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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