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- Vector Rewind: NJIT’s First Graduating Class of the New Millennium - February 2, 2020
Nowadays, going out for a run isn’t enough; races have developed over the past few years that contain miles of obstacles and pain, and one of the most notorious of these races is the Tough Mudder. The men of Tau Delta Phi thought that it would be a great idea to try it out, so a few signed up: Ozzie Gonzalez, Kyle Natusch, Joe Randazzo, and Connor King. Others, like Peter Ferruggia and Matt Maisonet, came to spectate and support their brothers.
Peter, who joined Tau Delta Phi in Spring 2012 and plans to run the race next year, explained, “Tough Mudder is an endurance event series in which participants attempt a 12.5 mile long military-style obstacle course. Designed by British Special Forces, it was made to test mental and physical strength. It involves obstacles that play on individuals common fears like water, fire and electricity.” With obstacle names such as the Cage Crawl, Berlin Walls, and Artic Enema, it is hard to believe the participants made it through. When asked about how they trained for the run, answers ranged from “a few jogs after class” to “hardcore gym training.” “Gym eight days a week,” replied Joe, who also joined in Spring 2012. This is his second Tough Mudder run of the year.
How does being Greek affect running an event like this? Kyle and Ozzie both had great answers. Ozzie, former president of Tau Delta Phi who joined in Spring 2010, said, “Running with my brothers helped me push myself to never stop, despite being exhausted near the end. We even had brothers come out to support us, which gave us even more motivation to keep moving and to help anyone else struggling through the course. If I just ran this with my friends from home, I wouldn’t have had the same experience, since they don’t have the values that we as a fraternity have.” The great thing about this race was that the money was donated to the Wounded Warrior Project, a charity that helps support wounded veterans and raise awareness for the needs of injured service members. Connor King’s grandfather served in the Korean War and Matthew’s brother is currently enlisted, so it meant a great deal to them that their money went to a good cause.
Being Greek is sometimes misunderstood and misconstrued, but Kyle Natusch clarified, “As a Greek, I’ve developed many skills which contribute well to teamwork. I was able to use these skills to help my brothers, as well as completely random people, to complete the course. We were able to create a sense of community during the event and encouraged all those around us to finish. Helping others is a big part of Tough Mudder, which goes the same for my fraternity. It’s not about winning the race; it’s about completing the challenge.”