Racers "break out of prison" to raise money for athletics
COLUMBIA - Jefferson City Outdoors hosted the 6th Annual Prison Break Race Saturday to help raise money for Jefferson City athletics.
Around 150 to 180 racers participated in the breakout, where officials said the experience was as real as possible.
"They will break out of prison and then head over to Riverside Park," Race Director Chris Wilson said. "Then they'll experience obstacles like mud pits, slip-n-slides and climbing over walls."
Each participant paid $40, and those funds will go to the Jefferson City Athletics Committee to help bring sports tourism events to the city.
Wilson said the unique experience at the Missouri State Penitentiary is incredible, since racers also get to explore the prison's housing units.
"We're very excited about it," he said. "We've gotten great feedback."
The prison opened in 1836 and closed in 2004. Wilson said he's glad it now gets to be used for events like this.
"There's definitely a competitive element to it, but even more than that, we tell people it's just for fun too," he said.
Wilson said the committee plans to hold the race again next year, with hopes of expanding it.
"We'd like to get more out of town participants," he said. "We'd like to see more people from St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, even the surrounding states. So that's really our goal if we continue to have it, just to see it grow and have people come in from farther away to enjoy the experience."