Giles County holding 2nd mud race to provide college education to students

GILES COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ7) It's time again to get a little muddy to help send students to college. The second annual Giles County Muddy ACCE Race is Saturday September 16.

It's the largest single fundraiser for the Access to Community College Education (ACCE) program.

In 2016, more than $80,000 was raised, and this year's goal is $90,00.

Cora Gnegy is the Giles County Tourism and Marketing Director.

She said of the goal, "The total program costs us about $150,000 - $200,000 every year, so that $90,000 chunk will really help out to send these kids to New River [Community College]."

She said so far the county has received $60,000 in sponsorships, and 470 people had signed up by Thursday afternoon.

The race features nearly 30 obstacles this year, including a warped wall climb, giant ice bath, and numerous obstacles involving mud and the New River.

It's all to send kids to college for free. But they have to work for that help, including around the race.

"They'll do 10 hours, either helping build the course you'll see behind us, or doing marketing for the event, and then 10 hours the day of the event," Gnegy said.

One of the students is Andrew Caldwell, who's in his second year at New River Community College (NRCC).

He said, "Going to college debt-free is awesome. Seeing the community come together, as well, and support all the upcoming college kids, it's really inspiring."

There are a total of 82 students involved in the Giles ACCE program, which is in it's fourth year.

Gnegy said about one-third of graduating students get involved.

Caldwell said it's helped him realize his dreams.

"I was always told, 'You're going to college, it'll help you get a job,'" he said. "To see people coming together and really aid with that, it's really touching and I'm very thankful and I think I can speak for the other students too."

New this year are seven more obstacles along the 5K run, more food vendors, and a live DJ.

To register for the race at $50 per person, click here and sign up before noon on Friday. People can also sign up that day of at the race in the Glen Lyn park.

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