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Charity Race Kicks Up Some ‘Ash’ for United Way

May 13, 2011 by   - () Leave a Comment

Editor’s Note: The following news release comes from Charlie Curry, owner of  Toutle Lake RV Resort near Castle Rock, Wash., and founder of the Tents for  Troops program.

Organizers of a 5K challenge course race dubbed “The Ash Kicker” have notified the Toutle River RV Resort that the race being held at the resort this Saturday (May 14) is nearly at capacity and they may have to consider adding a second day. If the field gets to full, event organizer Travis Wickham said they would run on Sunday as well. Should the steady stream of registrants continue at the current pace, we will run on Sunday as well if needed to ensure that anyone who wants to participate gets the chance to do so.

“If we continue at this pace, proceeds from this single event could possibly exceed $100,000,” said Wickham, adding that the beauty of all of this is that 100% of the proceeds raised by the Ash Kicker go to our local chapter of the United Way. Williams Pipeline Co. has also agreed to match all funds raised by the race up to $100,000 as well.

“To me this is just incredible, said  Curry, whose Toutle River RV Resort is hosting the event.. “Cowlitz County has really felt the crunch of this recession yet people are willing to open up their pocket books and support this great cause. I’ve been watching for months as the event organizers have built some extremely large and difficult obstacles. Think sliding through a massive three-foot diameter water pipe into a huge mud pit only to have to jump up and descend several hundred vertical feet down a water slide that looks like a bobsled run. This course is just off the hook. Today when I thought they could do no more a truck load of massive earth mover tires shows up for yet another hurdle racers must concur.”

Since late last summer, Wickham and Sadie Smith, both employees of the Williams Pipeline Co., have been working constantly to get the course built at Toutle River RV Resort, now nearly complete; all that is left is the race itself. Spectators will be happy as well, considering the most coveted prize of the race is the best costume award ! The sound system and stage are being set up now as well as the smokers where several hundred pounds of ribs and chicken are scheduled to be loaded at 2 a.m. Saturday. With attendance expected to be well over 1,000 people, there is a lot to think about.

The Race starts and ends in the Big Green Music Shed at the Toutle River RV Resort. From the starting line racers run south one mile to the Toutle River. Once at the river racers head west to what may be the world’s largest ash pile, hence the name Ash Kicker. Once at the ash pile — real Mt St Helens Ash — racers start the long climb to the top, navigating giant hurdles on their assent. After making their way through a maze of obstacles the wild looking very wet descent begins. Once down the mountain, runners still have a mile to go to get back to the finish line where they will find great food, cold beer and live music from several bands cheering them on. A colosal fire pit will be burning stacked high with six-foot logs to warm the runners back to life.

The public is invited to watch the entire event free of charge and everyone is invited to enjoy the BBQ and music. Only those over 21 will be admitted to the beer garden and ID will be required.

“We have seating for several hundred at picnic tables all under roof, a sweet beer garden under roof and a great dance floor,” Curry said. “Rain or shine, spectators are promised to stay dry and warm. We also have RV Sites open with a front row view of the racers so get into your rigs and get ready for the best front row seat in the Country. This is an event not to be missed.”

Kids are not being left out either, Wickham and his crew are setting up a massive inflatable obstacle course just for kids and teens, This course alone covers 4,000 square feet and is 24 feet tall. It takes 100 amps of power just to keep this inflatable giant standing. As far as I know, this is the first time that this type of event has ever been hosted at an RV Resort and we certainly are honored to be hosting the event said Curry. If racers continue to enter we can accommodate them.

The parking crews are already planning to park potentially over a thousand cars, this is going to be fun and everyone is invited to either race or just come out and cheer the racers on. For more information see the Ash Kicker web site at http://www.ashkicker.org/ or check them out on facebook. For RV reservations call Toutle River RV Resort at (360) 274-8373.

As always members of our active military stay free at Toutle River as part of the Tents for Troops program.

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