By Corey B Elliot
BROWNSBURG — The Patriot Challenge Race tasked participants with completing a three-mile obstacle course at Lucas Oil Raceway this past Saturday as residents from central Indiana came out to support servicemen and women.
Proceeds went to the Wish For Our Heroes organization while all of the fun went to the participants who made it out for the 8 a.m. start.
Plainfield resident Nate Viau participated, along with his son and a friend. They said sliding down into a mud pit was a highlight of their run.
David and Samara Duff, also from Plainfield, had a different of opinion.
“We like getting dirty but I lost my shoes and my wedding ring in the mud hole,” Duff said. “I liked it though. We’ve done the color run but we liked this one more. We like getting wet and dirty, so we’ll definitely do it again.”
While the Duffs were wading through the mud trying to find his lost ring, Brownsburg resident Joe Baugh was running his seventh mud run on the elite course.
There were two courses: One made to lighten the load for families that came out for fun, and another for veterans like Baugh and others who were competing against their own past performances.
“This was the first time I ran the Patriot,” Baugh said. “Going up the bleachers on the drag strip with a sand bag over your shoulder was the most challenging part for me. The slide was the best part but the location was probably the coolest part. We started at the drag strip starting line with the lights, so that was really neat.”
For participants like Baugh who were 21 or older, there was a choice between select types of Sam Adams beer once they finished their race.
Other activities included a raffle for a 1998 Indianapolis 500 Corvette pace car. Representatives of radio station Q-95 were also there, with a wheel for participants to spin and win prizes.
While the Dymant family wasn’t there for the cold beer afterward, they still made the trip all the way from Fishers for fitness and fun as they tackled the obstacle course in the second group of participants Saturday morning just as it started to rain.
“We came out here for all of our fallen heroes and those out there fighting for us and giving their lives for our freedom,” Luann Dymant said. “We did the mud-a-thon last weekend in Anderson and the dirty-girl run at Klipsh, but we enjoyed this one. The obstacles were really fun.”
Most everyone said the location, being so close to the racing capital of the world, made the event especially nice.
“This is a cool location because we’re NASCAR fans and we came to (NHRA) Nationals out here last year,” Billy Dymant said. “We liked running on the oval more than the drag strip because we’re short track fans, but the running part was still difficult after you’re soaking wet and weigh 20 more pounds. We would have preferred more obstacles.”