By Portia Williams
WEST PORTSMOUTH — The Raven Rock Ash Dash is a dirty race, for a clean cause which is hosted by the Southern Ohio Medical Center Life Center. The 5k course is primarily flat with challenging obstacles, complete walls, barbed wire, mud crawl and is centered around encouraging people to kick the smoking habit. The 2015 Ash Dash was held at its usual location of Earl Thomas Conley Park in West Portsmouth on Saturday.
Signs posted throughout Early Thomas Conley Park on Saturday conveyed the message very clearly — ‘trash the ash.’ Brad Zieber of the SOMC Life Center, said this is the third annual Raven Rock Ash Dash, an event intended to inspire members of the community to abandon cigarette smoking.
“This is the third year for the Ash Dash, and it is looking good out there. We’ve had quite a few participants coming in, loving the course for a great cause working against eradicating smoking in our community,” Zieber said. “The purpose is also to make awareness of lung cancer, which is the leading cancer in our area.”
The number of participants in the Ash Dash continue to increase, according to Zieber.
“We did increase our numbers from last year, we’ve had roughly about 85 to 100 participants this year, so we are up from last year which is great,” he said. “Participants are loving it, and are having a great time out there. We’ve had a few young people take part. There were a couple of 12-year old kids that went out, and they absolutely loved the mud.”
There is also an information-based component to the event, so that participants can receive vital information regarding ways to stop smoking, and avoid the habit altogether.
“All of our community health partners are here to talk about the dangers of tobacco use. So, we hope that people will look for us again next year for the fourth annual Ash Dash,” he said.
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.