GREENVILLE – Splashing through mud and muck, more than 300 people conquered the Gauntlet – the Light Foundation’s fifth annual military inspired 5K obstacle course – on Saturday.
Along with the competitors in the main race, children also ran a shorter course that took them through a mud-filled path at Chenoweth Trails, the foundation’s 450 acre facility near Greenville. All runners had to tackle numerous obstacles including climbing over walls, crawling through mud and swinging on a rope across a water-filled pit before reaching the finish line.
“I see people from all walks of life,” said Matt Light, a three-time Super Bowl champion with the New England Patriots and founder of the Light Foundation. “From 70 to 7, you know, fit to not really caring too much about setting any record pace but out to have a great time.”
The day’s top finisher was Calen Bruner, who completed the course in 24:45.1. Isaac Stephens finished second in 25:04.1, Adam Klipstine finished third in 26:00.2, Brandon Wirrig finished fourth in 28:12.6, and Tony O’Connor finished fifth in 29:29.4.
Hailey Hoops was the winner among girls ages 19 and younger with a time of 34:47.1, Taylor Underhill finished second in 40:55.6, and Julianna Yingst finished third in 42:47.6.
Courtney Cottrill won among women ages 20 to 29 with a time of 39:13.1, Whitney Wion finished second in 40:05.1, and Jessier Surber finished third in 40:41.4.
Melissa McCurdy finished first for women ages 30 to 39 in a time of 32:40.2, Lauren Holtvoigt finished second in 33:18.6, and Mandy Tegtmeyer finished third in 33:34.2.
Shelsi Shroyer led the way for women ages 40 to 49 with a time of 34:18.8, Angel Shiverdecker finished second in 41:45.5, and Wilma Brown finished third in 47:48.4.
Denise Williams topped the field among women ages 50 to 59 in a time of 45:17.2, Loretta Barrera finished second in 47:33.4, and Gloria Burns finished third in 49:29.6.
Isaac Stephens won the boys 19 and younger race in 25:04.1, Dodge Suchardn finished second in 29:53.5, and Carson Bruner finished third in 31:02.9.
Calen Bruner finished first among men ages 20 to 29 in 24:45.1, Adam Klipstine finished second in 26:00.2, and Brandon Wirrig finished third in 28:12.6.
Jonathan Sando won among men ages 30 to 39 in 30:12.7, Justin Hines finished second in 31:05.4, and Jeff Reed finished third in 33:06.1.
Todd Troutwine paced the field among men ages 40 to 49 with a time of 31:49.0, Ryan Shiverdecker finished second in 34:23.0, and Jeff Goubeaux finished third in 34:38.2.
Dan Yoong was the winner for men ages 50 to 59 with a time of 30:30.2, Dennis Eckstein finished second in 34:40.5, and Neil Hoover finished third in 35:21.5.
Rick Beck finished first among men ages 60 to 69 in 44:18.4, Scott Clum finished second in 57:56.3, and Jim Haugen finished third in 1:21:12.0.
This year runners faced a new course, one that was centered around the center of Chenoweth Trails’ camp. At the camp the Light Foundation had games and bounce houses for kids, music and food, all of which was designed to make the Gauntlet more family friendly.
“Having it here in camp, when you walk in it’s just a festive atmosphere,” Light said. “The move back here to camp, I think it’s really going to open it up to even more people. I think we have as many spectators as we do runners. We hope to grow both ends of that in the following years.”
Spectators also were able to go out to viewing areas throughout the course to watch their friends and family complete obstacles, which was a new feature of this year’s race.
“I think the great thing too is that these people, these spectators, all got to go out and watch their friends and family run through different obstacles at different parts of the property,” Light said. “That’s something they’ve never been able to do.”
For Light, the Gauntlet marks the end of his summer in Darke County. The Darke County native will be heading back east after hosting numerous events in Darke County including a youth football camp, an outdoor leadership camp, a scholarship presentation and the Gauntlet.
“This kind of marks the end of my family and I’s time here in town,” Light said, “and it’s just incredible for me to be able to see what our volunteers and our staff do.”
For more information about the Gauntlet, visit its website at www.thegauntlettrailrun.com.