University News

WIU alumnus Joe Decker, right, with a competitor in The Suck at Decker's family farm in Cuba, IL (September 2012).
[Download Print-Quality Image]

A competitor in The Suck at WIU Alumnus Joe Decker's family farm in Cuba, IL (September 2012).
[Download Print-Quality Image]

World's Fittest Man, WIU Alum Calling for Volunteers, Racers for Ultimate SUCK Race

August 8, 2013

Share |
Printer friendly version

MACOMB/CUBA, IL – The World's Fittest Man wants you Labor Day Weekend! Joe Decker, a Western Illinois University alumnus and Cuba native, is once again organizing the Ultimate SUCK event at his family's farm in Cuba and is in need of volunteers to help out with the fitness race event. Decker owns and founded the San Diego-based boot camp Gut Check Fitness.

This year's Ultimate Suck will consist of a 36-hour race (starting Friday, Aug. 30) and a 12-hour "mini" option, and Decker is issuing a call for his fellow Leathernecks to help with the event.

"We would love to get more Western students, as well as faculty and staff members, involved with the event this year," Decker said. "Those who are not volunteering, of course, are encouraged to enter the race. For WIU students who enter, we are discounting their entry fees 50 percent. The cost to enter the 36-hour race is $250 and to enter the 12-hour option is $100, but for students who show a valid Western ID, the cost will be $125 (36-hour option) and $50 (12-hour option)."

According to Decker, volunteers will help out at aid stations along the course to keep racers safe. Volunteers are also invited to sport their workout gear to motivate racers on the course. As for those who choose to race, the competition will be a mix of strenuous activities for the duration of the 36-hour and 12-hour race options.

"The 12-hour will start the same time as the 36-hour race, but will only be roughly one-third of the events," Decker explained. "My goal is to combine 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 standards."

In 2011, Decker became the annual Spartan Death Race's first-ever two-time winner. 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."

Decker 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.

Those interested in volunteering can send an email to

Individuals interested in competing can register online at WIU students who register will get the discount by entering the following promo codes upon checkout: WIU12 (50 percent off the 12-hour race) and WIU36 (50 percent off the 36-hour race). Students who compete will be asked to bring a current student ID when they check in the weekend of Aug. 30.

Follow The Suck on Facebook at

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations