GREENVILLE – The Light Foundation’s 4th Annual Gauntlet 5K adventure race took place Saturday, August 8 at Chenoweth Trails in Greenville.
“Excellent turnout,” said Greenville native and Light Foundation Founder Matt Light, a three time Super Bowl winner and former New England Patriot. “It’s hard to tell when you are looking at 600 acres, but we had a great turnout… a lot of great runners.”
The Gauntlet is full of military-inspired obstacles that challenges participants to use teamwork to move through the course.
“It’s a tough course,” said Light. “You are looking at 22-Obstacles and a lot of mud. Ups and downs. There is not level terrain. Every step your body is working hard to counteract different forces.
“I truly do think people enjoy it,” continued Light. “I’m not a runner. I’m a built more like a submarine than I am a wind vane.”
The Greenville Unit of the Ohio National Guard had a large presence at the day’s events with a display of military vehicles, weapons, tents, obstacle course for the kids and a large number of Soldiers in uniform.
“He’s (Matt Light) outstanding,” said First Sergeant Dale Hass of the Greenville Unit of the Ohio National Guard. “He does a lot of things for our unit. He allows us to bring our unit down here and show the community a little bit of what we do. This is our open house. We bring some of our vehicles down here, some of our equipment that we use in our job and kind of show the community what we do.”
“When I first got transferred to this unit; I’m from Cincinnati, I thought Greenville – I’m not sure what they even have in Greenville… cornfields I guess,” said Haas. “I first got out here and you really have a nice city. The support in the city is just fantastic for this unit. You can really feel it everywhere you go. We are constantly being thanked for what we do which really means a lot to the soldiers to know that they are appreciated.”
“It’s great to know that we have a community like that,” said Light. “They honored me with this Calvary Hat and its humbling… it’s extremely humbling. I’ve been fortunate to go over on USO Tours with General Dempsey… work with the men and women that serve this country through my time with the Patriots, taking wounded warriors out on hunts and do things with that organization.”
“I’m just always amazed how they continue to do more for those around them and in this community too,” added Light. “These guys do a lot in this community… so it’s special.”
The more a runner conquered, the muddier they got leading to a shower just beyond the finish line.
“If you would have seen some of those faces as they were crossing the finish line… they were beat,” said Light Foundation Program Director Nick Schuckman. “There were guys that were walking up to the last obstacle, but you know what, they finished it and it was a great day… over 400 runners.”
There was a large number of kids accepting the challenge of a shorter version of the difficult course while tackling the obstacles of the Gauntlet.
“The kid’s race was awesome,” stated Light. “I really enjoyed that… to be able to do that with my kids. I didn’t get to run the full race this year because they know I’d be lucky if I survived that, let alone that and the kid’s race, but it was awesome.”
Even those not running in the race have a great day as the event is filled with fun and festivities for the entire family.
Proceeds from the race go to The Light Foundation, a foundation created in 2001 to instill and augment the values of responsibility, accountability, and hard work by providing youth with a unique outdoor learning experience that assist them in reaching their goals and highest potential.
“The Gauntlet is for a great cause,” said Schuckman. “Everything raised goes back to the Light Foundation. What we do allows us to be help reach out and work with the different kids in different communities and the different programs.”
Light was quick to give thanks to everyone making the day a large success including all race participants.
We have so many sponsors to thank this year,” said Light. Reinhart Food Services, Trident Seafoods, Schrieber Foods, Sugar Foods, Dayton Power & Light and Mix 107.7 and they’re all over this thing. Those people made this a win before it ever happened.”
“All of our volunteers… we have so many volunteers and the National Guard are out there on the course,” continued Light. “I hope when they leave here they say you know what, I helped make this possible. They should take ownership of it no different than the people that have spent countless hours out here busting trails and doing all that work. They should take ownership of Chenoweth Trails.”
“Nick (Schuckman) and Brian (Rehmert) are the two guys that are day in and day out with this thing and of course there are a lot of other people too, but those two… it doesn’t happen without them.”
“Next year we’ll be ready to go… don’t you worry,” said Schuckman. “So come out to the Gauntlet 2016.”
For more information, race day updates, free parking shuttle times, entertainment and race entry giveaways, please visit our website www.thegauntlettrailrun.com and ‘Like’ us on Facebook at The Gauntlet 5K Trail Run.
Proceeds from this race will go to The Light Foundation. The Light Foundation, created in 2001 by Greenville native and former NFL New England Patriot Matt Light, strives to instill and augment the values of responsibility, accountability, and hard work by providing youth with a unique outdoor learning experience that assist them in reaching their goals and highest potential. With programs like Camp Vohokase, The Youth Turkey Hunt, Scholarships, and The Matt Light Football Camp, The Light Foundation is able to provide positive opportunities for young people who may not otherwise have them. In addition, The Light Foundation also opens its facility at Chenoweth Trails to other local non-profit programs like the YMCA, Boy Scouts, 4-H Clubs, Darke County Adapted PE, Youth For Christ, Church retreats, and the Greenville Goal Setters Program. For more information about The Light Foundation please visit www.mattlight72.com