Tweed Tackles Gauntlet Obstacle Challenge
This past Saturday more than 200 people answered the call to tackle the first annual Smiths Falls Gauntlet Obstacle Challenge – a circuit replete with everything from wall climbs to swamp crawls – aimed at challenging certified fitness fanatics and weekend warriors alike. The 5k and 10k races were held in support of the Smiths Falls Community Hospital Foundation.
Lise Smith, executive director of the foundation, said she was moved by the region's eagerness to rally behind the cause. The race in particular, she said, was a push to raise funds for much-needed medical equipment, including the potential purchase of an expensive x-ray machine.
It is the donors, the people of the community, that buy the equipment to ensure that we have what we have,” she said. “And we probably have one of the best equipped hospitals in this area. We have tremendous support from this town from different organizations and individuals.”
It was a genuine community effort, she said, to conceive the event, build the obstacles, put on the race and ultimately raise the money for the hospital. Without the more than 20 sponsors – including New Leaf Construction, Miller's Bay Farm, The Rideau Winery and Tweed – that rallied behind the cause, the course could not have been built.
Jon Maloney, a member of the organizing committee alongside Smith and the Siloki Centre's Richard Peskett, marvelled at the success of a fundraiser that was dreamed up over a serendipitous picnic bench conversation only months ago.
This year's event, which cost about $20,000 to put on, helped to raise between $4,000 and $5,000 for the hospital foundation. For the 2016 instalment of the annual race, he hopes those figures can be reversed.
"Next year we want to make it the other way around: $5,000 into the course and $20,000 for the Smiths Falls Community Hospital Foundation,” said Maloney, adding with gratitude: “It doesn't happen without sponsors. If we didn't have [companies] like Tweed the course wouldn't have happened so that's really what it's about to me.”
*Thanks to area photographer Jason Code for the great team photo of Team Tweed!
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