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Organized run to Moccasin Lake challenges 'body and soul'

Apr 16, 2014 - Staff

Eighteen miles. For most people, running that distance alone would be daunting. But when the route involves climbing to the top of a mountain, it can become downright impossible.

Michael Chingman wants everyone to know that anything is possible, and to prove that, he invites runners to take part in the Moccasin Lake Challenge Run on May 24.

"This is not a race," he said. "There is no first place or last place. It's just a run to challenge your body and soul."

In 2013, more than 55 runners took part in the event, running 18 miles from Fort Washakie to Moccasin Lake. Volunteers are stationed at multiple resting points to provide water and food.

This year, Chingman expects more than 300 participants from all over the Rocky Mountain Region. On Facebook, members can share photos, inspirational stories and quotes to encourage each other. Local drum groups also will provide music for the event. To train for the challenge, Chingman and other community members meet twice a week and run different trails.

To raise funds for the event, Chingman is hosting a "Pie in the Face" event 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 1 at the Fort Washakie post office.

At the fundraiser, participants can pay $3 to smash a pie in the face of a runner who will take part in the challenge. All proceeds go toward buying supplies for the run.

Chingman, who also took part in last year's run, said the Moccasin Lake event is a personal challenge that will have participants digging deep into themselves to find the courage and strength to complete the run.

"No one should come away from this run disappointed in themselves," he said. "This run is to prove your doubts and fears wrong."

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