All About The Swag

Ocala Style presents an exclusive look at the new Challenge awards for the Big Hammock Race Series–Season 3.

Call it the Big Hammock Race Series’ bling version of a carrot-on-a-stick motivator.

“This is our third BHRS season, and we learned early on that people respond well to being challenged if there’s a reward,” says Karen Donnelly, who with Tina Banner co-own the run/walk fitness series. “It’s been my challenge to design dreamy awards and swag to motivate people to participate in the BHRS. The great thing about our series is that Challenge prizes can be earned by beginning walkers and competitive runners alike.”

The BHRS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission of providing an all-ages, all-skill levels walk/run fitness challenge for the entire family. The series also gives back to the community by selecting and promoting races that fundraise for a charitable cause each season. The 10-race series officially kicked off with Race No. 1, the Super RockStar Virtual 5K, a self-reported race that can be completed any time or place you choose from July 1 through May 31, 2019. Race No. 2, the first on-site race, is the Cornerstone Leads The Way 5K on September 22 at the Baseline Trailhead Park. 

“The first step to being eligible for BHRS Challenge awards is to purchase a Season 3 Pass at Being a BHRS PassHolder is the only way to earn Score Card points and Challenge awards,” says Donnelly. “The later you join, the more it will cost you. PassHolders who complete Race No. 1 also earn 10 points and a Wild Card to help earn any Challenge Award when redeemed to replace one missed race.”

Another benefit to registering as a PassHolder by 11:59pm on September 23 is guaranteeing your selected Season 3 shirt and ultra lightweight reflective race jacket size. After that date, sizes and availability are first come, first serve.

Once you’re a BHRS—Season 3 PassHolder, the fun and the race for the bling and awards begins. PassHolders compete with others in their same BHRS age/gender division. The goal is to complete as many of the BHRS races as possible to earn the most points, swag and awards at the end of the season.

“The main focus of the BHRS is a commitment to moving your body and challenging yourself by setting healthy goals,” says Donnelly. “Whether you run or walk, it’s about finishing each race.”

Here’s a look at the BHRS—Season 3 Challenge Awards and Medals.

RockStar Virtual 5K Medal:

“This is the first year we have included a virtual race. Anyone, not just PassHolders, can participate in this race. But there’s only 500 spots, and over half were sold in the first month!” says Donnelly. “Every rock star needs a guitar, so this must-have bling is a brightly colored paisley guitar with a pick charm.”

To earn the medal, participants must register at before spots sell out or by May 31, 2019. The self-reported virtual race can be completed at your own pace all at once or in segments. At completion, participants post results on their Virtual Strides account to receive their medal by mail.

Super Medal Challenge:

“You have to complete all four Super Races to earn this medal,” says Donnelly. “It features a glittery BHRS signature acorn, a ‘4’ for the four Super Races and a slider.” 

The four Super Races are: Marion County Halloween Run 5K/10K on October 27; Running With The Herd 5K on January 26, 2019; Five Points of Life 5K, Half Marathon and Marathon on February 16-17, 2019; and the St. Paddy’s Day 5K on March 16, 2019. The medal will be awarded at the St. Paddy’s Day 5K.

Lucky Charm Challenge:

Married to an Irishman, Donnelly says, “I always have fun designing this medal. This year’s features a lucky charm confetti-filled spinner, a horseshoe covered with four-leaf clovers and roses for Derby Day. It also features citrus slices, a nod to good luck in some cultures and the ingredients of sangria.”

BHRS PassHolders can earn the Lucky Charm Challenge medal and five bonus points by finishing two races: Sangria Dash 5K on November 10 and Derby Day 5K on May 4, 2019. The medal will be awarded at the Derby Day 5K.

Perfect 10 Glass Challenge:

“This is the toughest award to earn. The blue-tinted, pub glass is awarded only to those who complete all 10 of the BHRS—Season 3 races,” says Donnelly. “The Perfect 10 Challenge glass and the season-ending Age Division and Overall awards will be handed out at the Wrap-Up Party, presented by Center State Bank on June 22 at Cone Distributing”

Learn more › To register, sign up as a PassHolder and view all details about the Big Hammock Race Series—Season 3, go to

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