July 17, 2024

San Antonio College Student News

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Record-Breaking Backyard Beast Competition Builds Community

Backyard Beast
SAC Philosophy Professor Dan Herrick and Victor Ricondo of “Only The Family (OTF),” the winning men’s team, share an exhausted embrace after shattering the record for the fastest finishing time at Backyard Beast April 5. OTF finished with a time of 22:11. The previous best of 23:30 was set by a team of four SAC students last fall. Photo by Ruth Paul.

Fourteen four-member teams competed in San Antonio College’s 13th Backyard Beast Competition at Parking Garage 3 on campus April 5, running a circuit course of challenging exercises such as body carries, rope slams, box jumps, tire flips and more.

SAC’s Kinesiology Club hosts a Backyard Beast competition twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring semester, to build community and promote health and fitness. 

A member of Team “4L Gang” swings a medicine ball up and over her head during the 13th Backyard Beast Competition April 5. Photo by Ruth Paul.

“It is a very challenging event with a lot of cardio and some weightlifting, and it’s open to the whole SAC community to welcome everybody,” Kinesiology Professor Raoul Rodriguez told SAC Student News. “It builds teamwork and friendship, which are things we strive for. The goal is to have fun and to finish the course.”  

The competition features three divisions: men, women and co-ed. There were eight all-male teams, five coed teams, and one women’s team.

Competitors complete rope slams at Backyard Beast April 5. Photo by Ruth Paul.

“If you are into fitness, it’s really fun to bring your friends and do physical challenges with them,” Kinesiology Club Secretary Maryellen Helmke, a 19-year-old freshman, told SAC Student News

Dan Herrick, an assistant professor of philosophy at SAC and frequent Backyard Beast competitor, led two teams to record-breaking finishes in the competition.

Team “4L Gang” pulls a tire toward the finish line at the 13th Backyard Beast Competition April 5. Photo by Janelle Aleman.

Herrick’s men’s team, “Only The Family,” broke the men’s record for fastest time with a finishing time of 22:11. The previous best of 23:30 was set by a team of four SAC students last fall.

“I got a great group of guys that I was able to recruit this semester, and they all brought their A-game,” Herrick told SAC Student News. “This race has a lot of strategy actually … You’ve got to think very carefully about how you’re going to run it.”

Team “4L Gang” earned first place in the the coed division at the 13th Backyard Beast Competition April 5. Photo by Janelle Aleman.

Herrick’s “4L Gang” coed team earned first place in the their division with a finishing time of 25 minutes and 8 seconds.

“Backyard Beast combines everything I love,” Herrick said. “I love meeting new people and getting a new team together and training.” 

Competitors participate in the tire flip event at the 13th Backyard Beast competition April 5. Photo by Magdalena Martinez.

Only one women’s team, “Snack Pack,” competed this semester. They finished with a time of 39 minutes and 57 seconds.

Police officers and staff from the Alamo Colleges Police Department (ACPD) competed on multiple teams in the coed division and men’s division. 

Alamo Colleges Police Department members carry a 140-pound dummy during the Backyard Beast competition April 5. Photo by Legaci Lee.

“This raises awareness about health and fitness in the community and gets people involved more,” said David Breiten, a 35-year-old police officer and member of “Team Gold,” an all-male ACPD team. “It’s a good achievement once you finish the race. It’s definitely a challenge.”

Breiten’s team was one of the first to run course, taking off from the starting line on the rooftop of SAC’s Parking Garage 3 at 9 a.m. and running down a stairwell to the bottom floor, where the first station of exercises lay.

Carlos Cardenas runs with a medicine ball during the 13th Backyard Beast Competition April 5. Photo by Legaci Lee.

“It’s not a small task,” he said. “It gets you breathing, hits your cardio, and gets your blood pumping. You really have to push yourself. By the end of it you’re breathing heavily trying to catch a breath, so once you finish you get a big boost of confidence.”

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