Gotta Run: Camp Gladiator team takes third place in age division – Salisbury Post

Sometimes ordinary people can do special things, especially if they can motivate each other. Synergy has the miraculous ability to get more out of a group of individuals than they could get on their own. Here is the story.

Lisa Fink, 54, lived in Austin, Texas for a few years and began training with Camp Gladiator while there. When she returned to the China Grove area, she started her own CG program here which encourages fitness for a supportive and caring group.

Miriam Lowery, 53, was an accomplished high school athlete in several sports and ran most of her life. As a physiotherapist, Miriam knows the importance of maintaining strength and mobility.

Donna Stallings, 53, came to exercise and run later in life, starting in her early 40s. Donna says she would never have been considered athletic, but said she had come to a point where she was not happy with her weight and wanted to do something about it.

Ellen Howard, 53, is a lifelong athlete who began to seek challenges other than running. The training camp workouts agreed with his body. She is a school counselor and coach.

Fink, Lowery, and Howard were South Rowan High School athletes (class of 86), playing a mix of sports including basketball, softball, track and field, cross country, and tennis. They competed in the Junior Olympics and made trips to Baton Rouge, Seattle and Nebraska. These trips were wonderful opportunities to discover new places and spend time together as friends.

Prior to joining Camp Gladiator in Texas, Fink had major health issues, including obesity and a silent heart attack. She said, “If you know me, I’m competitive in almost everything I do. I tend to turn everything into competition. Six months later, I was running in front of the peloton, almost at my ideal weight.

Fink became a personal trainer and started CG camps here in Rowan. She encouraged her high school friends and Stallings to participate in the National Games. Fink said: “Even though this was our first year and we weren’t sure exactly what we were up against, we all love challenges. We rose to the challenge and we rose to it. We trained at the camp and outside the camp.

The team placed second in the local Charlotte competition last July, qualifying them to advance to the CG Games finals on November 13. The CG games included an opening round, semi-finals, and then the super final, held in Arlington, Texas, home of the Texas Rangers baseball team.

The opening round consisted of four different events, including wide jumps, burpees, crab steps, frog jumps, backpack portages, and various agility and strength sprints and relays. They had to place in the top six to continue the competition and finished in a solid third place in this round.

The semi-finals included the aerial press, running, burpees, snatches, box jumps and step-ups. The team climbed to second place before the final. Only the top four teams moved on.

The super finals included sprints, balance beams, wall climbs, burpees and more. The home team, affectionately titled “Rock N Old”, finished third nationally in the 50+ division. They had competed for ten hours with little rest between competitions.

This competition seems particularly brutal to me and the women all agreed. They did not know what events / exercises they would be participating in before October 29th. Stallings said: “The whole competition was a vigorous challenge, so many events / drills we hadn’t done before. My biggest challenge was the monkey bars as I haven’t made any since I was little.

Lowery added, “There wasn’t a lot of rest between events which was very difficult. Many times I didn’t think I could outdo myself, but I found a way because I didn’t want to let my team down.

The four women agreed that they enjoyed the time together. Lowery said, “Each person had their strengths and we used them to achieve the end result.”

Howard added, “The sport has taken me yet again to a new place to enjoy competing with friends.”

We were all in pain and some of us had bruises. We definitely stiffened up on the return plane. I would do everything again.

Fink said: “Who would have guessed at 53 and 54 that we would still be competing together? Camp Gladiator is a fun and challenging full body workout dedicated to changing lives.

Salisbury’s biggest 5K is scheduled for Thanksgiving Day at the Forum. Find more information on this and several other upcoming races at

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