SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – More than 300 people got a workout overcoming a myriad of obstacles like crawling through tubes, flipping large tires and battling a mud hole while raising money to help three different charities at South Brunswick High School on Friday.

The first ever Viking Dash, consisting of an intense obstacle course that lapped almost all of the athletic fields at the school, went off without a hitch under sunny skies and warm temperatures in the afternoon.

Waves of participants, featuring students, teachers, families and even several U.S. military personnel ran the 1.4-mile course.

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“SB Field Hockey get fit!” Melissa Leavy, 15, said after completing the course with her teammates. “It seemed like it would be a fun thing to do.”

Melissa said the running was the most challenging part of the course for her, even though she had difficulty climbing the cargo net, and she liked sloshing through the mud pit as volunteers sprayed water on the runners and dirt alike, forming a messy puddle.

“I got pretty muddy,” she said. “It was a lot of fun.”

Physical Education Teacher John Harding organized the event with District Athletic Director Elaine McGrath.

“We had a great turnout today and great weather,” Harding said. “Everyone who has done the course said they had fun and were challenged by the obstacles.”

Harding said he had more than 30 high school staff members volunteered to help out along with soldiers.

“It is great community involvement,” he said. “It went very well.”

The proceeds went to South Brunswick Social Services, The Education Foundation of South Brunswick and Team Red White and Blue, according to the organization.

Several local businesses also made donations to the cause, Harding said.

In addition to the main course, a smaller course was set up for some 40 children ages 10 and under.

Harding laid out the course, with 20 different obstacles, a few months ago and then went over it with other physical education teachers.

“It didn’t take that long (to layout),” he said. “Making it a reality was a little harder.”

Like the field hockey team girls, other school teams and groups wore matching outfits and shirts as they conquered the course.

“It was really wet, and it is kind of hard to move your feet,” Maddie Kinuson, 15, another field hockey team member said about going through the mud. “When you got out, it felt like you were walking on sponges.”

Harding said that he hopes to make the event an annual day of fun and wellness, while helping out others.

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