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Team from Pinecrest trains for 'tough' event
Effort supports Wounded Warrior
Flying WEB 1
Members of the Flying Pigs include, from left, Pat Metz, Mike Drapeau, Nick Satriano and Bob Grimaldi, who will traverse an obstacle course to raise money for injured military personnel. - photo by For the Forsyth County News

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Mike Drapeau plans to spend his Saturday running through mud, fire and electric volts with his team.

They’ve been training for months for the Tough Mudder event, a 12-mile grueling obstacle course that raises money for the Wounded Warrior Project, which gives aid to severely wounded military men and women.

Drapeau said the cause is what’s kept him going in training for the event.

“There’s people who put their lives on the line for the nation,” he said. “So doing a little bit of digging deep and running the extra mile every day, that’s nothing compared to the sacrifice they’ve already made.”

Drapeau is one of 10 members on the Flying Pigs, a team of fathers, sons, alumni and friends of Pinecrest Academy.

Together, the all-male group will encourage each other to complete the course at the Aonia Pass MotoCross Park in the east Georgia town of Washington.

The race is intended to be completed in a group, said Drapeau, adding that about 70 percent of people finish the course.

“We all gravitated toward the concept of a really tough race, and it’s a teamwork thing,” he said. “The obstacles are built so they can really only be overcome with teamwork.”

The group did a practice run, about a half mudder, Drapeau said, to evaluate their team’s skills as a unit.

Most of the team members knew each other through Pinecrest, a private Catholic school in south Forsyth, and many are veterans of the Army or Navy.

Drapeau, who organized the team effort, knew his friend and fellow Navy veteran, Pat Metz, would be a great person to motivate the team.

“It’s really all about raising money for Wounded Warriors, and love and devotion for our military,” Metz said. “There’s a lot of wounded vets.”

He’s seen the effects firsthand, since his wife’s nephew received a traumatic brain injury during his second tour in Iraq.

A suicide bomber detonated a dump truck packed with 3,000 pounds of explosives under a bridge where he and five Marines stood watch.

Tough Mudder has raised more than $2 million for the Wounded Warrior Project to date.

The Flying Pigs, named after an annual Pinecrest barbecue event, has nearly reached its fundraising goal of $4,000 through participating in the Tough Mudder. Donations can be made online.