Just before his 16th birthday, Luis Santana was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in his left leg. His dreams of getting a wrestling scholarship to Ohio State were put on hold as he spent the next seven years wrestling cancer instead.
It came back three times, advancing further and further up his leg each time. At 19 years old he was told that amputation was the only option to save his life. But his doctor didn’t give up and they tried a new form of radiation therapy. At 23, his prayers were answered and he was completely cancer free.
“I fought depression, anger, and spent many months alone not wanting to be close to anyone fearing I could die at any moment,” remembers Luis. “Without my faith in God and my family to support me, I wouldn’t be alive today.”
By eighth grade, Jeremy Davis weighed 300 pounds. He put on another 100+ pounds as he grew up, topping out at 410 pounds on his 6’1″ frame.
Over the course of two years dedicated to his health, he lost half his body weight and went on to crush Savage Race.
Joe McCall & Corinne Konrad took the plunge at Davy Jones’ Locker and committed their lives to one another on October 24, 2015 at Savage Race Florida.
The couple first met when Joe agreed to help Corinne, who was just a friend of a friend at the time, move out of her apartment. Joe happened to be training for an obstacle course race and it came up in conversation. A few weeks later, they went for a run together and soon after that they started dating.
Jon and Bethany Allen are parents to five children, Willy (15), Gary (15), Aaron (14), Rebecca (11), and Jason (8). They recently decided to enjoy a family staycation and participate in Savage Race Georgia together.
This extraordinary family conquers obstacles on and off of the race course.
Sgt Devin Kimball USMC Ret, traumatic brain injury. Cpl Gabriel Beltres USMC Ret, paralyzed left arm. Cpl Ray Hennagir USMC Ret, triple amputee.
These heroic veterans are all medically retired Marines who continue to bravely tackle every challenge in front of them, including obstacle course races, in hopes of inspiring all those around them. “When people look at us they judge our injuries and thank us for our service, but our duty isn’t up yet,” says Kimball. “This team proves we are still in the fight and we can still exceed people’s expectations and motivate our nation.”
Kimball, Beltres, Hennagir, and over 1,000 other service members are a part of Team Semper Fi Fund, an organization dedicated to supporting wounded warriors who have “refused to let their challenges prevent them from competing in athletic events, and whose drive and determination [is] inspirational to us all.”
7-year-old Orion Miner has overcome many obstacles in his young life.
At 15 months old, Orion was diagnosed with a condition called Cerebellar Atrophy where his cerebellum, the part of the brain that is responsible for motor control, stopped growing. His mom Londyn was told not to expect him to walk or talk independently. Then at age 6, he was also diagnosed with epilepsy.
Orion, along with the support of his amazing mom and his physical therapy team, has fearlessly refused to accept defeat. Orion conquered the SavageJR course at Savage Race Dallas and brought tears to many eyes as he finished the race.
His record is remarkable. Thirteen first place overall finishes. Two second place and one third place overall finish at Savage Race. Having placed in the top three overall in all 16 Savage Races he’s competed in, he’s the winningest Savage of all time.
His name is Yuri Force.
But it’s not his Savage Race record or his impressive athletic skills that stand out the most. It’s his character.
Yuri Force, supported by his wonderful wife Carly and his adorable 2-year-old Emory, has a heartfelt reason behind why he races.
Enjoy this Savage Story about Yuri’s background, athletic career, and family, brought to you by NuAquos Sports Drink.
Strength. Positivity. Determination.
These are all qualities you find in obstacle course racers. They are also qualities you find in cancer survivors. Melissa Hughes knows all about that, and we want to tell you her story.
Joe Silverio, his son Mark, and his granddaughter Delaine all stood atop the podium at Savage Race Ohio, each having placed in their respective age groups.
It was a very proud moment for grandpa Joe. “It is easier for me to place because there are fewer people in my age group,” he says, “but for my son and grandkids to place, they have to battle a lot of good competitors.”
Joe and his sister Maria Beth, son Mark, daughter Kate, son-in-law Ernie, granddaughters Delaine, Lucinda, and Haley, and grandsons Zachary and Ethan all participate in obstacle course races. They are scheduled to compete in about 10 events this year, along with a number of road races. The Silverio family has turned obstacle course racing into a family activity, with Joe leading the way.
It was a hot summer day in the Parramore neighborhood of Orlando when a group of about 30 school-age kids gathered in a grassy field outside of the John H. Jackson Community Center. They were excitedly waiting for the opportunity to race one another through the mini obstacle course set up on the field.
At the blow of the whistle, two boys tore away from the starting line and then leapt over and crawled under a series of wooden barricades. Then they climbed up and over a stack of hay bales, navigated their way across an agility ladder, carried a large log across the field together, and then dove into a mud pit set up on a bright blue tarp. Finally, they raced back to the starting point and took turns climbing a slippery rope. Their trainer called “time” and then sent another team through the course.