Change in course didn’t change success of race
Freedom’s Run hosted more marathon runners than ever before, boasting about 2,000 overall participants despite a last minute change in course.
One of the race organizers, Lois Turco, said this year’s Freedom Run was a prime example of the community’s willingness to work together in face of a challenge.
“Everyone just pulled out all of their good will to make this happen,” she said.
With the usual routes through Antietam Battlefield, Harpers Ferry National Park and the C&O Canal all closed, runners met the new route on river road with the same enthusiasm.
“No one complained about the alternate route,” Turco said.
“They all supported what we did.”
Bethany Tremblay, a Shepherdstown resident, ran for the third year.
“It was tough, but fun,” she said about running the 10 k for the first time.
Tremblay applauded race organizers for holding the race given the circumstnaces.
“River Road was lots of hills, but it was nice how everyone came together despite the shutdown,” she said.
Tremblay said the new course provided a unique atmosphere for runners that turned out to be positive.
“It was nice to see people come out of their houses to cheer on runners,” she said.
“That was really cool.”
Robie DeBiasi, wife of race organizer Mark Cucuzzella, ran the 5k this year with her kids, Leo and Lily.
“I usually do the half (marathon), but I’m doing the 5k with my kids this year,” she said.
A participant and fellow organizer, DeBiasi described what she thinks sets Freedom’s Run apart from other races.
“It’s the prettiest half marathon course I’ve ever done… and I’ve done them everywhere in the world,” she said.
“It’s unique with the small town flavor,” she went on to say.
DeBiasi described a six month organizing process to prepare for Freedom’s Run every year.
“Our house gets kind of taken over by all the race equipment,” she said with a chuckle.
Lois Turco credited the many many Freedom’s Run volunteers for making the event possible once again ,noting that Shepherd University plays an important role.
“Shepherd University is absolutely key,” she said.
“Holly Frye and the volunteers are invaluable,” she said.
With racers traveling from 40 states and 3 foreign countries to participate, Turco said the new route offered a unique opportunity for visitors to enjoy Shepherdstown proper.
“They really got to be a part of town,” she said.
In addition to the causes Freedom’s Run supports, DeBiasi described what its been like to see the impact Freedom’s Run has made on the town.
“People thought you were crazy,” she said.
“When we first moved her, nobody ran in Shepherdstown.”
“You see people running all the time now. It’s been fun to see the norm switch.” she said.
To learn more about Freedom’s Run visit www.freedomsrun.org.