North Little Rock, Arkansas (March 28, 2023) – North Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau and Friends of the Guard will host the 2nd Annual Heroes Cup/DEKA Strong on Saturday, April 15, 2023, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Argenta Plaza at 510 Main Street in North Little Rock.

“The DEKA Strong is the newest addition to the Spartan lineup, and Friends of the Guard is bringing it back to North Little Rock after a very successful inaugural debut. The event brings local heroes and the community together to celebrate fitness,” said Friends of the Guard Director, Joe Thibault. “Surrounded by local nonprofits and support organizations, participants experience an immersive, holistic health event.”

Registration is open online until April 15 to anyone ages 18 and up for $39. Earlier registration is recommended to receive shirts and medals.

“Last year, we had 115 military participants,” Thibault said. “This year we have a true unified field from local law enforcement and fire departments. We’re expecting 150 or more, fingers crossed.”

The event coincides with the season’s first Dogtown Throwdown, during which Main Street closes from Broadway to 5th Streets for outdoor dining and live entertainment in the Argenta Arts District of North Little Rock. The community is encouraged to cheer on their favorite heroes. After completing the zones, participants are invited to an after-party followed by live music and food at Dogtown Throwdown.

“DEKA events are not just a competition, they are a milestone of your fitness journey. In the same arena on the same day using the exact same standards, every level of fitness can come together and celebrate fitness,” said DEKA’s Director of Sport, Yancy Culp. 

The Heroes Cup brings DEKA to the community and adds in a first responder and military race. DEKA is made for all levels of fitness and serves as a well-rounded functional test for all levels of fitness. Every person who signs up to go through the 10 zones will train with a purpose: a completion time that will be entered onto the global leaderboard. Military and first responders build three-person teams, the fastest of which will win the Heroes Cup. Spartan DEKA is a global hit and the fastest individual times can place to compete at the World Championships.

The event is still seeking sponsors, volunteers, and those that want to make fitness fun. For more information, visit or join the Facebook event.

About Friends of the Guard (FriendsOTG)

Friends of the Guard is a nonprofit created in 2021 to build partnerships amongst other military and first responder communities and support networks. FriendsOTG maintains web content to help veterans navigate to a resource in the Central Arkansas area. From fitness, nutritional podcasts, spiritual, mental health, child advocacy, education, jobs, suicide prevention, and even the great places to eat and party, FriendsOTG helps connect the dots when a veteran needs help. FriendsOTG is proud to serve along side all the wonderful charities that call Arkansas home, and the Heroes Cup is FriendsOTG’s Superbowl of holistic health and fitness for the community and their first responder, aka HERO.  Visit for more details. 

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