CLAYTON -- This year’s Heart Chase event, modeled after the Amazing Race, will honor Hogan Teem, a Clayton High student who died during offseason baseball workouts in December.
Heart Chase, now in its second year in Clayton, is sponsored by the American Heart Association. Teams of two to five people gather clues along a route that spans downtown, and stop at stations along the way where they answer trivia questions, competing to finish all of the stations first, or to be the team to get the most trivia questions correct.
“We appreciate them doing it in his honor and hopefully increasing heart awareness so people know adults aren’t the only ones with heart conditions,” said Hogan’s father, David Teem. “It could happen to seemingly young, healthy people as well.”
Teem, a senior on the Clayton High baseball team, died during an off-season practice, after he was walking and suddenly collapsed. It was later discovered that Teem had a condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The condition, more prevalent in athletes than in the general population, does not cause symptoms that could be warning signs, but can result in cardiac arrest and death.
At the Heart Chase event this year, scheduled to take place May 18 in Town Square, there will be free heart screenings by members of the Woman’s Club of Clayton.
Barbie Tew, a fitness instructor at Woodall’s Fitness, is the director of Heart Chase in Clayton. She said students at Clayton High first came to her about having the event in Teem’s memory.
“People knew Hogan and love him,” said Tew. Several of the teams that will be participating in the race are peers of Hogan’s, though the race is open to anyone who signs up. Hogan’s baseball team will be one of the teams.
Tanner Durham, a junior at Clayton High, grew up with Hogan, and has led the student effort at Clayton High to support Heart Chase this year.
“I’m trying to get more people my age involved,” said Durham. So far he has gotten about five teams to sign up, with four or five people on each team. “Not a lot of people knew that this could happen to them until it happened to Hogan.”
Durham has chosen the Heart Chase event to be his senior project because of his connection with Hogan. This year, he will be writing a paper on the project. Next year, as a senior, he’ll be helping lead the event.
All about heart health
Heart Chase is a way to promote overall heart health in the community by hosting an athletic event, and by putting a face with the cause of heart health, so people can see how close to home the issue really is.
“Heart health effects every living human being,” said Tew. “We want to show families that you can have fun and do heart healthy activities without having to put on spandex and go to the gym.”
Tew said when people see exercise as something you have to go to a certain place for, or do a certain activity for, it can keep people from getting involved.
“You can just walk your dog, or play frisbee with your kids,” said Tew. “With childhood obesity on the rise, we need to start shifting the tides now.”
Last year’s event was the inaugural Heart Chase in Clayton. This year’s event has some upgrades.
Whereas last year, each team had a map with locations marked where they were supposed to find each station, this year each team is only getting clues that will lead them to a station. To heighten the competition, teams are allowed to buy green or red flags. The green flags can be used to bypass a station. Red flags can be used to make another team do a station twice, similar to some of the tricks involved in the board game “Life.”
The event will begin and end at Town Square. Registration begins at 9 a.m. The event is from 10 a.m. to noon.
Heart Chase is sponsored locally by Wake Heart and Vascular and Southeast Women’s Med Spa.