If you’ve run the Reindeer Fun Run in the past couple years, you are sure to have noticed individuals running in gas masks–still wearing antlers. Here is a little bit about Team Sapper and the non-profit, Operation Enduring Warrior to share why they do what they do.
The Masked Athlete Team (MAT) are specially trained volunteers who support our wounded veterans with the physical and mental adversity of extreme athletic challenges. The MAT spends countless hours preparing and researching ways to successfully assist our wounded veterans negotiate their extreme athletic challenges. Past events have included obstacle course races, hand-cycling, 5k and 10k races, and half/full Marathons
The gas masks worn by the team are symbolic of the hardships our wounded veterans live with every day. When the team members wear their gas masks their airflow is restricted by approximately 25%, simulating how the WVs they serve are overcoming insurmountable odds in the face of adversity. The MAT are composed of active-duty and prior service men and women. They chose their call sign based on the leadership traits instilled into them while performing their military duties and now will embody this specific trait while performing their duties as a Masked Athlete.
Update | October 2017
Tito Piñeiro (pictured in photo at the 2014 Reindeer Fun Run) was killed while riding his bike and training for a race on October 9, 2017 in Georgia. Tito was always an advocate for soldiers and for fitness. Here are some links to some articles about Tito:
Tito will be missed.