2017 Race for Change

By Mark Hughes Phoenix Staff Writer Sep 10, 2017

Jacob Potter had no illusions how his team would do in Sunday's Race at Indian Bowl for United Way's Race for Change fundraiser."We are going for the middle of the pack — we're just C students," Potter said before his team, Pre-mature Accelerations from Advantage Controls, began the 1:30 p.m. competition. A little over an hour later the competition was over, and reality hit. "I think we're pretty close to last — shouldn't have brought fat people," Potter said with a smile. Lisa Smith, executive director of Lake Area United Way, said they "wanted something kind of different. No one has been doing obstacle-type events in our area." "Last year we raised $507,000 that stayed in the community, and this year we're aiming higher," Smith said. About 15 teams took part in the competition, dressed up in a variety of costumes, from ballerinas to pirates."We want to try to make it through it, it looks way more difficult than I thought," said Justin Young, part of the Scurvy Pirates team, before the start. "There are more obstacles, and (it looks) a lot more challenging." Nick Delmedico's team name was attached to his shirt — #hashbrowns."We make fun of the hashtags, so we call us the hashbrowns," he said. "I never knew what the # sign meant." Karen Hix, with the Charitable Chicks, said her team works for the Department of Human Services. "We feel this is a very worth while program and every year we increase our contribution to United Way,"  Hix said. Competitor Dana Sundquist of the Ballerina Babes also works for DHS. "United Way does so much for so many that it's the least we can do to come out and support them," Sundquist said. Teams lined up at the beginning of nine obstacles for the shotgun start. The obstacle course included an obstacle-ladened inflatable, blow up a balloon until it bursts, wacky hurdles race, tiny trike rides, a hospital stretcher race, a football toss, a sled-pushing race and a low-jump hurdle. An interesting challenge was the Snuffleupagus Struggle. Each team had to place a tennis ball at the bottom of a nylon stocking, then place the top of the stocking over their head. Using their newly-formed trunk they had to knock down four plastic cups before returning to the starting line for the next team member to repeat.