ROCKINGHAM — The Mangum Track Club Hinson Lake 24-Hour Ultra Classic played out under nearly opposite weather conditions to last year’s run, collecting more than 2,000 pounds of dry pet food for the Richmond County Animal Advocates last weekend.
According to a post on the Animal Advocates’ Facebook Page Monday, runners wrangled up 2,077.1 pounds of dry food, 353 pounds of cat litter, 140 cans of food and 20.8 pounds of pet treats.
“Not to mention toys, beds and supplies,” according to the post, which added that more than $1,300 were donated by the runners as well.
Allison Sweat of RCAA said she was overwhelmed by this year’s success.
“We are forever grateful to the runners,” she said. “They’re awesome. This is a record. Last year, we raised 980 pounds of dry food. This third year has been our biggest year ever. They donated the money online. It was set up so that after they registered, a link would pop up and they could click to donate.”
Sweat said the pet food is distributed as needed.
“We give it to families who are struggling, and our foster families who already have pets of their own but are also buying extra food to foster animals,” she said. “And when I worked at the shelter, a lot of people would surrender their dogs just because they couldn’t afford the food.”
This year’s event attracted runners from at least 10 states, and preliminary results indicate the 1st Place finisher was Ron Wireman of Knoxville, Tennessee, with Carissa Liebowitz of Suwanee, Georgia finishing 2nd and Jay Soffian of Cary coming in 3rd.
“Currently, these numbers do not include the partial lap referred to as the ‘Banana Lap,” said Jerry Lindstrand, race director. “Those numbers have been sent to the timing company so they can add them to the totals.”
Chris Kubiak of Rockingham, 29th to cross the finish line, said the weather was not bad, but less than optimal.
“It’s going good, but it’s hot,” Kubiak said Saturday afternoon. “It’s real hot, so you have to be careful. Drink a lot of water. Last year was solid rain, the whole time you had to keep changing shoes and socks. But the heat’s hard, too.”
Kubiak completed her 30th mile before 3 p.m.
Asked what it is like to walk and run for 24 hours, Justine Seabolt said it was challenging, but worth it.
“Just keep going, keep moving,” she said. “You just stop to get food and water, and sometimes sit for a little bit. I didn’t make it out here last year because of the rain, but this year I’m going all the way to the banana lap. That’s your last lap, and you get a banana so that when they blow the whistle at the 24-hour mark, you drop your peel and that’s where your mileage ends.”
Kubiak added that in addition to sitting occasionally, runners can also catch an hour or two of sleep in their tents if they need it.
“Basically, the hot weather hampered many goals, but the trail was in excellent condition,” Lindstrand said.
Sweat said the best way to reach Richmond County Animal Advocates is to message their Facebook Page or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reach reporter Melonie McLaurin at 910-817-2673 and follow her on Twitter @meloniemclaurin.