Adventure Race Raises Money for Military Families

first_imgProviding adventure for racers while raising money for a worthy cause, the Special Operations Adventure Race (SOAR) was hosted in Highlands, NC for its 16th year on Saturday, June 10.“The teamwork we witness is always phenomenal, as well as the sportsmanship. There is incredible camaraderie in the sport between teams,” said two time race director, Nate Kreuter, who put roughly 200 hours into the planning and preparations for Saturday’s race.Race participants and board members came together for a group photo.One of the most astounding attributes of the race’s tradition is the driving force behind it. In the last 16 years, SOAR of Western North Carolina has raised and donated 100% of its proceeds, which is now over $550,000, to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. The foundation is a charity that provides college scholarships for the children of Special Operations military personnel who are killed in the line of duty. By partaking in the race, the athletes contribute a great to giving back to the families of our nation’s toughest warriors. Founded by Air Force Colonel, Buck Trott who has since passed away, the race lives on as his legacy and continues to enrich the lives of many military families.Hinton and Virtue look to their maps during the mountain biking section of their journey. Photo by Jay HintonThis year’s edition of SOAR was redesigned to make strategy a key component of the racing experience. Adding the unique challenge of orienteering to the mix, racers depended on a map to navigate their way from checkpoint to checkpoint in the unfamiliar terrain as they raced against the clock. With options of the 6 hour sprint race or the 12 hour elite race, the racers were put through the disciplines of mountain biking, running, paddling, and a 80-90 foot rappel.Racers were able to compete as soloists or teams of 2, 3, or 4 in male, female, and co-ed divisions. With a neat twist, the race included an optional two checkpoint “litter bonus” where teams who collected and brought back 10 pieces of litter would gain points for taking care of the environment around them.The terrain was split into three sections in which racers could choose to attack in any order, but with one catch. Once they returned to the transition area (where different types of gear could be kept) after leaving a section, the racers could not return to the same section to attempt to reach more checkpoints to add to their passport that is kept with them as a tally.The checkpoints throughout the race were found in unique forms throughout the race that the individuals or teams would have to show evidence of when they returned to the transition area. The checkpoints ranged from writing something on the back of a stop sign to finding a particular grave and finding the birthdate from the headstone down. The passports showed which checkpoints the racers had reached and was used to tally up a point system that created the rankings of the teams… that is if they made it in time without being disqualified.Even the fastest runner out there was at risk of being disqualified as the race did not only require speed, but more so a combination of skills and decision making.“You can win the race without being the best athlete. It is all about a balance of time management, strategy and knowing the landscape,” said Drew Virtue, top finisher in the men’s team division for his second year with race partner, Jay Hinton.A waterfall along the course served as a checkpoint area. Photo by Jay HintonLooking back on the race, Virtue explained the journey of the adventure race for their team of two.The night before the race, there was a mandatory meeting that counted as a checkpoint where maps were given out to the racers. Virtue and Hinton, once returning an hour back to their hometown of Cullowhee, NC stayed up for an hour and a half developing a strategy for the morning’s adventure. Going into the race with a year’s experience under their belts, the two of them had a strategy in mind that they thought would work yet again.“We had to revamp everything,” said Virtue.The first section tackled by the men involved running and paddling, two strong suits for them. Returning to the transition area, they stocked up on biking and rappelling gear and once again hit the trail. After a steep decline on the bikes, it was time for the rappel. Taking their time, Virtue and Hinton made it to the bottom where they paused in awe of the team behind them who were military personnel. The two took on the rappell without fear and remarkably fast.The “Pain for Pints” team of Jay Hinton and Drew Virtue who finished first in the men’s team division for a second year in a row.As the day went on, their troubles grew as they faced the trials of the southern section where they managed to briefly loose track of their passport and get a bit lost. Being able to stay in good spirits and work together got the two back on track though, and just in time. Winning first place by a margin of just three points, Hinton and Virtue, better known by their team name, “Pain for Pints” made it to the finish line where they celebrated with beer and food. The two beer buds first thought about doing an adventure race like SOAR while each drinking a pint together and just so, the team name was born.Showing true camaraderie and teamwork paid off for them after a full day of pushing their bodies to the limit. When asked if they plan to return the answer was simple- oh yeah!Not only do the guys plan to return, but they plan to take the step up to the elite 12 hour race this time next year. Their training motivation is simply “108”. It is the number of points both the male and co-ed winning teams reached at the end of the elite race.“The winning teams ended up doing about 70 miles of mountain biking, running, and canoeing, with about 6 thousand feet of elevation gain,” said Kreuter, who will be race director again next year.By the end of the day, luckily no incidents occurred. Safety is a top priority for the board members and race director as things like dehydration and getting lost can become dangerous factors. With incredible volunteered service and resources from the Highland Police Department and Macon County EMS, Kreuter explained his sincerest gratitude for their support. Cooler weather, smart racers, and water reserves placed throughout the course helped to prevent many possible issues throughout the morning and afternoon.With no official decisions made yet in the planning process for next year’s race, Kreuter did allude to a potential change of location.Drew Virtue makes his rappell down the rock face, a crucial step in completing the race.Photo by Jay Hinton“The board is considering the possibility of moving the race somewhere nearby so that we can show the racers new terrain and show some of the other wonderful communities in the area.”For those who may want to race in SOAR next year, the race is a wonderful opportunity for novices as the board behind the race takes pride in creating a racing atmosphere that is approachable for new teams but also challenging for experienced teams.Putting these words into motion, out of the two top finishing teams in the elite 12 hour race- one team was ranked #2 in the country while the other team had never completed a race together before. Amongst the race’s accalades, its 12 hour race served as a regional qualifier for the USARA National Championships for the first time in its 16 years.Showcasing an appreciation for our military, emphasis on teamwork, and the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina, the Special Operations Adventure Race will definitely return in 2018 and is sure to be better than ever. For the full results of each of the race’s divisions, you can go to the SOAR website.last_img read more

PREMIUMIndonesia mulls deserting IS supporters

first_imgTorn between protecting citizens’ rights and national security, the government is considering barring Indonesians who traveled to Syria to join terrorist group Islamic State (IS) from returning home.According to the National Counterterrorism Agency’s (BNPT) records, more than 600 Indonesian citizens, most of whom are women and children, currently reside in Syria, with government officials leaning toward not repatriating them.Coordinating Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD said returnees from Syria could pose social and security threats.He said current deradicalization programs often proved unsuccessful at reintegrating former terrorists and terrorist sympathizers back into society. “When they return to society, they will be ostracized and could become terrorists again. [However] If we don’t repatriate them, we are denying their… Facebook IS-returnees IS-sympathizers Islamic-State terrorism terrorism-in-Indonesia Syria Medan Bali-bombing Topics : LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Log in with your social account Google Linkedin Forgot Password ?last_img read more

Indonesia’s GDP may contract more than 2.1% in Q3 amid Jakarta restrictions: Sri Mulyani

first_imgIndonesia’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to shrink even further than projected in the third quarter as capital city Jakarta reimposes large-scale social restrictions (PSBB), Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said Tuesday.The government previously expected the economy to post a flat growth at best or a contraction of 2.1 percent at worst in July-September, but the partial lockdown reimplemented by Jakarta is likely to drag down GDP to the lower end of the prediction, she told reporters in a virtual briefing.“The economic impact will not be as bad” as the first PSBB because Jakarta still allowed offices to remain open with 25 percent capacity, she went on to say. “This will be very different compared to March and April, when people’s activity stopped.”The government will monitor social mobility data, among other things, in the next two weeks to assess the country’s GDP performance in the third quarter, she said, warning that economic activity might contract more than the current estimate.Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan is requiring non-essential industries to have their employees work from home, residents to limit the use of public transportation and restaurants to prohibit dine-ins starting Monday following a spike in the coronavirus infection rate in the capital in recent days.Jakarta has recorded a daily average of around 1,000 new cases this month and registered more than 55,000 infections and 1,440 deaths from COVID-19 since the pandemic began in March, official data show. The city implemented a stricter PSBB in April and relaxed it in the so-called transitional PSBB in June before cases started to spike even higher than before.The capital city contributed the most to the national economy compared to other regions in the country as Jakarta’s regional domestic product accounted for 17.17 percent of the country’s GDP in the second quarter, Jakarta Statistics Indonesia (BPS) data show. It was followed by East Java (14.6 percent) and West Java (13.45 percent), both also virus epicenters.Indonesia’s economy shrank by 5.32 percent in the second quarter and is widely expected to shrink further in the third quarter, which would mark the first recession since the 1998 Asian financial crisis.“The economy may return to a growth of 0.4 percent to 3.1 percent in the fourth quarter but it will heavily depend on the management of the coronavirus pandemic,” Sri Mulyani said, expecting a 1.1 percent contraction for the full year at worst, or 0.2 percent growth at best.Topics :last_img read more

‘Take all the time in the world to heal’: Agni’s message for victims of sexual assault

first_imgSitting in her small rented bedroom on a recent Monday, Agni often had to pause and take deep breaths as she recalled just some of the memories of her assault and her efforts to seek justice over the past three years.Her eyes looked tired.“I feel very exhausted, to a point where I want to wake up and know that the sexual violence bill has passed; that there’s a guarantee no one will ever have to experience what I feel,” Agni told The Jakarta Post in a recent interview via video conference.“I want the right to feel safe.” Indonesia will always remember Agni as the girl who ignited the fire in the fight against all forms of sexual abuse in the culturally conservative country.In 2018, it was her story of assault that set off a wave of support and solidarity that gave Indonesia its very own #MeToo moment dubbed #KitaAgni (#WeAreAgni), which has arguably become one of the largest social movements to end sexual harassment that the nation has ever seen.Two years on, Agni has graduated from university, and while she is still in awe and ever grateful for the positive force that her story has become, she also continues to fight the demons of trauma every single day. Read also: Victims of sexual abuse on campus seek justice, support on social mediaAgni is the pseudonym of a former female student of Gadjah Mada University who was allegedly sexually assaulted by another student in 2017 during a community development program in the province of Maluku.After a long and tiring legal fight, Agni and her legal counsel, the UGM rectorate, as well as the alleged perpetrator, HS, settled the case out of court.HS never got dismissed from the university, as per Agni’s demand. But her story reverberated across the country, inspiring petitions, policies, social movements and discussions to end sexual assault on campuses, not only at UGM but also in other universities in Indonesia.But even as she remains grateful for all that she helped inspire, Agni never really recovered from her trauma. Currently working in a private company, Agni said any information or news related to sexual assault could become a trigger.“I live alone now and I struggle every time I have these anxiety attacks; it takes me one to two hours to finally calm myself down. In those instances, I might hyperventilate, my chest would hurt, I’d feel a prickling sensation [on my skin] and my lips would go dry,” Agni said.She said she was really tired of trying to keep herself from inflicting self-harm. If a security camera were to be installed in her bedroom, there would definitely be a recording of her crawling across the floor in agony.“I wonder if people will be disappointed to see me like this,” Agni said.For a while, she stopped talking and stared at her bedroom wall.A student of Yogyakarta-based Gadjah Mada University (UGM) signs a petition to support Agni, the pseudonym of a UGM student who was allegedly raped by a fellow student in 2017, and to encourage the university to take action against sexual violence on campus. (The Jakarta Post/Bambang Muryanto)“Recently we’ve always used the word ‘survivor’ instead of ‘victim’ to show that we are strong,” she finally continued. “We tend to forget that survivors are first and foremost victims. I want people to know that most of the time I am fearful, I’m tired and I want to give up,” Agni said.According to a March report from the National Commission for Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan), the number of reported sexual violence cases in Indonesia continues to increase, from 259,150 in 2016 to 348,446 in 2017, 406,178 in 2018 and 431,471 in 2019.The report found that in the last 12 years alone, violence against women in Indonesia has increased eightfold.However, not much has been said about the impacts of sexual violence on the emotional and mental wellbeing of victims, even though experts say they can be equally serious or even worse than physical scars or bruises.According to the World Health Organization, one in every three women globally will be beaten, coerced into sex or abused in some other way — most often by someone she knows. Yet public services, such as quality mental health services, are rarely planned with women’s safety, recovery and healing from violence in mind.As a result of the trauma, many women survivors develop emotional or mental health problems that require timely, comprehensive and professional treatment. But too often, this critical health service is not available or accessible for a vast majority of survivors, especially in low- to middle-income countries.Read also: Mental health: The forgotten element in human developmentFor Agni, it took a long time for her to tell herself that it is OK not to be OK.“My message for other victims is that you should take all the time in the world to heal and that it’s OK to be weak and unapologetic about it. I’m not saying this to make you feel weak or say that you can’t be brave; what I want to say is do it on your own terms,” she said.“Be strong, but if you don’t feel like being strong, then reach out to your friends.”Agni said that after her case was closed, UGM never bothered to contact her again, not even to check on her mental health. And under the current laws, victims of sexual assault like Agni are not entitled to get help from the government, including for their mental recovery.Victims, she said, are never really given the opportunity to recover.“What we can do is help them go through that [trauma],” she said.It was, therefore, pivotal to have the sexual violence bill passed, as it would require the government to provide rehabilitation services for victims to overcome the physical, psychological and social impacts of abuse.“It’s expensive and sometimes the victims don’t realize that they need to recover. If this is well regulated, then […] they’d be directed to it,” she said.Contacted separately, Lidwina Inge Nurtjahyo, a lecturer at the University of Indonesia’s (UI) School of Law, said that although some sexual assault cases at UI remained unresolved and the university had not done enough to aid in the victims’ recovery, Agni’s story had brought about some major changes in how it addressed sexual assault.“Agni, like her name, means [in Sanskrit] a fire that lights up the spirits of students and lecturers in universities who are fed up with issues of sexual assault on campus,” Inge told the Post recently.As a result, she said, the university had started conducting workshops on how to prevent sexual assault, which included familiarizing the concepts of consent and respect for other people’s bodies.Read also: UI rebuffs criticism of consensual sex classAgni’s story has also inspired other student movements like UII Bergerak, which seeks to push the Indonesian Islamic University in Yogyakarta to take cases of sexual assault on campus more seriously.“Agni’s case has raised awareness about the gender struggle, especially in Yogya,” said Sabiq Muhammad, a member of UII Bergerak.“Antisexual violence causes or cases similar to that of Agni’s used to be an open secret, but since the solidarity movement for Agni began, these discussions have gotten much more attention.”People march to mark the 2020 International Women’s Day in Yogyakarta on March 8. The march raised awareness about the fight against sexual violence at universities in the city. The pictured sign reads: “Sexual assault on campus is more dangerous than the coronavirus.” (JP/Bambang Muryanto)Like UGM, many universities and schools have started drafting regulations on sexual assault on campus and included relevant learning materials during campus orientation.Agni’s case has also inspired news coverage on sexual assault on campus, including the #NamaBaikKampus (#CampusReputation) collaboration.The project, initiated in 2019 by the Post, Tirto and VICE Indonesia, revealed indications of rampant sexual abuse in the country’s higher education institutions, based on the testimonies of 174 survivors from 79 state, private and religious universities.As the person at the center of this movement, Agni said she felt there was still a long way to go until women in Indonesia could start feeling safe.“As long as the government is still absent [in this fight], we will just be exhausting ourselves,” she said.But she also believes it is progress whenever more victims of sexual assault speak up and reach out for help, even if it is on social media.“People are ready, they really need this bill […] If they speak up on social media, then they believe somebody will trust them. But these are people on the internet, not the state,” she said.“Without the sexual violence bill, there will always be a gap between those who muster up the courage to seek justice and the things that can help them reach their goals.”Topics :last_img read more

Monroe County decides to turn away nonresidents

first_imgStarting Friday, if you are not a resident of Monroe county you will no longer have access to the area.The county’s Mayor Heather Carruthers, made the decision this week saying it was difficult choice but something that had to be done:“Probably 60% of our  economy is tourism-related, so it’s something that’s of a great concern to us,” Mayor Carruthers said. ” Frankly, that’s part of why we’re doing this. The earlier we stop the spread, the earlier we can control it, not just within the keys but, you know, throughout the nation, the sooner we can get back on our feet and get back to work.”The last time the county was closed off to non-residents not due to a hurricane, was in 1981 when the federal government put up roadblocks to check for drugs.To ensure the new order is being followed, checkpoints will be placed near mile marker 112 on U.S 1 and State Road 905 starting on Friday.Residents will be required to provide an ID proving that they live in the area.The only exception to the rule will be those who work in the area and have to commute to work. If you work in the area but do not live there, you will be required to provide a letter from your employer.last_img read more

Bruh moment of 4th December 2019: Pep Guardiola mistakenly refers to Manchester City as…

first_imgImage Courtesy: Burnley FC/GettyAdvertisement 1ouw2eNBA Finals | Brooklyn VsdluWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E7z7a( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) dkczokkWould you ever consider trying this?😱amfpCan your students do this? 🌚bso4zRoller skating! Powered by Firework What’s the best thing about being a world class football manager? Working with the most elite of Football clubs. What the worst thing about being a world class football manager? Fogetting which club you’re currently working at. Say hello to Manchester City gaffer Pep Guardiola, who forgot that he is not with Bayern Munich anymore.Advertisement Image Courtesy: Burnley FC/GettyThe 4-1 rout of Burnley at the Turf Moor stadium drew the Citizens 8 points closer to the table toppers Liverpool. However, speaking in the post match conference, the former Bayern coach forgot that its been three years since he left the Bavarians.Check out Pep’s hilarious reaction on his own slip of tongue in the video below, courtesy of Sportskeeda Football’s official FaceBook.Advertisement While hailing the newcomer Rodri’s goal, the Spaniard said: “Always he help us, you know in these kind of situations. I think he adjust and suit perfect for this league. Honestly.”Then came the slip of tongue.“…And I think Bayern Munich – ai ai [facepalm]. Man City bought… uh… Bayern Munich? What the f***! Man City… I don’t know what I thought.”Interestingly Rodri, who arrived at Manchester this season from Atlético Madrid, was previously linked with Pep’s Bayern when he was at Villarreal.Along with Rodri, Gabriel Jesus scored a brace, along with Riyad Mahrez to put the Citizens 4-0 till the 89th minute, when the single consolation goal for the Clarets came from Robert Brady. Advertisementlast_img read more