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Wee Warrior Dash draws hundreds

By Staff | Nov 16, 2018

Penelope Lobo, age 2, crawls under some netting on her way to the next obstacle in the Wee Warrior course. Photo by Toni Milbourne.

HARPERS FERRY — Despite cool temperatures, hundreds of children gathered with their parents at Sam Michael’s Park to participate in the Ninth Annual Wee Warrior Dash on Saturday morning.

The dash, a partnership between Jefferson County Parks and Recreation, Freedom’s Run, For the Love of Children and Shenandoah Heating and Air, draws large crowds every year.

The dash comprises a mile-long obstacle course through which children make their way. Along the course, the runners find obstacles to maneuver, including crawling under netting, walking along logs, running through tires and climbing over hay rolls.

Dr. Mark Cucuzzella, founder of Freedom’s Run, spent time with the children warming up before the race. Donned in his “Rocky” type bath robe, the doctor explained to them the importance of warming up and the importance of exercise.

“You need to get outside and do things like this every day. Now isn’t this more fun than sitting inside playing video games or watching TV?” Cucuzzella said.

According to Jefferson County Parks and Recreation Director Jennifer Myers, there were nearly 370 pre-registered young people before the event began. Additional people came out to register the morning of the event. Once all of the runners were signed in and ready, the “go” signal was given and off they went. Many of the children were old enough to run the course alone; however, a good number of the younger participants had parents and siblings running along to assist.

Myers, who ran the course with her three of her four children, expressed her excitement at the large turnout.

“It’s one of my favorite events of the year,” Myers said. “It’s a great community event that encourages kids and parents to get out and enjoy the parks and to just move.”