Treasures of South Walton Adventure Run on the horizon

Molly Mosher
From left, Thea and Lily Reifschneider, Sydney Walsh, and Joshua Reifschneider will all race each other for gold doubloons at the kids’ adventure run Saturday. Kids even younger than five-year-old Josh are welcome to race, and their parents are invited to help their lasses and lads along the trail.

Ahoy matey! There’s an event on the horizon that only a scallywag would miss.

The inaugural Treasures of South Walton Adventure Run extravaganza will be held Oct. 19-21 at Topsail Park.

This weekend will include a Friday night of debauchery in the form of an adults-only masquerade ball, a Saturday obstacle-course run for lads and lassies younger than 13, and a 5K adult obstacle run for every level of runner, from landlubbers to old salts. 

“Most adventure runs are not for runners, they’re for people looking for a party,” said Shelley Riefschneider, whose company SRB Productions is putting on the pirate-themed event.

The weekend of fun will begin with a poolside masquerade ball with live music by Bottoms Up Band and a silent auction.

Riefschneider said the idea of a masquerade ball prior to a 5K goes along with the urban legend made to go along with the weekend.

“The governor allowed the pirates to come ashore one night a year,” said Riefschneider. She added, the wealthy landowners would be privy to the wild times enjoyed by these buccaneers until they were made to leave land.

“The aristocracy could have debauchery, and then they would repent and go about their healthy lives,” Riefschneider said, completing the metaphor of the weekend.

The adult run includes 14 obstacles along the 3.1-mile trail, including a cargo net and mud pit, though the planners stayed mum about additional surprise obstacles.

Riefschneider’s daughter Thea, a seventh grader at Emerald Coast Middle School, got in on the planning action, and convinced her mom to add in a run for the younger-than-13 set. This six-obstacle, mile-long run will be Saturday.

Parents are allowed to run alongside their young runners, though this is not required.

Pirates will chase runners in both the Saturday and Sunday races. These scurvy curs will attempt to pillage flags from the runners.

Nobody will end up in Davy Jones’ Locker after this race, but there will be real booty at the run’s beach finish line.

As for the race’s beginnings, Riefschneider said the pirate-themed adventure run started almost by accident.

“It kind of started as a joke,” she said. “None of us are runners, but we’re active and outdoorsy people.”

That’s why she was drawn to the adventure run, which are fun runs to get people active, so children and their parents develop healthy habits.

“I am a very firm believer in that kids do what their parents do,” Riefschneider said. “It’s definitely a family adventure. Get up, get out and find your own adventure.”

Individual and team registration is open. Prices for the masquerade ball and runs are available on the event’s website.

Tickets to the Friday night masquerade are $55, kids’ run tickets are $25, and registration for the adult run is $55.

There is a discount for team registration, with an added bonus, according to Thea: “Then you’re having an adventure with your friends and family. And then if they fall on their face in the mud pit, you can laugh at them.”

Discounts are also available for those who would like to be pirates. A portion of all proceeds will benefit local charity Food for Thought charity, which helps mitigate food insecurity by providing students with healthy, easy to prepare weekend meals.

Weigh anchor and hoist the mizzen, or hurry up and register for the run, before the online registration at closes Oct. 1.

For more information or to register after the fact, visit, or “Like” Treasures of South Walton Adventure Run on Facebook.