For Charlo High Schoo trickster Hayleigh Smith, the Vikings 10K challenge was only her second-ever running event that she had run in Saturday afternoon at Charlo High School.
The 10K challenge raised more than $6,000 and the proceeds went towards phase two of Charlo High School’s plan. The Vikings, who have completed phase one of their plan to renovate the school and build better athletic facilities, have currently raised over $100,000, according to Christy Bockman, coordinator of the Ultimate Viking Challenge and Board member.
Smith, who is a member of the Charlo Lady Vikings’ track team and participates in events such as the 100, 200, 400 and 800 as well as the triple jump, long relay and short relay, was running for “enjoyment,” not to win.
Smith, who ran and was considered the top female runner in the Vikings’ 5K event, had a tactical strategy to reach her winning time of 20 minutes, 49 seconds.
Singing a Maroon 5 song in her head allowed her to focus on her pace and maintain fluidity while she was running.
Despite competing in a highly competitive classification of running in Class C, Smith said she was just a participant in the race “for fun.”
“(Running in events like this) is very fun and relaxing,” Smith said. “It’s very difficult to run against the winner and it makes it hard.”
Competing in one of the arguably most competitive classifications for track, winning, Smith said, was not her primary objective.
“I like the way running makes you feel,” Smith stated. “I like the adrenaline and being able to be in shape is nice.”
There was some challenge to Smith’s day, although the cool temperature was the ideal condition for a runner but the wind was not.
“The event was fun and relaxing but running against the wind was hard,” Smith said.
Juanita Fuhrmann also struggled to battle with the wind, but she didn’t let it negate her running what she referred to as “the best six miles she’s ever done” as a runner.
Fuhrmann ran a time of 52 minutes, 11.28 seconds, and she had a simple strategy for battling the elements.
“I just put one foot in front of the other and I had to think about all my loved ones and seriously go against the wind,”Fuhrmann said. “Saturday was pretty windy (to run in) and it was a struggle.”
Fuhrmann, who was one of the more experienced runners in the Viking Challenge, said she enters over twenty or more events a year.
Deciding to admit she doesn’t run to compete with other runners, Fuhrmann said she runs only against herself.
“”I just go out and compete against myself,” Fuhrmann said. “I just put one foot in front of the other and that is my thought every single time I run as long as I don’t get injured. I am very thankful I am able to get out there and run. I feel very blessed and I am also very proud of all of the other runners out there.”
Tucker Love, who participated in the 5K event, was the top male runner at 19 minutes, 7 seconds.
“It feels pretty good to run and I don’t care about winning or losing, I just like to run,” Tuckr said. “This was my (first-ever) event.”
Charlo cross country runner Wills Degrandpre got to display his running prowess clocking in a time of 40 minutes, 39 seconds.
Degrandpre is also a track participant who runs distance events such as the 1600 or the 3200.
“This is the first organized event I ever ran in,” Degrandpre said. “It feels good to win this one in Charlo and I am glad everyone else is coming out and supporting the event in Charlo. The cold weather was good but the wind was bad and today (the 10K Viking Challenge) was windy.”
Below are the official 10K Viking challenge results:
Wills DeGrandpre, 40:39; Juanita Fuhrmann, 52:11; Alexandria Rybicki, 55:52; William Conard, 55:55, Michele Conard 1:00:16; Pat Bristol, 1:03:41, Jaspen Webster, 1:04:29; Stephanie Gillin, 1:07:27; Amy Stiffarm, 1:08:20; Roxie Davis, 1:13:09; Kelly Bick, 1:15:48; Patrick Daniels, 1:20:09; Corrie McDonald, 1:32:29 and Natissa Kenmille, 1:31:29.