Folks don’t have to enjoy running through obstacles to get a kick out of Camp Thunderbird on Sept. 13. But if they do, the camp is the place to be.
“Our goal is for people to try to accomplish something, to challenge themselves, but ultimately to have fun,” said Andi Kennington, executive director of the Steele Creek YMCA.
The third annual C2 Survival Race has two divisions – adult and youth ages 8-14. The event supports YMCA of Greater Charlotte’s annual campaign funding for after school and camp programs in Steele Creek.
About 50 percent of children participating in Steele Creek YMCA youth programs receive assistance.
“Especially in day camp and after school, we function a lot like a childcare for working families,” said Rachel Kafsky, senior youth program director. “That’s a huge chunk of where our dollars go.”
The past two races were held at Cane Creek Park in Waxhaw, N.C., with more than 250 participants. Organizers expect twice that number in Lake Wylie since camp and Steele Creek YMCA often serve the same families.
“The united effort, it’s just going to make it a better event than we’ve ever seen,” Kennington said.
Non-race activities also have been added to promote camp and bring families to the event. Family activities include paddle boarding, kayaking, archery, pontoon rides, waterslide and zipline – all for $10.
The adult race covers more than 3 miles with 30 obstacles, including climbing walls, saw horse hurdles and tires. The youth race is shorter, a 5K, and obstacles are age appropriate.
Organizers hope to showcase Thunderbird for summer camp registration for next year, while capitalizing on the growing trend toward 5Ks, adventure runs and youth triathlons. Awards will be given for the top school, community group and corporation with the most participants and volunteers.
Organizers expect to continue the annual fundraiser at the Lake Wylie camp.
“It feels like it has found its home,” Kafsky said.