This family weekend on September 22nd, Wheaton College hosted a unique obstacle course, entitled ‘Grit ‘N Wit’. Unlike a typical 5k race, the Grit ‘N Wit race compels competitors to use a combination of brains and brawn to complete the course. The cost to sign up for the event was $5 per person.
As always, Wheaton’s focus on accessibility and inclusivity ensures that contestants have the option to opt out of obstacles, choosing to allow a teammate to complete for the obstacle instead. No prior training is required to compete and participants can play to their strengths, with a heavy emphasis on teamwork and camaraderie. To this end, students were able to sign up either individually or as a team of up to six members. The event consisted of sixteen obstacles, some of which are puzzles while others are physical hurdles.
Grit ‘N Wit was founded by William James to include the aspect he saw missing in obstacle courses – the mental challenge. He believed this inclusion would level the playing field, testing individuals both physically and mentally, rather than solely physically. As written on Grit ‘N Wit’s website, their mission is “to provide a fun event that builds four things – community, camaraderie, confidence and creativity.” The organization is located in Connecticut, but are open to travelling in order to bring their experience to different areas of the world, as they have for Wheaton.
Judy Allen, the Assistant Director of Club Sports, Intramurals and the Fitness Center, was instrumental in the conception of the idea. After encountering the company at a vendor fair, she pitched the idea to the Athletic Director, John Sutyak, as well as the President’s office. She was successful in ensuring that Grit ‘N Wit would come to Wheaton’s campus.
When signing up online, participants had the option to select a heat time, with heats beginning at 11 am, 11:30 am, 12 pm, 12:30 pm, 1 pm, 1:30 pm, 2 pm and 2:30 pm. The event will encircle the Wheaton campus with obstacle courses, and make for a fun and interesting family weekend event.