While we endure another week of the July/August 90-plus-degree doldrums our area is known for, Garner runner Antonette “Rosie” Prather will be somewhere that a day in the 90s would be a Godsend.
Prather is one of only 97 runners worldwide selected to run in the Badwater 135, billed as the world’s toughest foot race. It’s a 135-mile run that begins in the Badwater Basin of Death Valley at 282 feet below sea level and includes the Mount Whitney portal (8,360 feet elevation). The race covers three mountain ranges and has a cumulative elevation gain of 14,600 feet.
The Dunn native with seven kids and seven grandchildren, one of only 28 female runners in the race, must complete the course in 48 hours. Temperatures can be as high as 120 during the race.
There are only four runners from N.C. in the event, which requires unique training and preparation. In addition to the distance running preparation, participants must acclimate their bodies to the heat to prepare for the run through Death Valley and complete extensive hill training as well.
Fellow ultra runners, including her husband, J.D. Prather, as well as Nora Milley, Juliet Brundige and Jennifer Jackson, will accompany her on the event. The crew will pace her run and attend to her medical and physical needs during the race.
She is running on behalf of The Herren Project, a non-profit, that assists individuals struggling with addiction. It is named in honor of former NBA player Chris Herren. If interested in helping her fundraising effort, do an online search for “Rosie Prather – Donor Pro.”
Back-to-back Wiffle titles for In It To Win It: Johnston County-based In It To Win It defended their home turf in winning a second consecutive N.C. Wiffle Ball Championship earlier this month in Smithfield.
The squad of Craig Hardin, Johnathon Barefoot, Jordan Adams and Spencer Griswold beat the Four Oaks Fury (Garrison McLeod, Kyle Raulerson, Brayden Kauppe and Zach McLamb) 6-3 in the championship game. Hardin was the tournament MVP for a second consecutive year, while all three of his teammates made the all-tournament team along with McLeod, Raulerson, C.J. Jackson (Legacy), Tyler Jackson (Legacy), Adam Williams (Super Smash Brothers) and Daniel Westbrook (Super Smash Brothers).
A third generation All-Star coach: Clayton High School girls basketball coach Marlon Lee extended a coaching line that dates back to 1984 when Lee’s college coach at St. Augustine’s College — Norvell Lee — led the boys’ squad when he served as an assistant coach in the East-West All-Star girls basketball game recently.
Lee’s high school coach at Smithfield-Selma, Carl Spragins, coached in the 1998 edition of the game as well.
“The whole, total experience was something special,” said Lee, who helped lead the East squad to a win. “Going to the banquet, going to church, spending time with the West girls and coaches on bus rides, meals together, everything. It was a complete basketball experience.”