MOUNT OLIVE -- Unity Baptist Church members are hopeful that people will not let a few -- actually 30 -- obstacles stand in their way of helping a local nonprofit help to meet basic and educational needs of local underserved children.
All proceeds from the church's Lion's Run Obstacle Race to be held Saturday, Sept. 9, at the church will go to the All the King's Children Foundation.
"I came up with the idea, but my (Sunday school) class was brainstorming about how we could impact the community, how we could let the community even know that we are here and really care, especially about the college-age demographic," church member Hannah Huckaby said.
The class was wondering what it could do to get that age group's attention and came up with the obstacle course race, she said.
Class members talked with the church pastor, the Rev. Ronnie Wise, and others at the church who could ensure the idea was brought to fruition.
The thought also was what could be done so that the participants could also give back to the community, Huckaby said.
"How can the runners feel like they are not just getting something, but also giving something?" Huckaby said. "So pastor had the idea of the proceeds supporting Marcia (Whitley) and her All the King's Children Foundation.
"We thought it was great because it was local. We wanted the press to help. We wanted to help them to become more established and able to do better because of the exposure. We think this is accomplishing that."
Huckaby said she came up with the name Lion's Run because she wanted it to sound triumphant.
But it is also somewhat symbolic of Jesus Christ pictured as a lion, she said.
She said the hope is to make it an annual event and that she is excited to see how the church can do more in the community.
It will be a two part-course with more than 30 obstacles.
There will be a separate course for children ages 12 and under.
Both will be set up on the lot behind the church at 489 N.C. 55 East.
The cost is $20 per adult and $10 per child.
It is not a timed race, and participants can run the course as many times as they want to.
A team event will be held Thursday, Sept. 7. The entry fee is $100 per team.
Both are free for spectators.
Huckaby is no stranger to obstacle course events having run the Spartan Race.
"It was interesting, and I wanted to do one myself," she said. "It was like I am going to do one and then other people asked me, 'Are you really going to do it?' Come to find out, I had a bunch of peers who were thinking about doing it, and we all did it together -- 20 of us from the church and our gym friends."
Having one has been on the back burner of her mind since then, she said.
The obstacles and course will be built by the church. One of its members, Steve Kennedy, is the owner of Kennedy Construction.
There will be 10-to-12-feet walls to climb, including a warped wall, beams to walk and things to hurdle.
But don't expect a mud pit to crawl through since the church is not equipped with places for people to clean up before getting into their vehicles, Wise said.
However, a mud pit might be added to future events, Wise said.
Wise said the church wants to make the event bigger and better so he is looking at it as a pilot year.
"We want to see how it goes and how it could be improved on," Wise said. "This is not a competition, not this year anyway. We are going to try to get businesses to establish teams to come out and compete against one another."
The adult course will actually be two courses, both shaped like horseshoes with one inside the other. One will be an easier course and the other a more difficult one.
Children 10 and older can run the adult course. Waivers will be required of all participants.
"I would like to say how much I appreciate this and the contribution to our foundation," Whitley said. "It is like we were talking about before really trying to teach that 20-something, those teenagers because they are our next generation.
"If they don't understand what our mission is then it kind of dies with us. We need them to be aware so they can carry on what we are trying to do. So this is perfect to reach some of that, that crowd. It will benefits us and then in turn the community."
Some of the details for the events are still being finalized, Huckaby said.
People can pre-register online at www.unitylionrun.com and on Facebook at UBCLionsRun. Those who register online will receive a commemorative T-shirt probably will not have on race day.
People can still register on the day of the race.
Two sponsorship levels are available -- $100 and $200.