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Warriors of the Whitefish Chain

The 9 a.m. heat of the Whitefish Warrior Adventure Run takes off from the starting line on Saturday, Aug. 5. Dan Determan/Echo Journal1 / 5
The second annual Whitefish Warrior Adventure Run saw 84 athletes go through water, woods and mud at the Crosslake Community Center on Saturday, Aug. 5. Dan Determan/Echo Journal2 / 5
Dan Determan/Echo Journal Kelli Hannaman, left, of Maple Grove gets through the water slide just after running partner Glen Owens hits the water at the Whitefish Warrior Adventure Run in Crosslake Saturday, Aug. 5.3 / 5
Dan Determan/Echo Journal The first stop of the Whitefish Warrior Race was an archery station, where participants had three chances for a bull's-eye.4 / 5
Dan Determan/Echo Journal Kyle Mehrhof crawls through mud in the competitive heat of the Whitefish Warrior Adventure Run on Saturday, Aug. 5. Mehrhof finished first overall with a time of 13:34.5 / 5

More than 80 runners made their way to the Crosslake Community Center on Saturday, Aug. 5, to take part in the second annual Whitefish Warrior Adventure Run.

"The nice thing about this year's event is everyone thought everything was better this year," Parks and Recreation Director Jon Henke said. "The people that were here (this year and last year) really appreciated it and seem to look forward to next year."

The event saw competitors run a course loaded with obstacles and challenges. Participants are expected to practice their archery, paddle a kayak, crawl through mud, climb over walls and slide down a water slide before reaching the finish line.

In the competitive heat - the first heat of the morning - Kyle Mehrhof finished first overall, completing the 2-mile course in 13 minutes, 34 seconds. Crosslake resident Savannah Stone was the top finisher in the women's bracket for the second year in a row, finishing with a time of 16:41.

"Our concern is always, No. 1, that people have fun and enjoy the programs we put on and, No. 2, that no one gets injured in a race like that," Henke said. "It is not really an extreme race like some of them, but you always worry about the chance that someone could get injured out on the course, and you never want to see that happen."

Several obstacles were added or altered with this year's competition. One of the most popular obstacles - the water slide - was changed in the 2017 competition from an open-air slide to a black tube slide.

"The race route probably won't get any longer, but there will be more obstacles every year. That is what people like to do. Last year's slip-and-slide was open," Henke said. "This year's was a different experience. It was a lot faster and it was dark. People seemed to have a good time with that."

The event had more than 20 volunteers aiding participants on the course.

Proceeds from the Whitefish Warrior go toward funding programs at the Crosslake Community Center.

"I'm hoping we can continue to build," Henke said. "It's a lot of work to put it on and we would sure like to get as many people as we can to support the parks and library program."

Dan Determan
Staff Writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal weekly newspaper