LIMA — These ladies draw blood for a living, but there was no need to do so Saturday during the Warrior Mode Urban Athlon race.
The Lab Rats team, consisting mainly of phlebotomists from Lima Memorial Health System had made it through about half the challenges during the day. The “Amazing Race” style competition was part of a daylong benefit for cancer patient needs at Lima Memorial Health System, the Christian Amputee Support Team and the WCO Paralysis Foundation at the DeHaven complex on Shawnee Road and Faurot Park.
“We did great,” said Brenda Miller, a lab clerk on the team. “We’re sore. We’ve been as far as the post office, the YMCA, North High Street.”
Miller met Brad Keenan, who has colon cancer, through LMH’s Relay for Life team. Keenan was one of the hosts for the day, and Miller said she and her team were happy to help support the multiple causes.
Another host, Tim DeHaven, said he hopes to make this first-ever event in Lima an annual one. Three of the six people on his own race team have handicaps, he said, including him, and DeHaven was doubling as participant and host. The event began at his home and garden complex, shifted to Faurot Park to kick off the race, then moved back to his place for family fun and beer garden.
Miller’s team dressed up in tie-dyed tutus and the ladies had painted their faces to look like mice. Many others simply sported their Warrior Mode T-shirts and went pro-athlete style under the eyes, although instead of using eye black, participants used the color of the day, neon green.
The Billy’s Angels team used the event to kick in an extra gear; Dr. Bill Leahy and the women at Leahy Family Physicians used the wellness center and personal trainers at the facility to get ready for the event. They had managed all but seven challenges and felt good about what they accomplished Saturday.
DeHaven was grateful for the turnout and said he hoped to turn the day into an annual event.
“The day’s been amazing. It just helps unite everyone in the community, what the whole thought process is, about being in warrior mode,” DeHaven said.
Russ Thomas, with Christian Amputee Support Team, or CAST, said the day has been inspiring to him. The organization supports people who have lost or are about to lose a limb. CAST will use funds raised Saturday to help people who need repairs or replacement for prosthetics and don’t have insurance. Thomas himself has a prosthetic leg.
“You know, life goes on,” Thomas said. “I just ran a 10K.”