Local coasties take 2nd place in nationwide All-Military Wilderness Challenge

Photo of Wildnerness Challenge Coast Guard team

FAYETTEVILLE, W.Va. — Coast Guard Cmdr. Charles Truncale, Lt. Mike Flint, Lt. j.g. Lauren Flint, and Cmdr. Greg Scherle pose for a team photo after winning 2nd place in the nationwide All-Military Wilderness Challenge. (Photo courtesy of Lt. j.g. Lauren Flint)

A team of Coast Guard athletes from the Detroit area won 2nd place in the grueling 2011 All-Military Wilderness Challenge in West Virginia October 8, 2011.

Coast Guard team “Motor City Racing,” comprised of Cmdr. Greg Scherle, a physician assigned to the Coast Guard Medical Clinic at Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Mt. Clemens, Mich.; Cmdr. Charles Truncale, a dentist also assigned to the Medical Clinic; Lt. Michael Flint, a pilot at Air Station Detroit; and Lt. j.g. Lauren Flint, assigned to Sector Detroit, nabbed second place with a finishing time of 7 hours, 34 minutes, 8 seconds – less than four minutes behind the first-place winners.

During the challenge, more than 100 military personnel representing all five branches of the armed forces competed in a series of five outdoor adventure races over two days in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains and on the New and the Gauley Rivers in West Virginia.

The servicemen and women competed in an 8K mountain run, a 10-mile mountain bike race, a 15-mile hike through the mountains, a 14-mile whitewater raft race on the Gauley River and a 7-mile kayak race on the New River – more than 50 miles covered in two days.

“It was so competitive, but there’s really good camaraderie out there,” Scherle said. “Nobody’s trying to cut the legs out of the other team – everybody’s in it to do their best. That’s what’s really exciting about this; everybody’s competing but in the same sense, rooting for the other team.”

“This competition brings together the best athletes from all the branches of our armed forces,” Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia wrote in a letter of congratulations to the competitors. “Each of you has been put to the test, as you have found the terrain in our state both wild and wonderful. While it has been a grueling few days, and we celebrate the winners, this competition is about teamwork and those values which are the most important victory in the end.”