09/14/12 — Waynesborough race has array of hurdles

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Waynesborough race has array of hurdles

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on September 14, 2012 1:46 PM

Saturday morning Waynesborough Park will become a race course where a mountain of hay, a chicken coop and the Neuse River will stand between runners and the ultimate prize: a gold spray-painted hub cap.

The first running of the Hillbilly Hike is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m., with more than 100 racers already registered to run the 5K course, which criss-crosses the park and takes runners through more than 20 hillbilly-themed obstacles, including a 40-foot trudge through the Neuse.

Parks and Recreation Director Scott Barnard credits Mark Wilson, the department's marketing coordinator, with managing to set the race apart from the dozens of similar runs throughout the state.

Gimmick races have become a favorite of runners, as different races feature zombies, Spartans and military-inspired obstacles, some with the intent to push the very limits of physical fitness.

While Barnard hopes the hike is a challenge, though, he said his department wanted to focus on the fun.

"We want ours to be tough, but we decided to focus more on the hokey theme," he said.

The race certainly stays true to its backwoods premise, featuring an obstacle where runners carry a gallon of "moonshine" and run through a school bus before jumping out of the emergency exit into a pile of hay.

Those wishing to race can register on-site Saturday morning. Registration the day of the race is $80, but includes a T-shirt and a Mason jar that entitles the owner to drink specials at The Flying Shamrock throughout the day Saturday. Proceeds will benefit the Old Waynesborough Commission.

Racers also have the opportunity to win the coveted gold, silver and bronze rims, donated by Wayne Auto Salvage. Other awards for costumes and such will also be handed out.

For more information on the Hillbilly Hike, call the Parks and Recreation Department at 739-7480 or visit hillbillyhike.com where you can register for the race online.