Police, athletes compete in charity event

By Ryan Cornell

WINCHESTER — Take the Olympics’ track and field events, add a pinch of “The Amazing Race” and throw in a heaping helpful of sweat and muscle — the result would look more or less like the Golden Seal Charity Challenge.

Held at the Golden Seal Enterprises facility in Winchester on Saturday morning, the second annual competition pitted eight teams against each other in a variety of tests.

At one station, team members raced across a parking lot and back while carrying 50-poiund sandbags.

Another test had teams competing to light a fire that could burn through a string suspended about a foot up.

Inside a shooting range, team members shot at targets with a rifle and Beretta 9mm.

Adjacent to a climbing rope that competitors scrambled up, teams were tasked with stacking a wall of logs, scaling that wall and then disassembling them.

Teams competing on Saturday included those from local law enforcement agencies, the Powhatan School, Shenandoah University, Gold’s Gym, NW Works and the Top of Virginia Regional Chamber.

A member of the Winchester Police Department’s “senior masters” team for those older than 40, City Police Chief Kevin Sanzenbacher said his profession has helped him prepare for the events.

“Everyone has to take a fitness assessment every year, so you’re kind of continuously training for that,” he said. “A lot of skills can be applied from that to this, upper body strength and certainly air capacity.”

The Winchester-based Golden Seal Enterprises provides private security services, often working with police officers, investigators and personnel protection specialists.

Marci Carter, executive vice president of Golden Seal, said the idea for the Charity Challenge came from company founder Frank Phillips, who wanted to use his experience in the U.S. Navy Seals to create a set of physical challenges.

She said all of the proceeds raised from the Charity Challenge will go to support the Youth Development Center.

Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rcornell@nvdaily.com