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2009 EPISODE 3 of 12: THE DARBY QUEEN

Soldiers tackle one of the most difficult obstacle courses -- the Darby Queen.

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2009 EPISODE 3 of 12: THE DARBY QUEEN

Soldiers tackle one of the most difficult obstacle courses -- the Darby Queen.

Fort Benning, Georgia. The location: Camp Darby. The event: the Darby Queen.
"Men, these are continuous events. We're not stopping for you to change. We're not stopping for you to rest. We're keeping it going."
At the start of each event, every team must read the rules, better known as TCS: Task Conditions and Standards. The Task: Navigate the Darby Queen obstacle course. Conditions: During daylight hours, complete a 2,000 meter course over uneven terrain, consisting of 26 obstacles. Standards: Competitors must negotiate each obstacle as rapidly as possible. The fastest time wins.
Team 8 is immediately jerked from the holding area without any time to rest, after completing the five-mile Buddy Run, and thrust directly on to the most difficult obstacle course on any military installation in the United States. Staff Sergeant Farmer and Staff Sergeant McDowell's physical conditioning and mental strength is all they can depend on to insure they will finish the Darby Queen with a competitive time. Grabbing the points for first place may not have been all it was worth this early in the competition.
For Team 8, finishing first in the Buddy Run may not have been the best way to start out day 1 of a 3-day competition.
SSG Luke R. McDowell: We sprinted the first event too fast. Whatever, we put it away, and we're going with the rest of the day right now. So it's all good. It's a marathon, not a race. We have a long time in front of us. We're going to get some salt, some water in us and hit it again.
Staff Sergeant Brandan K. Farmer: This competition hasn't really started in yet, man.
McDowell and Farmer, have suffered a searing disappointment with the results of the Darby Queen. An early lead has vanished into 15th position, while Team 46, Carter and Linn, in third place, turned in a good time but slipped from third to fourth.
Captain Samuel E. Linn: This is my first time. So, all I want to be is here.
Team 22, Jenkins and Zajkowski, turned in the fastest time overall, the 26 obstacles of 26 minutes, moving them from second position to first place. Finishing just under 27 minutes, Sergeants First Class Stackpole and Simms, Team 21, finished second on the Darby Queen and climbed into second place, only 6 points behind the leaders.
Sergeant First Class Chad E. W. Stackpole: Two events down. Heat's playing a role. Just playing the game. Paint was on obstacles that we aren't used to and where the fresh paint was it made it slick, real slick.
After the Buddy Run, 49 teams started the Darby Queen obstacle course. Because of serious injury, the pursuit of Ranger glory is over for three of them. Next up: the Spot Jump. But because of low clouds, they may be forced into plan B.
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