Warriors Challenge hits Kingdom Come State Park later in June

Published 11:30 am Friday, June 2, 2023

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Looking for a real test of your physical strength and endurance? Do you enjoy the sights and sounds found in the wilds of southeast Kentucky? If so, the Kingdom Come State Park’s Warriors Challenge event may be just what you’re looking for.

The Warriors Challenge is a 5K run that takes place annually in the forested hills of Kingdom Come State Park near Cumberland. This year’s event is scheduled for June 17, with the race beginning at 10 a.m.

Kingdom Come State Park Manager Sherry Cornett took some time to review the details of the park’s 5K event.

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“This is the fifth year of this event,” Cornett said.

According to Cornett, many participants participate in the run to see if they have what it takes to complete the course.

“We put you through everything we can throw at you,” Cornett said. “You’ll run, you’ll crawl, you’ll climb, you’ll do trails, face man-made obstacles, we’ll put you through culverts, the lake, there is a mud climb, a mudslide and we’ll spray you with a fire hose when you come out, anything I can think to really test your ability. It’s a very popular race. People love it just to see if they can complete the challenge. It is tough, but we invite everybody to come and see if you’ve got what it takes to complete our course.”

A 5K is approximately three miles.

“You’ll make four trips around the whole course to get your three miles in,” Cornett said.

While it is a challenging course, it is open to all ability levels.

“We have some younger people that do it just to see if they can do it. We have all sizes and shapes of people,” Cornett said. “You don’t have to be a runner. You can have good endurance and do okay. Your average runner usually doesn’t win the event. It’s more about overall determination.”

The course begins and ends at the Kingdom Come gift shop.

“You’ll make four loops around,” Cornett said. “We mark out the course through the hills, the lake, and the obstacles. You can actually watch the whole thing from the gift shop at the lake.”

Cornett noted participants come from all over to take place in the Warriors Challenge.

There is a $25 registration fee, with registration beginning at 9 a.m. at the Kingdom Come gift shop. To pre-register or for more information, go to the Kentucky State Parks website at https://parks.ky.gov/things_to_do or the Kingdom Come State Park Facebook page.

“Come on out and put yourself to the test by running, swimming, crawling and climbing your way through our park trails and obstacle course,” Cornett said.