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Runners lace up for Ultimate Viking Challenge

CHARLO – Although Saturday’s weather may have been more conducive for an activity like curling up with a good book and a mug of cocoa, for a few in Charlo, a brisk country run benefiting a worthy cause was more their cup of tea.

Some 80 runners, most donning purple shirts, participated in the second annual Ultimate Viking Challenge, a fundraising event that included a 1-mile fun run, 5k race, 10K race and health and wellness fair.

Proceeds from the race will benefit the Charlo Community Outdoor Complex committee in their efforts in constructing a new track and field with an all-weather track surface.

“Due to the involvement of the whole Mission Valley, the event was a great success,” coordinator Christy Bockman noted.

In total, the Ultimate Viking Challenge generated about $6,000 in proceeds.

Tucker Love won the 5k race, while Wills DeGrandpre won the 10k in a time of 40 minutes and 37 seconds. DeGrandpre is one of the top high school long distance runners in the Mission Valley.

“We have meets in a couple of weeks, so I am excited to get out here and get in shape for the events I will be running,” DeGrandpre said. DeGrandpre also made mention that he appreciated the community coming out in support of the Charlo Community Outdoor Complex project.

The fair boasted one of its largest vendors’ roster yet, nearly 50 exhibitors took part, offering products and services representing various aspects of health and wellness, stress management, nutrition, fitness and beauty, jewelry and Montana hand-made goods and crafts.

The booth manned by Charlo Girl Scout troop #3338 seemed to attract many an onlooker with their tasty cookies. Free five-minute chair massages awaited weary runners and sore shoppers.

For the young fair goer, there were many interactive games such as a fishing derby and Viking football toss. Kids also had a chance to learn some important things about their health and well-being at the St. Luke Community Healthcare booth.

For more information or to donate, check out the Charlo Community Outdoor Complex on Facebook.

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