The Buck Fifty Race: Creating a Drug Free America One Relay at a Time
How one man’s race to make a difference in his community inspires others to cross the finish line.
In 2012 Dave Huggins, the heart and soul of the Buck Fifty race, ran his first relay race. He didn’t realize at the time how that one event would transform his life and the lives of his community.
Now in its seventh year, The Buck Fifty race consists of teams of 10 runners running three legs of the overnight relay. Starting in Chillicothe, the race winds through stunning state and national parks scenery to raise money and awareness for Drug Free Clubs of America (DFCA).
“I don’t think kids want to do drugs. I think they want to go to school and be kids.”—Huggins.
Across America, the Opioid epidemic has been a systemic problem, but in Ross County, the community, spearheaded by Huggins, is working to change the narrative. In just over six years, they have raised 1.2 million dollars for DFCA. The Buck Fifty race believes in making a difference in kids’ lives before they start using drugs and has an enrollment of over 60% of the teen population in the county.
While the Buck Fifty race is a philanthropic event, the rewards go beyond supporting the DFCA.
The success of the race hinges on many aspects. Businesses, sponsors, community organizations, and individuals spend countless hours planning for every twist and turn the race may see throughout the year. While the event is being planned, runners from various states band together to form teams of 10 and train for the race. But for all of this to work, each individual must remember they are part of a team. Without a team-first mentality, none of this would be possible.
In 2022, 88 teams took part in the race, and eight were all female teams. Organizers would like to see this number increase in a sport that women dominate. But hurry, the deadline of February 1st. is fast approaching!
The race takes place on April 21st and 22nd, with 400 volunteers on hand to encourage and guide the runners to the finish line. What starts out as a way to give back to the community
quickly becomes a party. The community turns out to support and encourage the runners through each leg of the race doing their part to make this relay a success.
But the best part is at the finish line. The kids of DFCA, who are at the heart of the Buck Fifty, are there to personally award the medals to the runners.
Nothing in life worth attaining is easy. By making a conscious decision to show up and push themselves each day, runners, volunteers, and the kids, all demonstrate that you can do anything you put your mind to. This mindset is what makes the Buck Fifty continue to be such a success.
The Buck Fifty Race 2023