PTK challenges D214 schools

By Tess Bauer
Online Editor
Prime Time Knights, or PTK, has been hard at work creating events that physically and mentally challenge Prospect students and create leadership roles for the members of PTK. After creating events like PTK Superstars and Biggest Winner, PTK group sponsor Brent Pearlman decided the last event of the year would be one that Prospect had done over 10 years ago and goes beyond Prospect.
The new project is the PTK 12 Mile Challenge. The challenge is to have a team from each school in the district collaboratively run six miles and bike six miles at Busse Woods. Teachers previously ran the project, but as the teachers who ran the event left, the 12 Mile Challenge went with them. PTK is bringing it back after 10 years with a new flare.
“[The 12 Mile Challenge] was a different race [in past years],” Pearlman said. “It was the same type of idea, but it was a more open race [and] more kids from each school could do it. This will be the first time it’s done the way we’re doing it.”

PTK’s “way of doing it” is to have two students from each school in the district elected by their athletic department because “it’s a 12 mile [run and] not everybody is going to be able to do it,” PTK member junior Ryan Kestler, head of the 12 Mile Challenge, said. Students who are chosen need to be in good shape.
Each school is allowed to choose their team however they want to. Most have asked students who run on the cross-country team. For Prospect, students will be asked and the first two who commit to competing will represent Prospect in the 12 Mile Challenge.
The challenge will take place on May 31 at Busse Woods. Competitors and PTK members will be called out of school to avoid crowds and to ensure that contestants won’t have conflicts. PTK decided to hold the event during the day.
“We don’t want to be interfering with a lot of people on that trail,” Pearlman said. “We don’t want to be a nuisance and we definitely felt during the [day] was the best time to do that.”
Each team will have one bike; together they must run six miles and bike six miles. One team member will be biking and the other running for the full 12 miles. How they split up who will bike or run is up to the team. At miles three, five, seven, nine and 11 there will also be a challenge station. The challenges will be both physical and mental.
There will be a PTK member every 800 meters who will keep contestants on track and take times. Each team will be racing to get the best overall time including the time at challenge stations.
“There is a chance for everybody to win something,” Kestler said, as gift certificates will be awarded to the winner of each challenge and the race.
“Winning the course will be well worth your while,” Pearlman said. “Even [winning] two challenges will be worth your while.”
To help the challenge run smoothly, there are different committees that work together to help the project as a whole. The 12 Mile Challenge is an ongoing project that PTK will continue to adjust and change as they prepare for the event.
PTK hopes 12 Mile Challenge will continue to grow in the following years. This year PTK wanted to start off small with just two kids from every school. If the 12 Mile Challenge goes well this year they want expand the event to two teams from each school and continue to expand in the future.
PTK is excited for the 12 Mile Challenge. They want to see how everything turns out and figure out how to make the event even better in the years to come.
“It’s going to be a fun ride,” Kestler said.