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Runners, walkers, and history enthusiasts: Let Freedom’s Run ring

By Staff | Sep 29, 2014

Oct. 3 and 4 mark Freedom’s Run Festival weekend in Shepherdstown and runners will fill the streets for the annual event.

The race, that had to alter courses last year due to the government shut down, will revert back to the original courses and will offer an ever popular 5K and 10K race tour highlighting the history of Shepherdstown.

The 6th annual Run features a marathon, half marathon, 10K, 5K, and kid’s run. Experience Harpers Ferry, Shepherdstown, the C & O Canal and the challenging hills of Antietam. The courses include country roads and preserved historic towns. Events are hosted in Shepherdstown, and feature a 50 yard line finish at Shepherd University’s, Rams Stadium and a post-race Oktoberfest party at the Bavarian Inn.

According to information provided by race founder Mark Cucuzzella, the historical route and race organization has earned a “Top 25 Half Marathon” by Runner’s World Magazine in February 2013 and is the Highlight Race in October 2013 Runner’s World. Read the Runners World piece.

Freedom’s Run is listed as a “Must Do” race in Competitor Magazine September 2014. It has also been named to the Runner’s Bucket List: 200 Races to Run Before You Die by Denise Malan.

That publication shared the following about the Run (printed with permission).

“The marathon starts in the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, where the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers meet. It’s also the site of several historic events, including John Brown’s famous raid and the largest surrender of Federal troops during the Civil War. The first loop is around Murphy Farm, where John Brown’s fort was moved and preserved before being moved back to its original location.

“From there, the course crosses the Potomac on a footbridge and turns north along the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, another national park better known as the C&O Canal, that remains as a testament to early transportation, engineering, and westward expansion.

“After about 10 miles on the canal towpath, the course jogs inland to the solemn Antietam National Battlefield, site of the bloodiest one-day battle in American history, where 23,000 soldiers were killed, wounded, or went missing after 12 hours of combat. The battle ended the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia’s first push into the North.

“From the battlefield and nearby Sharpsburg, the course passes back across the Potomac to Shepherdstown, West Virginia, where the steamboat was built and tested, and a finish in the football stadium of Shepherd University.”

A free, Kids One Mile Fun Run is also part of the day’s event. Those runners 18 years of age or younger who would like to run the 5k, 10k, and half marathon can find a $10 Off Code to be used at the online registration. Use the code “Youth10,” at online registration.

A Pre-race Expo will be held Friday from 12-8 p.m.at the Shepherd Wellness Center. There will be local vendors and footwear available to try. Put a pair shoes on and test them on the Wellness Center’s indoor track.

A pasta dinner will be held 4-8 p.m. Shepherd University Dining Hall located at 419 North King Street. Proceeds benefit Shepherd University’s Recreation & Sports Department and Student -Athlete Advisory Council. Cucuzzella will speak at 6 p.m This is a great value meal at only $12 for adults and $6 for children 10 and under.

All proceeds from the event return to the community to support fitness trails at local schools and activities surrounding our history and heritage.

For more information and to register now go to www.freedomsrun.org or come in to Freedom’s Run HQ Two Rivers Treads in downtown Shepherdstown, 304-876-1101.