Mt. Pleasant couples Steve Siraco and Stephanie Keenan, along with Elea Faucheron and Adam Von Ins are simply . . .warriors for health.
- Christian Alberg, Moultrie News
June 29,2016 Before each race, the Charleston Warriors don red masks as a way to show that they are “warriors for health.” This symbolic crusade began several years ago when members of the team started obstacle racing as a way to encourage personal health and combat issues like addiction.
“Doing a race is a great way to learn to tackle obstacles off of the course,” said Elea Faucheron, one of the Charleston Warriors.
Faucheron’s fiance and teammate Adam Von Ins said they encourage other people doing obstacle races, particularly to deal with issues.
“Anybody, of any age, can get out and try one of these things,” he said.
But not just anybody can be on NBC’s Spartan Ultimate Team Challenge, and not long ago, the Charleston Warriors did not exist.
When a casting call went out last August for the new obstacle course racing show, Stephanie Keenan of Mount Pleasant heard about it from a lot people who encouraged her to apply, including several of the show’s producers. She was interested, but there was a catch.
Most obstacle course races are completed individually, but Spartan Ultimate Team Challenge requires participants to have a team of two men and two women.
So, Keenan reached out to Faucheron, whom she knew from Faucheron and Von Ins’ now-defunct board sports shop, Air & Earth.
Keenan and Faucheron also both knew John Di Giovanni, the publisher of “Oblique,” a local fitness magazine. Giovanni knew that Keenan and Faucheron both competed in obstacle course races, and he had been hounding Keenan for months about needing to meet Faucheron.
Spartan Ultimate Team Challenge provided the opportunity.
Keenan got together a team that consisted of her significant other, Stephen Siraco, Faucheron, and another man. Soon after, the fourth member of the team stopped corresponding with the other team members, so two days before the show applications were due, Von Ins stepped in to fill the spot.
The next day, the team met as a whole for the first time to tackle the application, which was no small task.
Each team member had to answer 80 essay questions and submit a three-minute video.
Each member of the team had competed in obstacle races before. Siraco completed his first obstacle race with a close friend in 2014 and then convinced Keenan to begin racing with him.
Von Ins got interested in obstacle course racing in early 2015 and convinced Faucheron to compete in the Rugged Maniac obstacle course race held at Boone Hall Plantation with him that March.
They competed in the race, “froze,” and “loved it” so much that immediately after, they plunged headlong into the world of obstacle course racing.
By the time they applied for the show, they all had completed over 20 obstacle course races.
About three to four weeks after submitting the application, the team got the news that they were one of 36 teams selected for the show. They would have to travel to Atlanta for four days in early December, which left them with just a few more weeks before the race.
But on a chilly December morning in Atlanta, it was finally time for the race.
The Charleston Warriors were set to compete in the first heat, so they would be one of the first teams to use the course, which they had seen for the first time the night before.
Their start time was then delayed by roughly an hour and a half, and they were left to wait in the cool morning in nothing but the skimpy outfits they had for the race.
They were already nervous. On top of the injuries, they were older than lot of the other teams.
But the Charleston Warriors had come to Atlanta to overcome obstacles and promote healthy living, and they were determined to do just that.
For legal reasons, the warriors can’t talk about how they did, but on Thursday, June 30, the episode of Spartan Ultimate Team Challenge will air on NBC at 9 p.m.
If you would like to meet the members of the Charleston Warriors, show your support for them and their promotion of health, and celebrate with them, a viewing party will be held that evening beginning at 8 p.m. at Wild Wings (Oakland) in Mount Pleasant.