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WIU Alumnus Joe Decker (front, in black shorts and shirt) leads Western kinesiology students and WIU staff through a work out on Hanson Field.
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Death Race Champ, WIU Alum Joe Decker Offering 12-Hour Option in 36-Hour Race This Sept.

July 20, 2012

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MACOMB, IL – Back-to-back champion of the annual Spartan Death Race and Western Illinois University alumnus Joe Decker is offering his fellow Leathernecks a chance to test their physical and mental mettle in an upcoming race he's sponsoring near his hometown of Cuba (IL) in September.

In March, Decker announced "The Ultimate Suck," a 36-hour race to be held on his family's farm near Cuba the weekend of Sept. 14-16. This month, as a way to recruit Western students, faculty and staff to participate, Decker is offering a 12-hour option of "The Ultimate Suck" race for a fee of $50 per person.

"The 12-hour will start the same time as the 36-hour race, but will only be one-third of the events," Decker explained. "This will be a very challenging but entertaining 12 to 14 hour non-stop event. My goal is to combine strenuous Midwestern farm chores with military boot camp, trail running, strongman training, basic survival skills and whatever else somewhat punishing, but enjoyable, activities I can come up with. I would strongly suggest competitors get proficient at all the military physical training tests and standard."

More information, as well as a list of required gear for the 12-hour race option, is available at Decker noted part of the proceeds raised from the race will go toward the Diane Decker Memorial Scholarship for low-income students residing in McDonough or Fulton counties who are enrolling at WIU.

Registration for the 12-hour race closes Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012, and is available online at Those interested in the 36-hour race option can register at The 36-hour option is a $250 fee per competitor.

Decker owns and founded the San Diego-based boot camp Gut Check Fitness. In 2000, Decker made his mark on the fitness world by breaking the Guinness Book of World Records' 24-Hour Fitness Challenge, giving him the right to claim the title of "World's Fittest Man." He graduated from WIU in 1998 with a bachelor's degree in kinesiology, and he was recognized by Western with the 2009 College of Education and Human Services' Distinguished Alumni Award. In 2011, Decker became the Spartan Death Race's first-ever two-time winner.

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