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Obstacle-heavy race benefits park, Boys & Girls Club and veterans

For the third year in a row the Lebanon Community Foundation will host the Cheadle Challenge Adventure Race on Veterans Day weekend, Saturday, Nov. 9.

According to Wayne Rieskamp, chair of the Lebanon Community Foundation, the 3.5-mile race features more than 20 obstacles designed for warriors ages 8 and older.

This year the race will not only profit the continued development of Cheadle Lake Park, but also the Boys & Girls Club of the Greater Santiam and the Oregon Military Support Network, which works as a central resource hub and navigator for veterans and their families.

According to the organizations flier, the Oregon Military Support Network “strategically plans and facilitates weekly networking meetings throughout the Northwest, bringing together organizations, service providers and local business dedicated to serving the needs of veterans and their families.”

“We like doing this on Veteran’s Day weekend and supporting the military families,” Rieskamp said.

The foundation started the race in 2011 because they didn’t have an event in the late fall, according to Rieskamp.

“We have nothing like this type of race in the area,” he added. “We figure the more people we can bring to the park, the more likely we are to get members and support for the park.”

When the foundation was originally deciding about the race, the considered the Oregon weather and if they would be able to attract many racers.

“People who participate know the conditions and they love it,” Rieskamp said. “They aren’t there for the comfort, but they are there for a challenge. This gives people something different that just straight running.”

Racers can choose to just run the 3.5 miles straight or they can attempt the challenges, which include a straw mountain, swamp, gates, the zig zag forest, walls, balance beams, tunnels of terror, slippery slopes, spider webbing, haunted forest, Franklin’s folly, pumpkin obstacles, a sea of tires and a mud pit.

“We tried to make this as safe as possible,” Ron Passmore, the director of finance and vice president for the Lebanon Community Foundation. “It’s a lot of fun for the runners. I couldn’t do it.”

Besides runners, the foundation is also looking for volunteers.

“If they show up at 9 a.m., we’ll put them to work,” Passmore said.

All volunteers will get a free T-shirt and a free bowl of soup.

Everyone participating, volunteers and racers alike, will get to enjoy a bonfire after the event.

IF YOU GO

What: Lebanon Cheadle Challenge Adventure Race

When: Check in: 8 to 9:45 a.m., race begins at 10 a.m. and the post-race celebration begins at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 9.

Cost: $55 online or on-site registration. Military members get $15 discount. If registering online, use discount code usa2013 for military discount. Must show military ID at time of packet pick up.

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Amanda Nowacki is the news clerk and religion editor for the Democrat-Herald. She can be reached at 541-812-6090 or amanda.nowacki@lee.net

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