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2014 Ultimate Warrior to test competitors


File photo

Brandon The Boy runs up the hill to the finish line of last year's Ultimate Warrior Challenge on Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation. The Boy was on the winning youth team, along with Will Ketchum and Clay Duran.

The All Nations Ultimate Warrior Challenge will pit contestants against one another in a grueling race over 17 miles Friday.

The race as a triathalon-style competition that will take the contestants on a 2.5-mile run, followed by a 4.5-mile bareback horse ride, an archery challenge, a 300-yard swim across Bonneau Reservoir and then a 100-yard sprint to the finish line.

The event is expecting more contestants than last year's. There are currently five or six youth teams, three or four women's teams and around five contestants for the Ultimate Warrior title expected to participate in the event.

Dustin White, of the Tribal Water Resource Department and one of the main organizers of the event, said they will be accepting registrations until the beginning of the event at 11 a.m. Friday.

Registration fees are $50 for youth and women's teams and $100 for men competitors.

"We encourage folks from Havre to come out," White said. "It's open to everybody. You don't have to be a Native American."

Last year's challenge was scheduled during Native American week, but organizers decided to move it to the Rocky Boy Celebration week.

White said this year they changed the starting line from the Stone Child College parking lot to the Bonneau Dam and they switched the order of the archery and swimming portions of the race because of the difficulties the competitors faced last year trying to shoot arrows after swimming in the cold waters.

The starting line was put near the finish line so spectators would not have to drive to the dam after the contestants took off. The horse exchange will be in the same place as last year's, White said.

"We thought it would be easier so people don't have to move to watch them finish," White said.

Now spectators can stay put and enjoy the concession stand as they watch their friends, family and strangers put their bodies to the test.

The youth and women's teams will be running the race relay-style. There are three people to a team. The youth are scheduled to begin the challenge at 11 a.m. White said they will allow an hour and a half for competitors to complete the race, but it usually takes around 45 minutes to complete.

The men's category will probably begin around 2 p.m.

The payouts for the men's competition are $1,000 for first place, $750 for second and $500 for third. The women's teams can receive $750 for first, $500 for second and $250 for third place. The winning youth teams will receive $500 for first, $350 for second and $250 for third place.

Anyone interested in signing up for the challenge can call Tribal Water Resources at 395-4225 or KHEW Radio at 395-5439. They may also simply show up at Bonneau Dam before the challenge begins.

Contestants must provide their own horse and life jacket. White said if anyone wants to compete but does not have access to a horse, they can still call. There are a few horses that may be used for the race, and he said he will try and make arrangements for them.

"Hope to see everyone," White said. "It's going to be a lot of fun."

White gave special thanks to the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation for helping supply some of the money for the winners' prizes.


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