Friday March 15, 2013

ZEKE WRIGHT

Staff Writer

CAMBRIDGE, N.Y. -- A cross-country fitness challenge will raise both activity levels and funds this weekend in Cambridge, rain or snow notwithstanding -- indeed, it’s welcomed.

"In this case, it’s nice to have a little precipitation," said Paul Baker-Porazinski, an organizer of Saturday’s Hypothermic Hoedown, an obstacle course through the woods located around Cambridge Central School. Following last year’s inaugural event, Baker-Porazinski said organizers had made some changes based on what did and did not work in 2012.

This year’s event begins and ends at the school bus garage building on South Park Street, with all proceeds benefiting Cambridge Youth Soccer and the CCS Class of 2015, who are helping to organize and run the event.

"From everything I’ve heard, there’s a good buzz, even around the elementary," said Baker-Porazinski, who said he’s hoping for twice the participation as last year -- the majority being school-aged.

While raising funds, the event also raises awareness about physical fitness. A local school board member on the district’s health and wellness committee, "my role is to try to provide more of a fitness-based fundraiser for kids," said Baker-Porazinski, calling the cross-country foot race a better fundraiser than any bake sale.

This year’s run is set to include multiple waves of runners in three distance categories: a short loop for children, a medium-length 2.5K, and a more challenging 5K. Runners encounter mud, water, natural and man-made obstacles -- and maybe ice and snow.

The first wave of runners along the mini race for children begins at 11:30 a.m. Participants should plan to bring a spare set of dry socks and shoes, and there will be food and entertainment for all, including those not running.

Preregistration is available online at hyperthermic-hoedown.info through 6 p.m. Friday. Registration the day of the race is also available, cash-only. For the latest information check www.facebook.com/HypothermicHoedown

Contact Zeke Wright @ewright@benningtonbanner.com. Follow him on Twitter @zeke_wright