GREENVILLE – Almost 400 competitors conquered The Gauntlet, the Light Foundation’s military-inspired obstacle course, making this year’s race the biggest in the event’s six-year history.
A total of 395 men, women and children finished the 5K course on Saturday, which featured obstacles that competitors had to climb over, crawl under and navigate through while covered in lots of mud.
“This is probably our toughest course yet,” Matt Light, a Greenville native and founder of the Light Foundation, said. “We have a lot of new obstacles. We’ve utilized things like the ash trees that are dying around here to make some neat obstacles and different things for them to enjoy throughout the course.”
Along with participants from throughout Ohio, the race included people from all over the United States including participants from Florida, Indiana, Kentucky and Massachusetts.
“It’s been an awesome run with this event. We’ve seen this event continue to grow – this is our biggest year ever,” Light said. “This is a great way to compete and challenge yourself to do something maybe outside of your comfort zone and at the same time have a lot of fun and support what we do here at the foundation, which has continued to grow as well.”
Calen Bruner was the top overall finisher, crossing the finish line in 25:12.8. Isaac Stephens finished second in 25:23.2, and Will Stapleton finished third in 28:15.7.
Lillian Schwer won the girls 19 and younger division in 39:41.2, Brooklyn Miras finished second in 39:41.4, and Katelyn Hartings finished third in 42:24.5.
Karena Berning won the women’s 20 to 29 division in a time of 36:18.9, Shelby Rowland finished second in 38:12.9, and Makayla Pearce finished third in 41:56.7.
Ashley Stull won the women’s 30 to 39 division with a time of 37:05.6, Sabrina Riley finished second in 40:21.0, and Ashley Maloney finished third in 41:06.0.
Loretta Spirito won the women’s 40 to 49 division in 40:25.1, Sally Perea finished second in 40:29.8, and Angel Shiverdecker finished third in 44:12.4.
Deborah Loewer won the women’s 50 to 59 division in a time of 40:43.9, Jillyn Bruner finished second in 46:13.4, and Lynne Mangen finished third in 47:07.9.
Pat Brockman won the women’s 60 and older division in 54:52.9, and Sherry Smith finished second in 1:26:15.1.
Isaac Stephens won the boys 19 and younger division with a time of 25:23.2, Carson Bruner finished second in 29:42.1, and Zach Previt finished third in 32:29.4.
Calen Bruner won the men’s 20 to 29 division in a time of 25:12.8, Will Stapleton finished second in 28:15.7, and John Mobly finished third in 31:32.3.
Tyler Foster won the men’s 30 to 39 division in 30:02.9, Bruce Burns finished second in 32:22.9, and Phillip Pierri finished third in 34:27.1.
Tom Demange won the men’s 40 to 49 division with a time of 33:01.1, Todd Troutwine finished second in 33:16.4, and Skip Fosburg finished third in 35:12.3.
Phil Berning won the men’s 50 to 59 division in 33:54.0, Neil Fogt finished second in 35:52.1, and Dennis Eckstein finished third in 36:12.6.
Steve Richardson won the men’s 60 and older division in time of 45:48.5, Wayne Fisher finished second in 46:03.6, and Scott Clum finished third in 1:00:43.3.
The Gauntlet also included a team competition with CrossFit In The Darke finishing as the winning team. The group, which included Calen Bruner, Carson Bruner, Amanda Falknor, Casey Bruns, Trevor De Schepper, Jillyn Bruner and Laikyn Bruner, finished with a team time of 3:10:42.3.
“The cool things about this year is it’s 50/50 almost exactly – 50 percent men, 50 percent women, which includes of course all the kids and all the different age groups,” Light, a three-time Super Bowl champion with the New England Patriots, said. “Greenville has done a great job of representing, but we’ve got people from all over really the country. We’ve got people that are flying in from down south and out west so they’re meeting up with friends and family and using this as a way to get together and do something fun as a group.”
All proceeds from the Gauntlet will go to benefit the Light Foundation and its programs including The Light Project, All-Conference Youth Football Camp, youth wild turkey hunt, Camp Vohakase and more.
“I think it’s a testament to our team and the work that they do and getting the word out,” Light said of The Gauntlet’s record-breaking year. “And of course just the people here locally that support the foundation. It’s endless the amount of work that goes into this. We’re on pace to have over 7,000 kids, youth, come through this facility. That’s really impressive.”
To view complete results from the sixth annual Gauntlet, visit www.speedy-feet.com.
For more information about The Gauntlet, visit www.thegauntlettrailrun.com. For more information about The Light Foundation, visit www.mattlight72.com.
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.