Porter County Sheriff's Office

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Sheriff Challenges other cops to race his Officers

The Portage 5K race on Oct. 30 will feature 
a special division in which police
 officers can compete against each other.

Sheriff Reynolds On The Prairie Duneland Trail
Photo Courtesy Of Gregg Gearhart - The Times


BY KEN KOSKY Times Staff Writer

Porter County Sheriff Dave Reynolds is part of the new breed of physically fit officers more likely to be seen out jogging than pulling up a chair at the doughnut shop. Reynolds knows there are plenty of other officers into fitness and that's why he's challenging other police departments to run against his officers in a 5K race Oct. 30. The "Sheriff's Challenge" is just one part of the Portage 5K PR Run/Walk, which will be run on the Prairie Duneland Trail in Portage. Reynolds has recruited officers Rob Hardesty and Larry LaFlower to run with him on the Sheriff's Department three-man team. Reynolds sent letters to about 40 other police agencies, so he's hoping other departments will enter an officer or field three-man teams. "It's kind of a fun thing to do, and there's nothing wrong with a little friendly competition," Reynolds said. Race organizer Jeff Emmons said he anticipates that the Indiana State Police and at least a few other departments will enter teams in the law enforcement division. "Too often the public has a perception that police officers are all out of shape," said Emmons, a law enforcement officer and avid runner. "And by having the law enforcement division as part of a race for the public, it shows people that police officers can be in great physical shape. I think the law enforcement division also encourages a sense of camaraderie where the officers have fun competing against each other." LaFlower believes the police division will be competitive. "I think it's going to be tough, but we have
 a really good team going," LaFlower said. He was recruited for the team because he had an extremely fast time doing the mile and a half run during his recent stint at the police academy. The race, however, is not just for police officers. Emmons expects about 200 people will take part in the run or the fitness walk. Both will be along the Prairie Duneland Trail in Portage, where the leaves will be at the peak of their fall colors. The race is the fourth and last race in the Runner's Art Challenge Series, which is a grouping of races on courses throughout the Portage park system. The prior races this year have been the Trail Run Extreme, the Kingfish Mini-Marathon and the Red Dawn 5K. The series will draw a total of 800 participants. The Oct. 30 race will raise funds for the Portage Parks Department and will raise money to help build a gymnasium for students at Portage Christian School. The entry fee is $15 and a limited number of long sleeve full-color T-shirts will be available for race day registration. Registration is from 7:30 to 8:15 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 30 at the Portage First Church of the Nazarene gymnasium, located at 3134 Swanson Road in Portage. This is one mile north of U.S. 6. The run and fitness walk begin at 8:30 a.m.

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