Freedom’s Run: Fall marathon slated
The Freedom’s Run racing committee held their first press conference for regional leaders Thursday, April 23rd, at the Ferry Hill Plantation on the Potomac River, in Washington County, MD. The committee presented their plans for the October 3, 2009 marathon collaborative between FOUR National Historical Parks, small historic towns, and the health community that will take to the historic trails and roads.
“This is an opportunity to engage healthier communities in participating in daily activity while discovering the beautiful land assets we have,” stated Lyn Widmyer, Jefferson County Commissioner. Also in attendance was Jay Bonfili, Executive Director for WVU Eastern Area Health Education Center who agreed that this marathon will promote healthier communities and that, “Freedom’s Run has the potential to be a premier regional, if not national, event as it is established.” Lois Turco, Co-Founder of the event and anthropologist, will be working to make sure the attendees see the value in the heritage aspect of this race while marathoners pass some of the most historical sights in our country.
Nicole Osier of the Civil War Preservation Trust affirmed that, “This event would help to preserve our national treasures, educate families and youth about preservation of National Historic Park Land for future generations.” Samuel Key, a NAACP leader from Washington County was also in attendance and shared that he sees the event as a way to engage youth and families in healthy outdoor activity, while teaching youth about their history as they run and walk through places that paved the way to freedom.
Freedom’s Run Co-Founder, Dr. Mark Cucuzzella, Associate Professor of Family Medicine, WVU Eastern Division and marathoner, sees the event as the “stimulus package” for community health and attaching children to nature. Dr. Cucuzzella will be available for working on all physical training aspects for the runners of this event and will communicate this information on the event’s website at .
Others who were in attendance were Suzy Munnis, a local fitness enthusiast and trainer at Gold’s Gym in Charles Town and Chris Horowicz, a Physical Therapist Professional in Sports Care and Rehab from Shepherdstown. Robert Hall, from Charm City Run, a race management and timing company from the mid Atlantic, who will assist the committee in the detailed logistics of accurate race day timing and Keith Alexander, Historic Preservationist and professor from Shepherd University were also at the press conference presentation.
Parks to be included are, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, the C&O Canal National Historical Park, Antietam National Battlefield and the Potomac National Heritage Trail. There will also be a half marathon winding through Antietam and connecting to the C&O, a 5k and 10k crossing the Potomac on the Rumsey Bridge and coursing the C&O. As well as, a kids/family fun-run touring historic Shepherdstown. The finish of all the races will be on the football field of Shepherd University.