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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
June 8, 2024

Challenge hybridizes chicken fingers, exercise


“Ready. Set. Layne’s!”With this yell and a whoop of encouragement, the 20-or-so participants of the 2013 Layne’s Challenge set off on Saturday. Their goal – to see who could run and bike six miles the fastest using an uncommon set of rules.The course itself is simple: run from Sul Ross to the Layne’s on Texas Ave., bike to the Layne’s on Southwest Parkway then run to the finish line at Kyle Field. An otherwise straightforward challenge, except that the contestant is expected to eat a box of Layne’s Chicken at each location.While small and still forming, the group is growing. Like most other Aggie traditions, founders of the event said what may seem strange now just might become the next big campus event.”This is the fourth year we’ve done it,” said Michael Bass, senior electrical engineering and computer science double major and co-founder of the Challenge. “Eventually, I hope to make it into a student organization.”Sam Ford, sophomore kinesiology major, said she noticed a poster advertising the Challenge while eating at Layne’s and thought it sounded fun. Her friends, however, had mixed reactions when she told them about her decision to participate.”My friends either wanted to do it with me, or thought it was crazy and gross,” Ford said.Ford advertised the event on Facebook to combine Layne’s and exercise in one post she tagged Justin Ledoux, freshman biomedical engineering major, who undertook the Challenge.”At first I made a joke of it and said ‘I can’t do it,’ but then I thought it [might] be fun. We joked ourselves into it,” Ledoux said.Ledoux went on to invite many of his own friends. Before the run, he and several others gathered around Sul Ross, stretching and listening to music in mental preparation.”I hope I don’t puke. I’m pretty hungry,” Ledoux said.The Layne’s Challenge began with a few friends looking for something else to occupy their time. Bass and a few of his friends came up with the idea during their freshman year as a friendly competition. This is the first year they’ve made it a public competition, and the fun continues.”[We’re trying] to foster the idea of just being able to compete,” Bass said. “After the first box of Layne’s it’s really just about finishing the race.”The Layne’s Challenge public debut on Saturday gathered a modest number of contestants willing to meet the physical exertion required, but Bass said he has high hopes for the future.”I’m hoping to make it into a fundraiser eventually,” Bass said.Bass said the course starts out like any other run, and downing the first box of chicken fingers and bread is easy.”The first box is good, it’s just good Layne’s chicken,” Bass said. “But the second box hits you like a wall, and it’s a real challenge to keep going. It kind of hurts.”And as for the final mile, Bass said nothing compares.”It’s impossible to describe the last mile. It’s by far one of the most challenging things I’ve done athletically,” Bass said.

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