisans test their fitness against Marines

By Lance Cpl. Chelsea Flowers | | June 23, 2011

“The quicker you run, the quicker you’re done.” That was the advice Cpl. Tyler Young, a squad automatic rifleman with 3rd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, gave to citizens of St. Louis participating in a Combat Fitness Test.

Hundreds of St. Louisans groaned, sweat and even threw-up in an effort to complete the maneuver under fire portion of a CFT set up outside Busch Stadium, in Cardinal Village, as part of Marine Week St. Louis.

The line to participate grew quickly, but most didn’t anticipate how difficult the course would be.

“It was hard,” said St. Louis native Rusty Gunther. “I definitely wasn’t ready for that.”

The course involved sprints, buddy drags, fireman-carries, pushups, low-crawls and carrying two 35-pound ammo cans through a 300-yard course. The target timeframe for completion was three minutes.
Although many didn’t finish the test, a sizeable cheering crowd along the course energized participants to try their best.

Individuals of all ages, like John Porr, a Marine veteran in his 60’s, and 13-year-old Trevor Erickson, tested their endurance on the course.

Erickson finished the course in only 2 minutes and 30 seconds, but admitted that it was much harder than he thought.

Even the Marines running the course enjoyed the experience.

“Sharing the fitness test with the people of St. Louis was fun,” said Lance Cpl. Ben Sneed, an assistant gunner with 3/24. “It makes you proud to do what you do.”