Daring runners dash through Freak 5K

By: Aaron Dimick Email
By: Aaron Dimick Email

CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) -- Dozens of brazen runners crawled under barbed wire, jumped over fire and climbed over cars on Saturday, all to raise money for breast cancer.

It was all part of the Freak 5K race in Chippewa Falls.

“There are a lot of 5Ks out there; they are a lot of fun. But you get the elements into it, the fire, the water, the mud. People like to be a kid again,” said Freak 5K co-director Dave Hildebrandt.

The first challenge for runners after the starting line was climbing through mud with barbed wire just inches away from them.

From there, Freak runners hoofed through 25 different obstacles which took them over cars, through tubes and jumping over fire.

“When you’re out there, no one is around. It gets to you a little bit. You push through and get moving,” said race participant Erik Schuett of Eau Claire.

Organizers said they had volunteers all around the course to make sure people were getting their “freak on” safely.

“We have the paramedics and the EMS here just in case something does happen. Before each wave goes out we talk about safety, making this a fun event instead of something bad happening,” Hildebrandt said.

Although the course may have been challenging, runners got the chance to help many who are going through a much different challenge, breast cancer.

“A portion of the proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society and their fight against breast cancer,” Hilldebrandt said.

Several Freak 5K runners said they were excited to participate in the race and help out others.

“It’s really challenging, fun and exciting at the same time. And it's for a good cause,” said race participant Kristin Freitag of Osseo.

Several members of the Eau Claire Police Department Tactical Response Team helped each other through the course.

“We did it as a team event. It’s a good cause to come out here and have some fun. We ran it as a team, started it as a team. So it was a good day,” said Mike Graf of the Eau Claire Police Department.


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  • by Shannon Location: Young on Aug 28, 2011 at 09:19 PM
    My daughter and I were both there and ran. I saw us twice in this clip. The second time we are jumping the fire. I just want to give a shout out to our sponsors. Local businesses Minnesota Wire, Big T's, VFW Post 7232, Chucks on Clairemont, and Color Copy Center. It was a lot of fun and can't think of a much better cause.
  • by anon on Aug 28, 2011 at 04:32 PM
    This is just like the Warrior Dash (www.warriordash.com) however, I don't believe their proceeds go towards anything, so this is great that this is a local thing, and benefits those in need!
  • by MaryAnn Location: Conrath on Aug 28, 2011 at 03:39 PM
    The was an awesome run, made interesting by the obsticals, mud, water, hills and much more. The organizers did a wonderful job. Can hardly wait till next year!
  • by Sonja Location: Hallie, WI on Aug 28, 2011 at 07:30 AM
    It was FUN to watch! Amazing job to all who got their freak on! :)
  • by Mike on Aug 28, 2011 at 06:54 AM
    That is a good warm up. Next year try the tough mudder. It is a blast.... Good for everybody that did it...
  • by mel Location: Wisconsin on Aug 27, 2011 at 06:50 PM
    Wow, that looked so FUN! much better than the standard running 5k's
    • reply
      by Gretta on Aug 29, 2011 at 11:45 AM in reply to mel
      Hey - this is a cool report but the clip kept showing & mentioning the same couple obstacles - when others were also cool (the huge leap into the water), and lots more difficult (uphill stretches, laden with log hurdles...)- just fyi for those who weren't there. GREAT event - thanks Fit Elite!! Maybe throw out some benches, straw bales or tables for the crowd/spectators next time? Maybe invite more food/snack vendors? Just suggesting :)
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