By Steve Mocarsky - smocarsky@timesleader.com

Local woman needs your vote to get to Vegas in chocolate milk challenge

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Ashley Gregory, of Butler Township, in one of the photos she submitted in a chocolate milk promotion contest.
Submitted photo
Ashley Gregory, of Butler Township, in one of the photos she submitted in a chocolate milk promotioon contest.
Submitted photo

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    BUTLER TWP. — Ashley Gregory never liked chocolate milk as a child, but telling the world why she drinks it now could score her a free trip to Vegas.

    And you can help get her there.

    Gregory, 27, of the Drums section of Butler Township, is a finalist in the national “BUILT WITH CHOCOLATE MILK #BuildIt Photo Challenge” on Twitter.

    An accomplished runner, Gregory is vying for an all-expenses paid trip for her and three friends to run the #StripAtNight during the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon & Half Marathon in November. She was chosen as a finalist after submitting a photo showing why she recovers after strenuous exercise by drinking lowfat chocolate milk.

    “I’ve been a runner for the past four years,” Gregory said, noting she’s run one marathon, five half-marathons and “too many 5Ks to count” in that time. “I guess I’ve got the running bug.”

    And while she’s hooked on the moo juice as a hydrater, Gregory said she hasn’t been a chocolate milk fan all that long.

    “When I was younger, I never liked chocolate milk. But a few of my running friends recommended it to rehydrate, and I found that I was able to recover faster, and it helps me refuel to be ready for my next run,” Gregory said.

    So, when Gregory saw the #BuildIt Photo Challenge — sponsored by the National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board — on Twitter with a chance to win the free Vegas excursion, she decided enter.

    How it works

    According to builtwithchocolatemilk.com, athletes from all over the United States submitted creative pictures showing how they train, race and recover with chocolate milk for a chance to win the VIP trip to Vegas.

    Gregory said her photos along with those of 15 other athletes were chosen from about 700 entries as semifinalists, all of whom won $150 gift cards for sponsor-branded gear. The semifinalists then made and submitted 15-second videos, and a different set of judges narrowed those entries down to three finalists.

    Now Twitter users will get to decide which of the three finalists have the best video to win the contest. Gregory is competing against Elizabeth Pulliam, an elementary school teacher in Greensboro, North Carolina, and Jason Knight, a television producer and photographer living in Raleigh, North Carolina.

    Go to twitter.com/chocolate_milk and watch the contestants’ videos. Vote for your favorite by retweeting. One vote per person is allowed per day. The videos are reposted daily around noon, and the contestant whose video gets the most retweets by 11:59 p.m. Thursday wins the contest.

    The running bug

    Gregory said she’ll take her father, her boyfriend and her boyfriend’s father to Vegas with her if she wins, because all three men “have the running bug, too. I’ve never been to the West Coast, so it would be huge bucket list item accomplished.”

    And while Vegas would be exciting, giving something back through running is something that’s important to Gregory.

    While pursuing a second master’s degree at Wilkes University, Gregory works full-time as a reading specialist teacher with Bloomsburg Area School District. There, she is also head coach of the Girls on the Run program, which teaches girls life skills through interactive lessons and running games and culminates with a 5K run for the girls.

    Gregory said her favorite run was the Steamtown Marathon, where she was able to raise over $1,500 for the American Heart & Stroke Association.

    And she recently convinced the “Christmas in Conyngham” Committee in the town where she grew up to include a Holiday 5K Classic as part of the celebration this year. The run is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Dec. 12, she said.

    Reach Steve Mocarsky at 570-991-6386 or on Twitter @TLSteveMocarsky.

    By Steve Mocarsky

    smocarsky@timesleader.com

    Ashley Gregory, of Butler Township, in one of the photos she submitted in a chocolate milk promotion contest.
    http://www.theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/web1_chocolatemilk_1.jpgAshley Gregory, of Butler Township, in one of the photos she submitted in a chocolate milk promotion contest. Submitted photo

    Ashley Gregory, of Butler Township, in one of the photos she submitted in a chocolate milk promotioon contest.
    http://www.theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/web1_chocolatemilk_2.jpgAshley Gregory, of Butler Township, in one of the photos she submitted in a chocolate milk promotioon contest.Submitted photo

    Reach Steve Mocarsky at 570-991-6386 or on Twitter @TLSteveMocarsky.