Overcoming obstacles: Recent Warrior Dash raises funds for St. Jude Children’s Hospital

Jim Neiderniser, Jackson Szeto, Steve Gould, Chris Pitti and Rob Moore pose for a photo following the Warrior Dash. / Briona Kiser, Times-News correspondent

Commentary by Briona Kiser
Times-News correspondent

   HUNTERSVILLE — While facing the Warrior Roast, Mortimer’s Crossing and Deadman’s Drop, some of Alamance County’s own competed in the 2014 NC Warrior Dash. Competitors were faced with 12 obstacles to overcome while completing the 5K, and somehow managed to come out unscathed. This year’s Warrior Dash took place two hours southwest of Burlington on May 17.
The Warrior Dash is the ultimate 5K. The Warriors were faced with obstacles such as rope walls, balance beams, coal piles and last but not least, mud pits, and after enduring each of these elements, they were expected to finish their 3.2-mile-long race. The obstacles test the Warriors physical strength, determination, and balance, but mentally test some of the most common biggest fears- heights, fire and claustrophobia.
Depending on registration date, the race cost anywhere from $50 to $90 per participant, plus an optional donation, insurance fee and parking fee. The entry fee pays for the land rental, obstacle creation and man power, and all other donations go to the research support of St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
Also attending the race were many St. Jude Warriors (SJW). SJW’s raise a minimum of $300 each prior to or during the race to gain access to VIP showers, tents and changing rooms provided by St. Jude. The money was raised in forms of online donations via email and online social media. Once they had met their donation pledge, SJW’s receive a bandana and VIP wristband which gained them access to the benefits. Red Frog has a corporate partnership with St. Jude where they also promote the Warrior Dash, as well as make donations to St. Jude.
The ultimate goal of the partnership is to raise $25 million to create a proton beam to assist in “cutting-edge research in radiation science,” as I was informed by St. Jude representative Marcus Watson. The Warriors have raised $300,000 thus far in 2014, and $65,000 in this race alone. The entire charity has raised more than $9.35 million to date and hopes to reach their final goal by 2025.
Following the race, all participants had the option to donate the shoes they used during the race. The company USAgain had bins full of muddy shoes, which will be washed and donated to the needy throughout the world.

 Briona is a senior at Western Alamance High School and a Teens & Twenties writer.


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