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Freedom’s Run Keeps Growing

By Staff | Oct 10, 2014

This year’s Freedom’s Run event played host to many different stories. In its sixth year, Freedom’s Run saw more than 2500 participants in its five events, including the 5k, 10k, half marathon, full marathon, and kids fun run.

Runners from of all backgrounds intersected Saturday morning contributing to a cause that raised more than $40,000 for local trails and wellness programs.

Local resident Laura Turman ran Saturday’s 5k as part of a fundraising for her son Linus.

“My son, Linus, has a medical condition that has left him with a significant development delay, and he cannot walk without assistance.”

Turman explained that her family purchased an all-terrain stroller for Linus in order to take him places like the C&O canal. In hopes of further increasing his mobility Turman set up a Gofundme page with the assistance of Freedoms Run co-founder Mark Cucuzzella.

“We surpassed our goal ($1000 dollars) by nearly 75 percent and so an adaptive bicycle now looks more like a reality,” she said following the race.

Turman said the bicycle would help Linus’s gait and low muscle tone.

“Plus, an 8-year old should be able to enjoy riding a bicycle,” she said.

Truman ran the 5k pushing Linus is his stroller. Many local residents ran alongside the pair in support of the effort.

“Linus had a great time and Im thrilled to have done my first 5k time with him,” Turman said.

Freedom’s Run saw many other first time participants this year as well as some veteran attendees.

Shepherdstown resident Chris Peterson ran the 5k with his wife Hanna for the first time this year.

Both agreed that Freedom’s Run’s energy is uniquely motivational.

“I think it’s really encouraging for a state that’s notoriously unhealthy to have this many people come out to encourage a cause to try to change that stigma,” Chris said.

“I loved it. I’ll do another one for sure,” Hanna said.

In another memorable race moment, local resident Stephen Knipe popped the question at Saturday’s event.

Running along side girlfriend, Kaitlyn Price, Knipe said he thought their fourth year at Freedom’s Run was the perfect opportunity to make the life changing leap.

“I’m very happy and relieved,” Knipe said, explaining that he dropped to one knee after the couple finished their 5k run.

Price said she was genuinely surprised and quickly said yes to the proposal.

“I honestly had no idea,” she said.

According to race organizer Mark Cucuzzella, Freedom’s Run continues to grow. This year’s event saw almost 500 marathon finishers from 45 states.

“From everything that I’ve seen and heard everyone enjoys it.” he said.

Cucuzzella said the community volunteers, Shepherd University and Corporation of Shepherdstown all help make Freedom’s Run possible.

“It’s put on by the people, for the people, of the people,” he said.

To learn more about Freedoms Run visit the event web site at www.freedomsrun.org.