By Matt de Simone
The Tough Cookie Challenge Race returned for the third year last weekend in Daleville. For this first time in the event’s existence, the Girl Scouts of Skyline Virginia chose Botetourt County’s Greenfield Recreation Center as host.
The previous two races took place in Green Hill Park in Salem. This year’s race welcomed a new course and a new challenge for the previous and new participants.
“One of the great things about our area is that we have a lot of opportunities for our community to be outside,” CEO of Girl Scouts of Virginia Skyline Nikki Williams said in a recent interview. “Of course, in Girl Scouting, that’s exactly what we do—we love to be outside as much as we can.
“We know that (Botetourt County) has a lot of races/runs, and some versions of that, so we wanted to create with our own version of a race, but really involved stuff with Girl Scouting. The first year we had some different obstacles and challenges, which made ‘Tough Cookie’ a little more than just a normal run.”
Every year, the Girl Scouts choose a “theme” for the race. In 2020, the theme was the popular “Thin Mint” cookies (green). The next year saw the event centered around the “Samoa” cookie (purple). The most recent event’s theme was the “Trefoil” cookie/blue.
“(The cookie theme) is something that’s unique,” Williams continued. “Each year we’ll highlight a different cookie and each participant gets to have a box of cookies as part of the registration.”
This year, 5K runners received a chipped bib, a long- or short-sleeve T-shirt, a participation medal, race patch, and one box of Girl Scout Cookies. Fun-runners received the same items upon registration.
Additionally, the top three overall finishers of the race received their favorite Girl Scout Cookies and a gift certificate to RunAbout Sports.
“Besides the colder than expected weather, the event was great,” Vice President of External Relations Melissa Hildebrand said when asked about the event. “The cross country course was the perfect fit for our Tough Cookie Challenge Race.”
The chilly morning began with a one-mile “fun run” for children and parents. The kids gathered around and raced up the hill on the northeast end of the complex. Community members showed their support for the young runners, cheering them on from start to finish.
From there, it was on to the main event, a 5K race that saw runners course the perimeter of the complex in a 3.11-mile loop. Jonah Petri of Boones Mill finished with the fastest time in the 5K event (20:04.6). The 5K consisted of 87 runners with 41 competing in the one-mile fun run.
To read the full results from last weekend’s race, please visit https://www.mountainjunkies.net/results/results.php?raceid=635.