UPDATE: Team Liberty was dominant in the corporate challenge of the 39th annual Genworth 10 and 4 Miler, finishing first in four of the six categories.
In the mixed challenge (the best times for five male and five female runners), Liberty won first place in both the 10 Miler and the 4 Miler. The men’s and women’s challenges average the best times for the top five finishers.
Liberty’s ladies left their mark, winning both the 10 and 4 Miler corporate challenge, with an average time of 1:21:38, and 34:52.3, respectively. Candice Williams led the way in the 10, finishing with a time of 1:20:40. Sarah Funderburke finished with a time of 30:48.3 in the 4, first in her age group.
For the men, Team Liberty finished second in the 10 Miler corporate challenge, behind Stuart Burgess' 1:06:40 finish. The team averaged a time of 1:08:38. Mark Hopely took third place overall in the 4 Miler, finishing at 20:44.7, leading Team Liberty’s 29:38.0 average, good for fifth place.
Liberty University continues to take an active role in promoting health and wellness in the community, spurring employees to take on the 100 Mile Challenge and participate in the 39th annual Genworth Virginia 10 Miler and 4 Miler races on Saturday, Sept. 29 near downtown Lynchburg. Liberty was a corporate sponsor for the event and for the Amazing Mile, a children’s race, which kicked off the 10 Miler festivities on Sept. 28.
The Virginia 10 Miler is the oldest 10-mile race in the country and draws runners from all over the world. This year, more than 4,250 registered to participate in the racing festival. Liberty had more than 100 employees participate in the challenge and then run in either the 10 or 4 Miler. Liberty also provided more than 100 volunteers for the events and Josh Yeoman, associate director for Student Activities, was the assitant race director for the 10 Miler.
In Saturday’s 4 Miler, Mark Hopely (’11), an admissions evaluator with Liberty University Online, finished third overall. Beth Frackleton, head coach of the Flames triathlon team, took first place in the 4 Miler for the Women’s Grand Master division.
In the 10 Miler, a group of 10 elite runners (five male, five female) from Team Liberty competed in the corporate challenge, pitting their combined times against those of teams from other local businesses. Results of the corporate challenge will be announced Monday.
On Friday, Liberty’s Director of Athletics Jeff Barber took a team of athletes, cheerleaders, and Sparky, Liberty’s mascot, to Amazement Square Children’s Museum in downtown Lynchburg to participate in the festivities before the children’s run. Sparky and crew posed for photos with children and took to the streets, spreading Flames spirit and promoting healthy living within the community.
“The university joined forces with them this year to be a title sponsor; it is one of the ways Liberty can give back to the community,” Barber said. “I think it is important because we are a big part of the city. We believe we need to reach out and help other people and do what we can. We are here to show our support of Lynchburg and this whole event.”
Before the horn sounded for the Amazing Mile, Barber shared a few words with the crowds on behalf of Liberty. He then laced up his running shoes and joined the children in running the race.
The 100 Mile Challenge is a citywide effort to promote healthy living. Participants were encouraged to log 100 miles — walking or running — between July 1 and Sept. 30. Liberty is currently in third place among the more than 90 companies and organizations participating, with more than 12,000 miles total. (Read more and watch the preview video on Liberty’s YouTube channel.)