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Running event set for May 12

By Staff | Mar 16, 2012

An epic running and walking journey is returning May 12, 2012. 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. Over 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 12 the collaborative between the National Parks and Freedom’s Run will continue with the 2nd Annual Harpers Ferry Half Marathon, 4 Miler, and Free Kids Fun Run.

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

“We wish for the runners and walkers to keep returning after the event to learn more about our region’s story,” said Turco.

Race co-director Mark Cucuzzella MD runs the course almost daily over lunch breaks at his job at Harpers Ferry Family Medicine.

“This is truly an event of historic proportions. Every time I run this route there is something new for the senses and something challenging,” he said. Cucuzzella and local runner Patrick Schneble helped craft the courses. “The half marathon will be challenging with a mix of road and trail and over 1000 feet of elevation gain. The 4 mile encompasses the more gentle rolling grass hills of Harpers Ferry National Park School House Ridge,” Cucuzzella added.

The event will benefit two local non-profit organizations: 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.

Host Site for Start/Finish and post race festivities will be River Riders, www.riverriders.com in Harpers Ferry. Registration for all events is open and information on lodging, travel, history, and the area can be found at www.harpersferryhalf.org. Half Marathon and 4 Mile will be limited to 1,000 participants each.

A free kid’s one mile run will take place at 11 a.m. immediately after the two main events.

Volunteers are needed Contact: Laura Bergmann (fitnessfanatic247@yahoo.com) or Katie Nolan (knolan@floc.org) Free T-shirt and invitation to post race party for all volunteers.