The brothers Charron, Bryan, Matthew, and Jay, all of whom live in East Hampton, their 57-year-old white-water-rafting uncle, Victor DiSilvestro of Yarmouth, Me., and Owen McCormack of Springs, along with his cousin Brendan McCormack, and Justin and Mike Giffuni, survived recently what was billed as the “probably the toughest event on the planet,” held at Mount Snow in southern Vermont.
“It’s not a race,” Matthew Charron said during a conversation this week. “It’s all about teamwork. The main thing was to finish.”
Designed by British Special Forces, the 10-mile event with 7,000 feet of climbing benefited the Wounded Warrior Project. The some 14,000 participants, beginning at an elevation of 1,600 feet, ran through snow and mud, met the challenges of more than 20 obstacles, including monkey bars over freezing water, cloaca-like tubes through which participants had to crawl, ice water-filled roll-offs, cargo nets, 10-foot walls, a gauntlet of motivating live wires, a vat of maple syrup followed by a climb up and over wood chips, a 15-foot-tall “glacier,” which, like the wall, required assistance to ascend, and, of course, lots of mud.
“Every half-hour 500 people would take off,” said Matthew, who, in training for the tough mudder, lost 20 pounds since his brother Jay suggested they all do it in January. “The log I had to carry 75 yards up a steep grade near the top of the course before dropping it off represented the weight I had lost. I’m back on a more healthful track when it comes to diet and exercise.”
While the ages on the Charron-McCormack team ranged from 21 to 57, the Charrons’ uncle, while the eldest, proved himself to be “in phenomenal shape.”
“I was in the worst shape,” Matthew said, “but I was pretty proud I got through it. . . . It was amazing how many people were smiling. Everyone had a great time. It was fun. Just like we were kids.”