Redneck Obstacle Course a fundraiser for Culver athletics

by: BILLY GATES/THE PIONEER - Brandon Hawes, 17, crawls through the mud pit during the Culver Redneck Obstacle Course 5K race, held Saturday at Culver High School. Hawes won the race for the second consecutive year.Brandon Hawes isn't afraid to get dirty.

The 17-year-old senior-to-be at Culver High School ran, jumped, splashed, climbed and crawled through mud on his way to first place in the Culver Redneck 5K Obstacle Course run Saturday at Culver High School.

Hawes finished the course in 23 minutes, 16 seconds, almost a two-minute improvement from his winning time in the event last season.

Even though Hawes is still young, he's far from a rookie when it comes to obstacle runs. He has competed in the Tough Mudder, Dirty Dash, the Warrior Dash, Trask Mountain Assault and also completed two weeks of the grueling Reebok CrossFit training regimen to help keep his body in condition to do the races.

How did he get involved in all this? It's not to say he's a momma's boy or anything, but he had a bit of maternal influence.

"My mom talked me into doing my first mud run," he said, which he completed at the end of his sophomore year of high school. "She told me they were just fun to do, and I had a great time. I do these kinds of races as much as I can."

by: BILLY GATES/THE PIONEER - Martha Bewley tries to navigate the livestock trough obstacle during the Culver Redneck Obstacle Course 5K race.Hawes competed on the cross country, wrestling and track teams for the White Buffalos during high school, and plans to do the same when he enrolls at Culver High School this fall. His long-term plan, however, involves the U.S. military in some regard. What branch he wants to join isn't decided, but he has narrowed it down to two - the Army or the Marines.

He said after he's done with his initial military service, he wants to become a history teacher. But he also left the door open to stick with the military and become a drill sergeant.

"I want to be in the military for at least eight years," he said. "After I take care of that, I'll have my life figured out and know what I want to do. I want to do something big with my life."

On the women's side of the race, Carino Bautista won with a time of 29:45, edging out her sister, Martha Bewley. Bautista won the event last year as well, and also competed in the Tough Mudder competition this summer in Fossil.

The event was a fundraiser for the Culver High School Athletic Department, and is in its second year. The event more than doubled in participation this year over last, and is expected to raise more than $500. The Culver High School volleyball team volunteered to set up the course and help guide runners through it.

Some of the obstacles included in the course, with the big mud pit as the grand finale, were a haystack climb, tire run, belly crawl underneath hot wire (which zapped a few of the participants) and a livestock water trough that soaked competitors as they tried to navigate several different troughs varying in size and depth - all on top of running 3.1 miles.

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