TEMPE, AZ -- Athletes in the Phoenix area got the opportunity to test their athletic skills against the Navy’s top athletes in the first Navy SEAL Fitness Challenge of 2009, held March 14 at Arizona State University.

More than 330 athletes participated in the free event, which allowed them to compare their fitness levels against the standards of Naval Special Warfare operators, including Navy SEALs, special warfare combatant-craft crewmen (SWCC), explosive ordnance disposal technicians and Navy divers.

The event consists of five events, beginning with a 500-yard swim, followed by push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups and a 1.5-mile run. All competitors were scored and ranked against one another.

The Phoenix event was hosted by Naval Special Warfare Recruiting Directorate (NSWRD) in association with I-High Marketing.

The challenge was the first in a series of physical fitness events designed to challenge the athletes in tests of strength and endurance. Military officials said challenge activities closely mirror the Navy SEAL initial physical screening test.

"It's all about pushing yourself," Capt. Adam Curtis, commander, NSWRD, said in a statement from the Navy. "As SEALs, we're all about pushing ourselves every day. This event gives us the chance to give people a taste of what the SEALs are all about – that's what makes it a fun and challenging event."

In addition to testing their physical fitness levels, participating athletes were able to speak with Navy SEALs and SWCC about their programs.

The Navy said members of the U.S. Olympic swim and water polo teams came out to support the event, including Lacey Nymeyer, who won silver in the 400-meter relay in Bejing, and three-time medalist and swimmer Matt Grevers.

Three more Navy SEAL Fitness Challenges are scheduled in the United States this year. The next event is slated for May 9 in Dallas.