Quest to stomp out tobacco with Ash Dash 5k


By Portia Williams

[email protected]

WEST PORTSMOUTH —The Southern Ohio Medical Center (SOMC) LIfe Center is collaborating with The American Cancer Society to host the third annual Raven Rock Ash Dash 5k. The event will convene Saturday, Nov. 14, at Early Thomas Conley Park in West Portsmouth. Packet distribution will be at 8 a.m.

The 5k course is primarily flat with challenging obstacles. Participants can expect walls, barbed wire, pain, fire, creek run, mud crawl and more pain.

Jim Culler, manager of the SOMC Life Center, said the goal is to be instrumental in helping people eradicate the bad habit of tobacco usage.

“The Ash Dash is part of the American Cancer Society’s month-long pledge to help people kick the habit with tobacco,” Culler said. “The event itself is held annually at Earl Thomas Conley Park, and this year will be November 15th. It is going to be a true 5K, so that would be in 3.1 miles should have anywhere between 10 to 12 obstacles all over the park.”

He said the local area rates high on the national level concerning tobacco usage, and fitness overall.

“Historically speaking, southern Ohio, and Appalachia in general, our fitness levels are a little lower than what they should be, and people are not as active as they should be. Tobacco usage is higher in this area nationally, or on a national rate,” he said.

The objective is to inspire the local community to get moving, and living healthier lives.

“We want to do want ever we can do to get our community moving more, eating better, and smoking less,” he said. “Using less tobacco is our mission, it is right up our alley at The Life Center.”

Anticipation of increased participation in the Ash Dash events is in place.

“We having been seeing our numbers grow every year, and I don’t see why this year will be any different. Anyone who is interested should just come on out,” he said.

The cost to participate is $35, of which participants will compete in waves. 9 a.m, 9:20 a.m, 9:40a.m, 10 a.m., 10:20 a.m. 10:40 a.m., 11 a.m., 11:20 a.m., 11:40 a.m., and 12 p.m.

The Ash Dash is fun for all ages, and all Participants will receive a Ash Dash t-shirt and a finishers award.

All participants must sign a waiver to participate. Children under the age of 18 must have a waiver signed by a parent/guardian the day of the event. All participants will receive an Ash Dash t-shirt. Packet pickup begins at 8 a.m. Online registration only.

To sign up for the 2015 Raven Rock Ash Dash visit the website:

Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-33101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.

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Courtesy photo
Some participants of a past Raven Rock Ash Dash event. The 2015 Raven Rock Ash Dash will be held Saturday, Nov. 14, at 8 a.m. photo
Some participants of a past Raven Rock Ash Dash event. The 2015 Raven Rock Ash Dash will be held Saturday, Nov. 14, at 8 a.m.

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