The Pope John XXIII Regional High School Blue & Gold Club will hold its inaugural Rugged Run, a 1.25-mile obstacle course run open to the public, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Saturday, April 4, 2020, at Pope John XXIII Regional High School, 28 Andover Road, Sparta, New Jersey.

Individuals 10 years old and above of all fitness levels may register to run, walk, jog or crawl through the 1.25-mile course, which covers the fields, paths, trails and track of the Catholic Academy campus. Runners will negotiate obstacles, exercise stations and muddy patches along the fun and challenging route. A post-race celebration follows with music, food and beverages, vendors, and awarding of medals.

“We’re looking forward to hosting this family-friendly, community-wide event. There are many ways to support, participate and be a part of the fun,” said Blue & Gold Club President Dana Nolan. “The proceeds raised will help combat the rising costs associated with creating and running dynamic programs in our school.” 

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Rugged Run Event Chair Ralph Dengler added, “Based on my time in the Marines, we’re setting up a fun but challenging course for individuals and teams participants, regardless of the shape they’re in. If they’re really motivated, they can run it twice!”

Runner registration and sponsorship website links are available at Runner entry fees are $20. for students 10-18 years old, and $25. for adults 19 years old and above. Award categories are as follows: 

  • Individuals (top two males and top two females in each age group receive medals):

    • Middle School: 10-13 years (Modified course available)

    • High School: 14-18 years

    • Adult: 19-50 years

    • Older adult: 51+ years

  • Teams of up to eight runners (top two teams in each age group receive medals):

    • High School: 14-18 years

    • Adults: 19-50 years

  • Team Spirit (One top team judged on attitude, costumes/attire, and team name)

Rugged Run sponsors thus far include: Venable LLP, Sparta Discount Tire Center, Sparwick Contracting Inc., Sparta Police Department, Sparta Ambulance and Culligan Water. Local businesses are encouraged to explore the wide range of Pope John Lions Rugged Run sponsorships available.   

Questions regarding sponsorship or runner registration should be directed to Nolan at or 973-271-4796, or Dengler at or 917-846-2327.

The Pope John Blue & Gold Club is an organization of parent volunteers that works closely with the administration of Pope John XXIII Regional High School to support the school’s 60 clubs, groups and activities through various fundraisers. Additionally, the Blue & Gold Club presents annual Spirit Awards and scholarships to those students who excel in athletics, robotics, chess club, the Pope John Players and more.

Located at 28 Andover Road in Sparta, New Jersey, Pope John XXIII Regional High School is an eighth grade through twelfth grade institution committed to the Catholic tradition of education.  Guided by the belief that each child has unique gifts and is entitled to an excellent education, the Pope John community fosters its students’ intellectual, spiritual and physical growth, and champions the importance of social responsibility.  For additional information regarding Pope John XXIII Regional High School, visit or call the main office at (973) 729-6125.