Calie struggled in the water yesterday! After that soggy endeavor, she led the competition by only 3 points.

Today is the last and ultimate challenge. It’s also our last full day in California. 🙁  But stick around, and I will share some treasure with you. Now, on with the competition!

The Gauntlet

The gauntlet at HITT, 2017

The gauntlet can intimidate

Part of the HITT course, 2017

Tires, low crawl, and the menacing rock wall

Part of the HITT course, 2017

Plyo boxes, ammo cans, and the sprint zone

Setting the scene…

Morning dawns on Camp Pendleton

Dawn brings magnificent sky treasure

Paige Field House, Camp Pendleton

One last perfect morning

This is the day she‘s been wondering about for the last year; the day to find out if she repeats as HITT champion.

The intense atmosphere made its presence known right from the start.

As the athletes undertook a practice walkthrough, many encountered issues with the rope and, especially, the rock wall. The small rock “handles” dared anyone to get a hand or foothold!

To successfully execute the gauntlet one must:

  • Breach the door
  • Cross monkey bars
  • Ascend cargo net
  • Descend rope
  • Ascend rope
  • Descend cargo net
  • Cross monkey bars

*Sprint on grass to tires, flip them out of the way, and low crawl under a net.

  • Ascend wall
  • Descend rope
  • Ascend rock wall
  • Descend cargo net
  • Flip tire forward 2 times, back 2 times
  • Pick up two 30-lb ammo cans
  • Travel up and over two plyo boxes
  • Continue on grass, drop ammo cans
  • Pick up a 40-lb pack and rubber rifle
  • Diagonal run around low barriers
  • Sprint to finish

* Starting with the sprint on grass and ending with the sprint to finish equals the length of 2 football fields.

She didn’t want to see it…

After one successful run-through of the event, Calie wisely focused on chilling out and did not watch others try, fail, and stress about the rock wall. She said she didn’t want to have a picture of failure in her brain.

Smutnick, the closest in points to Calie, would compete against her in the last female race.

HITT champ, 2017

Calie bides her time

She and her closest competitor were slated for last

HITT 2017

She cheered “Tennessee” on

The competition was fierce. One of the females in the first heat set a good time, which stayed unbeaten until the 5th.

  • 1st heat: 5:08
  • 5th heat: 5:05
  • *6th heat: 5:04
  • *6th heat: 4:15
  • 7th heat: 3:22

*Both racers in the 6th heat bested the previous time.

She knew what she had to do.

Each new pair of racers whittled the time to beat.

Calie knew she had to…

Complete the whole course in less than 3 minutes and 22 seconds!  😯

Tense excitement!!

The  final heat

is about to start!

The gauntlet, the final event of the HITT 2017 competition

Smutnick and Jacobsen await the start; this is it!

Who will cross the finish line first?

HITT 2017, Beaverfit stationary rig

1. GO! They breached the door almost at the same time!

Calie in action during the last event of HITT 2017

2. Calie’s on the cargo net

Calie in action during the last event of HITT 2017

4. Smutnick’s on the rope and Calie’s on the final monkey bars

Calie in action during the last event of HITT 2017

3. Climbing ropes is one of her strengths

Calie in action during the last event of HITT 2017

5. Flip those tires

Calie in action during the last event of HITT 2017

6. She ran up the wall in a flash and headed for the rock climb

Footnote: After 2 tries and fails on the rock wall or ropes, the participants had to instead do 10 burpees and go up and down the cargo net. This would add a lot of unwanted time!

Calie in action during the last event of HITT 2017

7. Calie took a short moment to mentally prepare for the dreaded rock wall…and conquered it on the first try.

Flipping tires in the HITT competition, 2017

Flip more tires!

HITT 2017

Pick up the ammo cans and run!

The winner of HITT 2017

She’s on the home stretch!

Two things I loved that day:

1. The support of the coaches and the competitors was awesome. In most of these images, you will notice the “HITT man” and others as they ran alongside Calie, encouraging her all the way.

Calie cheers Margo Smutnick on!

2. Here’s my favorite “love” of the day. After Calie crossed the finish line, she got a drink, received a hug from me, and then ran back on the field to spur Smutnick on.

I felt like Mary in Luke 2:19.

“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”

This proud mother’s heart was full of treasure. 

The support, encouragement, and camaraderie

among the Marines made quite the impression on me.

Marines in the HITT 2017 challenge

It’s done! They can let down their hair…or take selfies or flex their muscles or whatever. The stress is off! Now to wait for the results.

 As the sun fiercely sent down its rays, the able athletes consumed lunch and waited on pins and needles for the awards ceremony to start.

Ahem, may I have your attention please!

For second and third places, Sgts. Rodgriguez and Smutnick have tied at 89 points.

And announcing Sergeant Calie Jacobsen as the winner of the U.S. Marine Corps’ 2017 HITT competition with 103 points. (Champ for the 2nd year in a row! Yay!)

Both the female and male winner were repeats from last year. Sweet!

Elation! An apt reward after many nerve-racking and, may I say, even, death-defying events. By the way, her time for the gauntlet was 3:15, winning the event!  😀 So out of the 7 events for the week, she won 4, placed 2nd in two, and came in a soggy 8th place in the beach event.  😯

HITT 2017
Female champ HITT 2017
Winners of the 2017 HITT, Marine corps

The 6 champs

She’s a goofball!  🙂

What a great day, a great week of endeavoring!  🙂

What we came for was finished.

As Calie and her compadres celebrated, Rick and I planned a special evening. We celebrated with some famous coal-fired pizza at The Privateer in Oceanside followed by one last visit to the pier.  🙁

(We recommend the pizza.)  😉

Privateer coal fire pizza

Rick, pizza, and salad  🙂

The Privateer pizza in Oceanside, CA

Look good? The unique salad tasted delightful, too

Blue-sky day at Oceanside Pier

Towering palm tree

Dog drinks from fountain at Oceanside Pier

I’d never seen this before!

Lofty palm trees stand like sentinels over the beach

It’s a bird’s life!

⇓ ⇓ ⇓⇓

Gull on rail of Oceanside Pier

I think this gull only has one leg!

Seagull on Oceanside Pier

Just another day…

Seagull at Oceanside Pier

They’re everywhere!

Gold,   silver, and fire-colored   treasures in the sky!

These photos speak for themselves.

Golden nightfall at Oceanside Pier
Silvery water, Oceanside Pier
Fire in the sky near Oceanside Pier
GOLDEN sky and water

Does someone you know do this, never know where to look?  😀

Having fun on Oceanside Pier
Having fun on the Oceanside Pier
Having fun on the Oceanside Pier
Having fun on the Oceanside Pier

He finally got it right!

Treasure of the   Perfect, Pleasant, and Peaceful type♦


Sailboat in the distance off Oceanside Pier

Can you see the sailboat and the seagull?

Gull chasing a sailboat near Oceanside Pier

So peaceful…

Sailboat on the horizon

Come sail away with me…  😉

The Oceanside Pier at dusk

I like this picture in muted color and …

The dreamy Oceanside Pier in black and white

…in black and white!

The day ended with two spectacular images (if I do say so myself)!

Golden water and sky at Oceanside Pier

Good place for tranquil contemplation

Sunset on Oceanside Pier

I’m kind of proud of my stunning photo. You might even say I treasure it!  🙂

Next morning, we had a flight to catch around noon.

We met Calie and a couple of her friends for breakfast at the Breakfast Club Diner in Oceanside. We hugged Calie and Kayla goodbye without much sadness. They would be in Omaha in a week and a half for 10 days!  😀

One last time, we drove (raced) down I-5.

There was just enough time to cross the Coronado bridge to behold the Hotel Del Coronado during the day! Click here to read about our nighttime adventure at the Del.

This time, we also got to see the famous beach.

Hotel Del Coronado

Ahh, so that’s what it looks like in the daylight!

The massive Hotel Del Coronado

The massive and stately “Del”

Coronado beach

Picturesque cliffs overlooking famous Coronado beach

Sailboats near Coronado Island

Serene sailboats lazily lounge on the water

I’m so glad we saved time for Coronado island that morning.  Not only to finally see the hotel (and beach) in daylight, but because I snapped this eye-catching image.  😉  The serene scene speaks: “As sailboats lounge peacefully in the bay, the city works diligently in the background.

On to the airport.

What a busy, tense-at-times, and fun-filled week!  From driving in a huge, unknown-to-us-city, discovering the wonderful new experience of a pier, to watching our “baby” complete and win a rigorous competition,

we survived and treasured our first trip to California!

Vibrant Bougainvillea

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Whew! What a busy last couple of days.

I hope you gathered some nuggets of treasure and

 y’all will let me know what you think of my posts.

This concludes our adventures in San Diego.

Until we share time together again,

May Blessings, blooms, and treasure nuggets be yours!

Pam ♥

Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.  In this way, they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. ~1 Timothy 6:18-19

Author: Pam

Glad you’re here!