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Warrior Challenge

2020 Virtual Warrior Challenge Presented by SouthWest Water Company

SouthWest Water Company

University of Montevallo students from DeAnna Smith’s Social Entrepreneurship & Sustainability class are applying their academic knowledge to benefit local charity The Arc of Shelby County. Given the current pandemic students were presented with the task of increasing awareness and funds for the organization despite the current social distancing guidelines.  UM students have worked to continue the 4th Annual Warrior Challenge event, despite this unique challenges.  Therefore, we are pleased to announce that the 2020 Southwest Water Warrior Challenge will feature a virtual 5k, allowing people from anywhere on the globe to participate!  The Warrior Challenge Virtual 5K allows the participants to exercise and share quality family time while practicing social distancing.

The Warrior Challenge Virtual 5k, presented by Southwest Water, will be held on Saturday, May 30, 2020. Participants are encouraged to run the 5K in their unique location and to capture their experience with photos or videos to share with the rest of our online community for a chance to win an array of fun awards and prizes.  All participants receive a t-shirt and medal shipped directly to your home.

If your business would like to advertise or provide sponsorships of the virtual event please contact Kyndel Cunningham at (205) 382-5268 or email


We’re sad that we can’t host the obstacle course for you, but we’d love to see your home obstacles. Be creative and win a prize! If you have the opportunity to run through beautiful wooded trails, watch out for natural obstacles such as logs to jump!

A few other ideas for home obstacles (remember we will have prizes for most creative home designed obstacle from your uploaded photos or video):

    • Fancy Feet – test your footwork by running an agility course around household objects like canned goods if you don’t have any marker cones.
    • Bull’s Eye – take your best shot against Mom or Dad on your home basketball goal.
    • Breakaway – grab a soccer ball and dribble it with your feet through strategically placed cones (or common household items) and shoot the soccer ball towards a designated goal area.
    • Dizzy Bat – get a baseball/softball bat, place your forehead on the bat and circle it 3 times before seeing if you can run a straight line to the next obstacle.
    • Army Crawl – set up pool noodles in arches and use this life-saving maneuver to crawl the trenches.
    • Sand Bag Carry – grab a weighted object from home and see how far you can carry it up a hill.
    • Rip Tide – Get Mom or Dad to set up the slip and slide and make your way to the top and slide your way down on a waterslide.


According to Smith, students have embraced the cause. The Arc of Shelby County and its national office advocate for specific policies and programs that benefit people with developmental and intellectual disabilities and their families.

“Thanks to the efforts of DeAnna Smith and her students at the University of Montevallo, the Warrior Challenge will proceed in this time of uncertainty for many in our community. We are especially grateful for the students’ continued efforts to raise both awareness and funds to support the programs and services that we provide to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. The Arc serves over 1,500 individuals and families in Shelby County through community-based programs including early intervention, community living and employment services. We hope individuals and families around the globe will take advantage of this opportunity to support the UM Students and The Arc of Shelby County by participating in the virtual event,” said Jennifer Ellison, director of development for The Arc of Shelby County.