A participant at the Childrenz Challenge enjoys the car wash obstacle during the event on Saturday. Photo by Jeff Steers, JTV.
By Jeff Steers
A simple question more than six years ago by Scott Vitale’s daughter has challenged more than 10,000 children.
Not bad for someone only 4 years old at the time.
The sixth annual Childrenz Challenge was held Saturday at Michigan International Speedway.
The Childrenz Challenge is an obstacle course with a number of challenges to test children’s strength, stamina, determination, but most importantly their ability to have fun, according to the website.
Jocelyn, 10, asked her father more than six years ago why children couldn’t participate in events such as Tough Mudder.
“She is my whole inspirations for this,” Vitale said Saturday during the event.
Vitale organized the event six years ago with a number of volunteers and the attitude to let children enjoy the outdoors and get as muddy as they want.
Childrenz Challenge provides 20 obstacles for children – ages preschool up to teenagers – such as sliding home, muddy moguls, caged in and car wash. Most children end up pretty dirty and others attending are worn out trying to film their children or grandchildren with cell phones or cameras and keep up at the same time.
The event was moved to the northeast corner of MIS three years ago.
“It gives us more vendor space and a better flow of traffic,” Vitale said. “People can see the course from Brooklyn Road so they know what is going on.”
The course was changed a bit in 2019 to bring back some of the favorites such as sliding home and muddy moguls.
“It offers a new twist for some of the older children who have participated in the past,” Vitale said.
Childrenz Challenge takes 120 volunteers and 14 staff members to pull of the six-hour day of non-stop fresh air, sunshine, and muddy children.
The event is a fundraiser with more than $11,000 going to the top producing schools tied to CP Federal Credit Union’s financial education programs and other fundraisers.