Agapé Boarding School held its annual Rhino Run Thursday, Oct. 31, on the grounds of the Stockton-area campus. This event is nothing like your typical cross-country race.

“This is about team building,” Agapé administrator Bryan Clemensen said. “The boys go out in companies of 23 in five-minute intervals and they help each other over the obstacles.”

That’s right, there are obstacles — not quite the difficulty of, say, the American Ninja Warriors TV show, but still tough enough for some of the boys to need help from their teammates to get through.

The course starts with a run through the mud left behind after recent rain and snow. Then they have to go up and down some steep hills, crossing a flowing ravine on the way. Then up and over a couple of climbing walls, over and under a series of plastic culvert tubes, across a set of monkey bars, a lap around a large pond, and finally an army crawl under a barrier — through more mud. And that’s just the first of two laps to make a full 5,000 meters.

When the times were totaled, the Delta Company was declared the winner in a time of 36 minutes, 46 seconds. Even so, all the runners seemed to have a good time supporting each other and getting messy along the way — and it was for a good cause.

“This was also a fundraiser,” Agapé athletic director Jason Moore noted. “The boys wrote home to their parents and friends and asked for them to pledge so much a mile. The money will go toward improvements to our gym.”

After the race, the companies built campfires and enjoyed chicken, s’mores and roasted marshmallows while trying to stay warm in the chilly wind.

Moore said the Agapé Rhinos’ basketball team has begun its season but will not play any home games until December. Agapé will hold a wrestling camp the week of Nov. 18-22.

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