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Inaugural running events set for May 14

By Staff | May 6, 2011

HARPERS FERRY – A new running and walking adventure is coming May 14.

In October 1859, abolitionist John Brown and several followers seized the United States Armory and Arsenal at Harpers Ferry and brought national attention to the deep divisions concerning slavery. More than 150 years later, the history-rich parklands of Harpers Ferry again take center stage in events commemorating the Civil War’s 150th anniversary.

On May 14 the collaborative between the National Parks and Freedom’s Run will expand as Freedom’s Run Series of Events is born with the Inaugural Two Rivers Heritage Half Marathon, 4-Miler and Free Kids Fun Run. In 2009 and 2010 our region hosted the Freedom’s Run through four National Parks. The event sold out in 2010 with participation of 2,700 runners from 42 states and became the largest event in the state of West Virginia.

Race committee member Lois Turco, chair of Two Rivers Heritage Alliance, is working to establish the region as a National Heritage Area and along with Harpers Ferry National Park Chief Historian Dennis Frye see this event introducing both visitors and the local community to not just the beauty, but to the history lessons they cover on the route.

Race Co-director Mark Cucuzzella, MD, and local runner Patrick Schneble helped craft the courses with the half marathon a bit more challenging with a mix of road and trail and over 1,000 feet of elevation gain. The will 4-mile encompass the more gentle rolling grass hills of Harpers Ferry National Park School House Ridge.

The event will promote the region’s heritage, National Parks, local businesses, volunteerism and collaboration while bringing attention to important issues surrounding family health, attachment to nature and inclusivity for the large population of autistic children in the region. The event will benefit the Eastern Panhandle Indigo Children (EPIC) and its mission to improve the health and opportunities for children with autism and the Outdoor Education Center of For Love of Children (OEC of FLOC) with a mission to facilitate healthy character development for youth and adults in a powerful outdoor classroom.