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Jason Colquhoun takes the John Marsh Memorial 5K, with a time of 19 minutes, 38.5 seconds

PMG PHOTO BY LON AUSTIN - Ryan Mackenzie enjoys the moment of being the first individual finisher in the quadrathon element of the Fourth of July Splash-N-Dash event.The annual Fourth of July Splash-N-Dash is back in full swing.

After COVID-19 regulations hurt attendance at the event the past couple of years, there were plenty of contestants and spectators in 2022.

"I was surprised by the number of bodies," said organizer and Crook County High School head track coach Ernie Brooks of the team's fundraiser. "I think people are ready to get out and get going. So, I'm very pleased and excited for what we have."

Brooks added that contestants in the multi-event portion of the event were higher than usual, with participation in the John Marsh Memorial 5K going up significantly.

"We had a great turnout for our 5K," he said. "We almost doubled (the most recent turnout). We had 89 finishers, and then we had another three or four non-finishers. They told us they wouldn't finish — they ended up at Wild Ride or someplace else."

PMG FILE PHOTO BY LON AUSTIN - An enthusiastic competitor at the starting line of the 2022 Splash-N-DashThe Splash-N-Dash includes a duathlon, triathlon, quadrathlon and the 5K race. Participants in all three multi-event competitions may compete either as individuals or as part of a relay team of up to four individuals. The 5K, meanwhile, is not just another road race; it is run in honor of longtime Prineville resident and Dad's Place owner John Marsh.

Brooks noted that Marsh always supported the CCHS track program as well as needy people in the community. Consequently, a portion of proceeds from the run go to a needy family in Crook County each year as part of the John Marsh Memorial Fund give-back program.

"We find a family and we bless them," Brooks said. "Most times, it's anonymous — we drop and run and just say it's from John Marsh. We don't need the limelight or anything like that. That's what John would have done. He's helped out so many people and he's helped out our program, and we want to continue that legacy that he started a long time ago and just keep it going."

PMG FILE PHOTO BY LON AUSTIN - Runners at the first portion of the John Marsh Memorial RunThe John Marsh Memorial Run was won by Jason Colquhoun, who was competing in the 50-and-over category, with a time of 19 minutes, 38.5 seconds. Fellow 50-plus runner James Blanchard finished second with a time of 20:27.4.

Alisa Jeffries, competing in the 40-49 age group was the first woman finisher, taking third place overall with a time of 21:02.5. Rounding out the top 10 were Ron Deems (21:18.2), Taylor Harper (21:48.1), Mason Brown (22:45.9), Carson Parriman (22:46.3), Julia Edwards (23:22.1), Ellie Colquhoun (23:23.2), and Nick Jeffries (23:33.0).

The duathlon was won by Reno Style, a family team of women, with one completing the 13-mile bike portion of the race and the other doing the four-mile running portion of the event. The pair finished with a time of 1:13:20.6.

The triathlon — a 500-meter swim, followed by a 13-mile bike ride and then a four-mile run — was won by Maggie Kasberger, who was competing in the women's 19-29 age group, with a time of 55:56.3. Finishing second was Grant Kisling, who competed in the men's 30-39 age group. Kisling finished in a time of 1:09:59.5. Competing in the same age group, Danny Cecchini placed third in 1:14:37.0.

The first team to finish the triathlon was RORK, a mixed men's and women's team who finished just behind Cecchini with a time of 1:14:58.2. Taking fifth in the race was 72-year-old Radar Fixott with a time of 1:26:17.8.

PMG FILE PHOTO BY LON AUSTIN - Greyson Munn mans his kayak during the kayak portion of the raceThe Bees Knees, a mixed team, won the quadrathlon with a time of 47:02.7. They were followed by Hank's Handlers, a family team that finished a distant second with a time of 1:33:55.1. Rounding out the top five were Lethal Dose, a mixed team (1:36:06.9), Ryan Mackenzie, the first individual finisher (1:48:19.1), and The Dream Team (1:46:34.9). The first individual woman to cross the finish line of the quadrathlon was Amee Metcalf, who finished 16th overall with a time of 2:35:24.9.

Brooks said that he wanted to thank race sponsors for helping to make the event happen.

"Without their help, this doesn't become a fundraiser," Brooks said of the sponsors. "It just becomes an event, but when it becomes an event and a fundraiser — when everyone pulls together — it makes it really nice."

Even more important to the event are the volunteers, who are too numerous to mention. However, Brooks noted that Larry Smith has now helped with the race for more than 30 years, while Rachel Chaney, Heidi Lee, Jason Mumm, Tanya and Mark Koopman, Matt Fisher, Wendy Slaughter and Ann Kasberger have been volunteers for several years. So, too, have a number of families that facilitate different portions of the race, such as monitoring major road crossings or running the kayak put-in or take-out portions of the race.

"They are the feet on the ground and help me get through," Brooks said. "They are getting setup down where we are done in a couple of hours, which is amazing. When I first started doing this, I just remember setting up the finish line at 10 o'clock at night with lights on, and we are getting it down where it only takes two or three hours. We just couldn't put this on without everyone's help."

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