DARKE COUNTY — Touting a very successful 2015 and looking ahead to 2016, The Darke County Wellness Challenge held its annual awards banquet at the Brethren Retirement Community in Greenville Sunday.
The Darke County Wellness Challenge is a wellness initiative formed in cooperation with local businesses and lifestyle groups to make the Darke County community healthier. It promotes community health with running/walking events held throughout the county.
The events offer an opportunity for all to engage in challenges with 5K races, a 15K race and a half marathon. Race points are earned for participation and competitive achievements, which are accumulated at the end of the season.
All the races help fund nonprofit and community organizations, which in turn help to support needs within the community.
During the banquet, the group handed out awards to individuals and teams that took part in races in 2015.
Among the teams which participated, Team Addie Girl came in first place, followed by YOLO in second place and CIA in third.
Gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded to the first, second and third place individual winners, respectively, for males and females divided into age groups of five years, from 10 and under to 70 and older.
The overall individual winner among individuals also received recognition. The top point winner among women was Amy Brandt; for men, Justin Marshall. Each was awarded a $100 gift card for their efforts.
As well, the group awarded one of its participants a scholarship, a first for the organization. Ashley Lewis received a check for $1,000 to further her college education.
In all, Darke County Wellness Challenge conducted 14 races last year. There were nearly 3,900 individual registrants and 97 teams participating. The runners and walkers covered 10,515 miles during the 2015 race season.
In 2016, the Darke County Wellness Challenge commences its fourth year. Thirteen races are scheduled for the season, including (name, location, date):
• Kilt Run/Walk, Greenville, Mar. 12
• Heart & Sole 5K, Eldora Speedway — New Weston, Apr. 2
• 5K for the Dog Park, Greenville — Darke County Fairgrounds, Apr. 9
• Mega Wild 5K, Greenville, May 7
• Ansonia Mad Dash for Missions, Ansonia, May 14
• United Methodist 5K Run/Walk, New Madison, June 4
• Poultry Days, Versailles, June 11
• Ansonia Firecracker, Ansonia, July 4
• Going the Distance for Young Life 5K, Versailles, July 9
• Angel Run, North Star, July 17
• Breast Cancer Awareness, Greenville, July 30
• YOLO Festival of Races, Greenville, Sept. 4
• The SUNshine 5K, Greenville, Sept. 17
All ages are welcome to participate, either individually or as part of a team. For more information on the organization and the costs to enter, visit the Darke County Wellness Challenge website at www.darkecountywellnesschallenge.com.
Erik Martin may be reached at 937-569-4314. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.