Athletes from all across the four states area donned their capes and put their super skills to the test Saturday, April 19 at the Wyandotte Nation’s Methamphetamine & Suicide Prevention Initiative (MSPI) Superhero 5K and Bearskin Strongman competition at the Bearskin Healthcare & Wellness Center.
The Superhero 5K and 1 Mile Fun Walk were aimed at having fun while helping raise awareness for suicide and bullying. In addition, participants and spectators had the opportunity to donate pet food to the Humane Society of Grove and Grand Lake.
“The purpose was to try and get enough information into people’s hands,” said Travis Rhatigan, Assistant Manager at the Bearskin Healthcare & Wellness Center,” because if you see something, you know the causes, know what it looks like, you can save someone’s life by knowing how to get them help.”
The event was free and well attended by Flash, Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman – just to name a few. Participants went home with T-shirts, gift bags and medals for the top finishers. Wyandotte Nation Chief Billy Friend awarded the medals.
“It was a lot of fun – I liked seeing everyone dressed up out here,” said Sara Greenough from Parsons, Kansas who came with friend to run and support the cause.
Amanda Crowell, of Miami, Okla., said, “It was really fun, it was a challenge for sure, but the weather was perfect for the run.”
Rhatigan said nearly 400 participated in the run and strongman competition. He said they had more than 270 take part in the 5K and another 100 in the 1-mile run/walk. Additionally, they had six ladies and 12 men take part in the strongman. He said the numbers doubled from last year’s events.
“We were blessed by what we got to experience,” Rhatigan said. “Next year we’d like to see that trend to continue. Whatever we choose to highlight and get information out about, we have a chance to touch a lot of lives.”
When the runners were through crossing the finish line, athletes got a chance to hulk out and flex their muscles by pulling a firetruck, lifting atlas stones, flipping tires and more.
The top finishers in the Bearskin Strongman took home trophies and $500.
Heavyweight: (1) Shane Redden; (2) Curt Buzzard. Lightweight: (1) Ray Aspey; (2) Magnum Mustain. Women: (1) Lisa Goode; (2) Kamalie Wagen.
Sponsors for the Strongman event were the Wyandotte Nation Casino, the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, Frank Fletcher Nissan, Crossland Construction and the Bearskin Healthcare & Wellness Center. The Wyandotte Nation’s Methamphetamine & Suicide Prevention Initiative was the sole sponsor of the 5K.
“Without our sponsors, none of this could have gone on,” Rhatigan said. “Being paired with the Eastern Shawnee Tribe also, we are able to reach a lot of people and hopefully we make a tremendous impact on their lives.”
For race results, visit: http://m1.onlineraceresults.com/race/view_plain_text.php?race_id=38758
To see more photos, visit the Bearskin Healthcare & Wellness Center’s Facebook Page.
To see video of the event, click here.
More Information regarding the Wyandotte Nation’s MSPI:
- Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people, resulting in about 4,400 deaths per year.
- Suicide ranked as the eighth leading cause of death for American Indians/Alaska Natives of all ages.
- 40% of all Native American suicides involve children and youth ages 15 to 24
- Bully victims are between 2 to 9 times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims.
- Nearly 30% of students are either bullies or victims of bullying.
- 160,000 kids stay home from school every day because of fear of bullying.
In an emergency, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255).