WTOC Hometown Heroes: F3 Bluffton - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

WTOC Hometown Heroes: F3 Bluffton

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)

F3 Bluffton is a group of fitness enthusiasts who meet at 5:15 most mornings in the Lowcountry and work out together. 

The '3 Fs' are for fitness, fellowship, and faith. They needed all three to finish a long-distance team race recently, and added a healthy dose of feel good by raising money for local kids as well. 

They knew the road would be long, so they decided to add lasting meaning to running it. 

"As we were training for the run, some of the guys in the group came up with the idea, 'maybe we should use this as a fundraiser,' said member Brian Rose, F3 Bluffton. 

Members of the men's workout group participated in the Palmetto 200 - a relay race from Lexington, SC, to Charleston, but social contribution helped ease the physical challenge when they decided to run for Backpack Buddies of Bluffton. 

"It came up on our radar screen that they had lost a key contributor, a major donor, and as we were looking for opportunities to find a service project, that came up," said member, Bradley Johnson, F3 Bluffton. 

It helped keep spirits up through more than 25 hours of running, the 12-man teams breaking it up into three 15-mile legs for each runner - knowing each mile was providing nutrition to local kids who get most meals free or subsidized at school. 

"In Beaufort County, I think the statistic is 75 percent of students qualify for free or reduced lunch and in neighboring Jasper County, it's close to 100 percent," said Rose. 

"When you're finding yourself, that little voice inside your head saying, 'I kind of hurt and I might want to stop,' you're like, 'I can do this and I can do it for a reason," Johnson said. 

"The Palmetto 200 was a great experience, and then adding the element of being able to give to a group as great as Backpack Buddies, it really rounded it out," Rose said. 

This group of WTOC Hometown Heroes reached a second finish line Wednesday morning when they presented the organization with a check for $21,000 after one of their morning workouts. 

"As a group, we push each other on a daily basis, and that carried through to our fundraising efforts," Rose said. 

F3 Bluffton has initially set a goal of raising $10,000, but more than doubled that when the group got so excited about the Palmetto 200. 

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