Athletes Inspired By Superheroes Sweat It Out

Photo by Alan Olson In various degrees of superhero attire, five friends assemble to take on the Tough as Nails Urban Challenge. From left are Matt Grampa, Christy Beveridge, Trent Kalcum-Snyder, Olivia Contreras, and I.J. Kalcum.

For many participants in the Tough as Nails Urban Challenge, common attire included a moisture-wicking shirt and a headband, quite possibly with an American flag design on it. For one group of runners, their choice in attire was a little more inspired.

Around 30 minutes before the first heat began at noon, Trent Kalcum-Snyder was beginning to regret his life choices, though you wouldn’t know it from the look on his face.

Kalcum-Snyder walked up in athletic shorts, comfortable shoes and a full-body Spider-Man bodysuit, including the face-covering mask.

Rolling the mask up over his mouth, the rock wall-crawler was hesitant to begin, but still ready to tackle the challenge.

“They said, ‘We’re dressing up as superheroes, and, well, Spider-Man was mine, and now I’m hating my decisions,” Kalcum-Snyder lamented. “It’s horrible in this thing.”

Kalcum-Snyder was joined by Olivia Contreras, adorned in Wonder Woman’s accessories, and Christy Beveridge, wearing a more athletic Deadpool-themed outfit.

“I live in Arizona, and my family, who’s from here — my sister decided to run this race months ago, so we’ve been planning as a family for months to run it,” said Contreras. “You can’t just run a race, you have to stand out.”

“I’m the one who started the process, and this was on my bucket list,” Beveridge said. “I didn’t really give it a thought until I showed up this morning and they were in that.”

Joining the group was I.J. Kalcum, representing his favorite hero — “Joy of Painting” host Bob Ross — on a T-shirt, and Matt Grampa in plain clothes. Many members of the group, Beveridge said, were veteran runners, but she was a rookie. However, she said she felt ready to go Sunday morning after a few weeks of training.

“We’re feeling good. I started running a few weeks ago,” Beveridge said.

“I started running this morning,” said Kalcum-Snyder.

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