Team “Savage Bees” Completes the 2016 Savage Race


Thanks to The Maryland School for the Blind Adaptive Physical Education Instructor Matt Mescall for facilitating student participation in the Savage Race. 2016 marks the second consecutive year student athletes from The Maryland School for the Blind have taken on this challenge under Matt’s leadership. The video above is from this year’s event.  Below is Matt’s recap of the grueling and exciting day:

“On May 7, 2016 a group of blind athletes from The Maryland School for the Blind traveled to Kennedyville, Maryland to take on something that most people try to avoid: mud!  And lots of it!  The group from The Maryland School for the Blind adopted the team name “Savage Bees” and  attempted to take on a 6.5 mile obstacle mud run, an event  hosted by Savage Race.  Savage Race is one of the most intense mud races found among events of its kind.  As if the course’s 6.5 miles of wooded slopes, streams, and mud, mud, and more mud is not intimidating enough, there are 25 obstacles to challenge participants every step of the way.  And instead of the ordinary steeplechase obstacles, competitors are faced with extraordinary challenges such as jumping into a pool with 60,000 pounds of ice, leaping from a height of fifteen feet into a muddy pool, scaling walls 10 feet in height, monkey-swinging across a thirty-five foot expanse of monkey bars suspended ten feet above water, and commando crawling through, you guessed it, mud spread beneath a fifty foot stretch of barbed wire. Nine student athletes and five coaches formed the contingent of participants from The Maryland School for the Blind.  The determined group set a personal goal to overcome whatever the course threw at them.  The Savage Race challenges the most hardened and physically-conditioned athletes, and the students from The Maryland School for the Blind rose to meet this standard in spite of blindness and visual impairment.  Their ability and spirit had a big impact not only on each other as a team, but on other participants as well. Other racers stopped to encourage them, show their respect towards them,  and thank them for  their inspiring effort and for being part of the racing community. The story of these student athletes went viral across social media with many people commenting on their success:

  • “We saw these guys on the 8ft wall. It was amazing to see them accomplish it. I was so proud of them. It gave me chills. Great job!!”
  • “One of my favorite groups to photograph today. What an inspiration for others that think they can’t.”
  • “Absolutely inspiring. I had the honor of running by your group for a bit and watch you fearlessly jump off the platform into the water. So much  more brave than I could ever be. You are true savages. #respect”
  • “Literally saw one of these guys listen to a description of an obstacle, reach out and run their hands over part of the obstacle, then say, “I got  this!”

These student athletes show us all that we can do anything we set our minds to.  We will all have various obstacles to overcome throughout the course of our lives and the students prove that by surrounding yourself with a strong team who can support you physically, mentally, and emotionally, those obstacles can be overcome — even if you get a little dirty in the process. By overcoming those obstacles, not only do you make yourself stronger, but also the people around you. At The Maryland School for the Blind, these things happen every day with our students and staff. Whether they are students at our school, or participants in our Outreach Program – together we are capable of amazing things.  Please join me in congratulating  these 9 athletes in their amazing accomplishment. After all, the Savage Race is more than just a race – “It’s about setting personal goals and smashing them. It’s about pushing your limits to defeat the world’s best obstacles. It’s about teamwork and friendship. It’s about the amazing people you will meet on the course. It’s about the mud, the fire, and the Facebook pics. It’s about creating the memory of a lifetime ( ).”