PASS CHRISTIAN -- It took Navy Seabee Officer Freddy Rodriguez 90 seconds to complete it. On Mardi Gras, it took a local fireman just 43 seconds to touch the top of the rope. Others have finished in under a minute, and some had to give up before they reached the end of the course.
A replicated piece of Parris Island boot camp has been built in Pass Christian, and people are literally jumping at the chance to finish this military-grade obstacle course.
The course is just one feature at Top Guns Gym & Obstacle Course on East North Street. The 12,000-square-foot fitness center has free weights, machines, an artificial turf for interval training, a fitness room that will soon host spin, yoga and Zumba classes, and 5 acres outside to play with in the future, said partner Clark Henegan.
"We wanted to offer a little bit of everything," he said. "We wanted to appeal to the masses yet be a training facility where you can grow."
The obstacle course was added, Henegan said, as a unique membership offer for the gym. It also helps atheltes who compete in Spartan races and Tough Mudder competitions train for race day.
"We've got five acres out here, so what can we add on to the gym to make us more attractive?" Henegan said.
One of his partners, Roger Caplinger, was a member of the Marine Corps and remembered the obstacle course training at Parris Island. Caplinger, who owns Innovative Builders, constructed the mostly wooden course at his business.
"He basically watched videos on YouTube and re-designed the course and kind of made a duplicate of what's on Parris Island, which I think is pretty cool," Henegan said.
And the course is rigorous.
Racers must first hurdle a log before flipping over a chin-up bar, Rodriguez said. Then, it's over two more logs before climbing a third to
jump onto long pipes. Then, participants have to hoist themselves up and shimmy down the bars, Rodriguez said. To complete the obstacle course, a rope climb is required.
Rodriguez, a Puerto Rico native who has been in South Mississippi for two years, is a trainer at Top Guns. He and fellow trainer Tré Adams of Pass Christian have hosted boot camp classes, and they said members loved competing on the course.
Adams, who is an officer in the Army, said many of the men and women who took part in boot camp loved attempting -- and for some, completing -- the obstacle course.
"It met our expectations," Rodriguez said.
You can purchase a membership for the gym and obstacle course for $45 per month. Family members can be added for an aditional $15 per month. Military, first responders, police officers, and Pass Christian school system employees can join for $25 per month.
Hengan said there are plans to add on to the gym in the future. He hopes to boast a rock climbing wall and high-intesity cross-training classes soon.
Top Guns Gym & Obstacle Course is owned by Henegan, Caplinger, and partners Kevin McKay and Chuck Davis.