Hero Challenge – Helping a hero

MANSFIELD — More than 100 people of all ages and fitness levels turned out Saturday for the Hero Challenge obstacle course at Snow Trails on Saturday to raise money for wounded Marine Cpl. Josh Sams, of Wilmington.

Dakota Procker, 21, of Mansfield, said she had never done anything like it, but she wanted to get out of her comfort zone. The North Central State College social work major was joined by her friend Jennifer Meligan, 21, of Mansfield, who is studying education at The Ohio State University-Mansfield.

“I’m wondering what did I get myself into?” Meligan said before she headed onto the course.

Retired Mansfield police Officer John Fuller, 58, of Mansfield, was wet and cold after the event. He said the course was one of the best he’s done with so many natural obstacles, including mud pits. He finished the course in 43 minutes.

“It was tough. No matter whether you win or lose, this is for Josh Sams,” he said. “That’s the bottom line. God bless his family. God bless him.”

Friends Ariane Manley and Owen Nichols, of Mansfield, wore patriotic attire.

Nichols, 28, said he was celebrating losing 120 pounds in the past year, mostly by exercising on the Richland B&O Trail.

Lindsey Sams said her husband, Josh, is doing well.

“We had a rough road. Some people just lose their legs. He had a lot of other injuries,” she said.

Lindsey said she wishes she and her husband could have been at Snow Trails on Saturday.

Josh Sams, 27, is at Walter Reed National Navy Medical Center.

“We’ve been there since his injury in January, and he’ll be there 10 months,” she said.

Josh got new prosthetics last week, she said. He was injured in Afghanistan. It was his third deployment.

“He always seems OK and there were times he wasn’t OK. but now he’s ready to get going,” she said.

Lindsey said she wished to thank everyone for the fundraiser.

“We can’t give enough gratitude to everyone for giving us a hand. Saying thank you doesn’t seem to be enough,” she said.