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PHCC hosts its first 5K obstacle run

November 4, 2013

Patrick Henry Community College hosted the first annual 5K Trail Run on Saturday to benefit the school athletic programs.

PHCC athletic trainer J.R. Smith was excited about the run and the obstacles that it came with.

“The run goes through the trails back at Patrick Henry Community College,” Smith said. “It’s an obstacle/fitness station run, and some of the obstacles include jumping over hay bales, a bucket carry, a cargo net, a balance beam, a bear crawl, a jackknife station to work out your abs and a low crawl through the volleyball court.”

Fifty-one people officially ran the race along with some of the volunteers from the Patrick Henry athletic teams that the race will support. Alfredo Garcia was the first to finish the entire course with a time of 23:24, but he found the course to be more challenging than he originally thought.

“It was a little tougher than I thought it would be. I think me and a few people got a bit lost but we ran back and got back on track,” he said. “I thought it would be a whole lot easier, but between the obstacles and the plenty of hills, it kind of wore my legs out. It was tough to get going.”

Mark Joyce finished in second with a time of 24:14 and was the glad the course pushed him.

“It was an interesting race, it was different from your typical 5K with obstacles to do, it got me winded,” Joyce said. “The cargo net was real tough; I got tangled up in that.”

Joyce wasn’t the only person who found the cargo net to be a challenge. Kari Ann Dyckman, the first woman to finish the race, also found the net to be a struggle.

“The cargo net was definitely the breaker of the whole race,” she said. “It was really hard. I didn’t think I was going to make it over, but it was really fun. I’ve run a few trail/obstacle course runs before, but this one I’d definitely do again.”

The race did have a small issue with the course as a few runners ended up taking a wrong turn, but the problem was quickly fixed.

“We did have one problem with a section of the course where there was no one to direct the runners back down the hill towards the cargo net,” Smith said.  “So a few people got lost and ran their own way, and it was a bit disappointing that some people didn’t get their money’s worth.

Jakob Pluska, 12, was the youngest runner to finish the course and like the others, he found the race to be fun, but difficult

“The ropes and the sand are something we’re definitely the hardest parts of the race,” he said.

Smith was quick to thank the sponsors after the race.

For instance, “SportLanes was a huge help and they want to set up something in the future with a PH night where they get a discount to bowl so we’re going to put something together with them for that,” he said.

Smith wants to make the race an annual event in an effort to help the athletic department and to bring the community together. This year Smith was unaware that there was a competing race Saturday, so a date change may be in the future.

“We want to do this on an annual basis, but we might change the date because we didn’t realize that we were competing with a race that was in Danville,” he said. “I guess we never really looked into that but maybe we’ll do it on race weekend next year when Martinsville has the NASCAR race on Sunday, we can hold the race on Saturday and give those people coming into town something to do.”

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