The Ultimate Warrior Challenge will test the stamina and aim of athletes Thursday.
Rocky Boy is inviting teams from all of Montana’s tribes and nonnatives to participate in a grueling competition. The Ultimate Warrior Challenge was first held in Rocky Boy in 2005.
“We will be taking registrations until Wednesday night,” said Dustin White, the drinking water coordinator at Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation. “We’re hoping to see people from Havre sign up.”
White said Tuesday that no one from Havre has yet entered the competition. He said this might be because no one in Havre knows about the event.
Competitors start the course with a 2.5-mile run from Stone Child College, then to Monteau Road and finishing this portion south of Square Butte.
There, they mount a horse for a 4.4-mile bareback ride. Contestants must supply their own horse and handlers, and if their horse gets away from them or they fall off, they must retrieve their horse with no assistance or be disqualified. The horse ride ends at Bonneau Dam, where the archery event will be held.
At Bonneau Dam, competitors must hit a balloon 20 yards away with one of the 10 arrows they are given.
Once the competitor pops the balloon or runs out of arrows, they may move on to the swimming portion of the race at the Bonneau Reservoir. Adults will have to swim half a mile and youths will have to swim .2 miles. Everyone must have their own life jacket and cannot enter the water until they have one on.
Once they reach the shore, the competitors must sprint to the finish line at the catwalk located above the water.
The competition is broken up into men’s, women’s and a youth category. The entry fee for adults is $100, and the youth category’s fee is $75.
The first-place winners in each adult category will win $1,000 and the winner from the youth category will win $500.
During the course of the race, participants must stay within the marked boundaries of the race routes or be automatically disqualified.
Contestants are required to wear a safety life vest in the water.
Contestants are encouraged to wear native regalia, though it is not required. Judges will choose the most authentically dressed warrior, and he or she will be awarded a prize.
Those interested in participating in the event must sign a release that absolves the Tribal Water Resources Department of Rocky Boy of any responsibility for entrants’ personal injury or death.
Ultimate Warrior was supposed to start at 10 a.m. for youth, 12 p.m. for women and 2 p.m. for men Thursday at the Stone Child College parking lot, but the start time was pushed back to 1 p.m.
White said they will probably combine the women and children competitors unless they have more teams sign up. He added that there are about four youth and four women teams signed up for the event as of Tuesday.
All contestants must meet at the parking lot at 9 a.m. to review the rules and the course.