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Tough Mudder. Spartan Race. Warrior Dash. Battle Frog. How about the Monaca Fire Stop, Drop, and Run 5K and Obstacle Challenge? On October 14, the 5th annual event is going down in Monaca Heights in what we’ll call “Beaver County’s Best Obstacle Course.”

Chris Shotter, President of Monaca #4 Volunteer Fire Department and event organizer, said close to 200 people participated in the 5K and Obstacle Challenge last year. “If you have ever wanted to live the day in the life of a firefighter, the Stop, Drop & Run 5K is your perfect opportunity.  Not only do you get to experience what a firefighter does, you also get to support them at the same time.” Yes, these are two separate events. Registration fee for the 5K is $25 and obstacle course is $40, or about half the price as other obstacle courses/mud runs in the Pittsburgh area. All proceeds benefit the Monaca #4 Volunteer Department.

2017 New Obstacles

All participants receive t-shirt, all participants in the obstacle course receive a firefighter-themed medal, and all finishers over the age of 21 receive a free beer after the race! If you are 12 or under, you’ll also get a medal upon finishing the race. The prizes don’t end there. The top overall male and female finisher in the 5K will win $100 cash.

The obstacle course has a total of 23 obstacles. It begins and ends at Station #4, located at 913 Taylor Ave. Race registration starts at 7:30 am. The 5K will begin at 9:00 am, and the obstacle race will begin with the first wave at 9:30 am, and waves will continue every 15 minutes after.


What makes this event special are the obstacles, which, coincidentally are fire fighter-themed. Tire carry, telephone pole carry, sandbag carry, roof ops, and traverse the smoke are just a few. New for 2017 is the lily pad dash, where competitors will jump across disks suspended in mid-air while using a rope. “We design this race so that there is something fun for everyone in the family.  Since we started this race five years ago we have striven for it to be a family friendly event.  We see kids as young as 6 running in the obstacle course,” said Shotter. For a full list of obstacles and descriptions, check out their webpage at


Take advantage of the beautiful fall weather and support a good cause in the Monaca #4 Volunteer Fire Department! Everyone involved with this event works extremely hard to make sure this is a success. Shotter added, “It is the Stop, Drop & Run 5K that allows the Monaca #4 Volunteer firefighters to pay for the training and necessary equipment to protect our community.  Without people participating in the race we simply wouldn’t be able to do what we do each and every day.”

To register, go to

You can also check them out on Facebook at

Marc is a lifelong resident of Beaver County. A 2001 graduate of Center High School and 2005 graduate of Point Park University, Marc is employed by the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School and officiates high school and college football. Follow Marc on Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram @marcgrando