WILLIAMSBURG - A few dozen people braved a chilly morning to combat heart disease in New Town on Saturday.
HeartChase, an event sponsored by the American Heart Association, pits teams against each other in a goal-based adventure game where teams complete challenges to earn points on the way to winning the event.
Teams were made up of between two and five people with colorful names like Surgical Gangsters and Sgt. Pinto's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Some teams wore costumes as well.
Funds raised by the event go to heart disease research as well as education efforts like CPR training programs, said Ben Ellington, an event organizer.
Prior to the start of the event, Hunter Weaver shared with participants his own experience with supraventricular tachycardia, a rapid heartbeat condition.
As a 17-year-old, Weaver was diagnosed and had surgeries to address his condition, one that is rare in people under 60, Weaver said. He added that according to his doctor, he was perhaps one of the first people under 60 to be identified as having the condition.
"It makes you take a step back," Weaver said of diagnosis' sobering effect.
The handful of teams were assigned a starting checkpoint and then spent the next hour and a half visiting as many of the event's 10 checkpoints as possible to net points, which were tracked on a mobile game app.
While the event was billed as an engaging and fun experience, some people turned out in remembrance of lost loved ones. Charlene Bridges participated in the event in honor of her sister, who died of a heart attack at the age of 30.
Checkpoints included a brief primer on CPR technique and an egg run, creating a variety of activities to educate as well as get participants exercising.
Teams donated money prior to the event to take advantage of power ups, such as the ability to skip a checkpoint but still get the points it awards.
The event raised $17,710, according to the event's website.
Saturday's event marks the fifth year the HeartChase has taken place in Williamsburg.
Jacobs can be reached by phone at 757-298-6007.