homepage logo

Freedom’s Run wants all to participate for a healthy state and nation

By Staff | Sep 9, 2016

Freedom’s Run is less than a month away–set for Saturday, Oct. 1, in Shepherdstown-featuring a full marathon, half-marathon, 10k, 5k, kids fun run and other activities.

Can West Virginia lead the charge to restore health in America? The Freedom’s Run team believes it can.

Race director Dr. Mark Cucuzzella reflects on the race’s local impact: “It brings me joy to see new runners in our community and friends helping friends get healthy. Our local Bros and Bras group is a prime example of this. We are a community and all change starts local.”

Everyone can play a critical part beyond just running. Continuing in 2016 is the opportunity to run for free, and to earn incentives, including free shoes, by running for causes of community health and activities surrounding our history and heritage. If a runner raises $500 through tax deductible pledges they earn a free pair of shoes valued between $100 and $150. Find out more at www.gofundme.com/freedoms run.

In the late 1950s, a warning sounded. Almost 58 percent of American children were unable to pass a basic fitness test, while only 8.7 percent of Europeans failed. President Eisenhower and later John F. Kennedy, saw the problem at hand, had a vision and took action.

“Our growing softness–our increasing lack of physical fitness–is a menace to our security,” said Kennedy at the 1961 Conference on Physical Fitness of Youth. “We do not want in the United States a nation of spectators. We want a nation of participants in the vigorous life.”

Later in 1962, he reported for Sports Illustrated in a piece titled The Vigor We Need, ” but fitness is vital for a still more basic reason. It is vital because it is the basis of the health and vitality of the individual citizen. And these are qualities which are essential if each American is to be free to realize fully the potential value of his own capabilities and the pursuit of his individual goals.”

The challenging courses through Harpers Ferry, Shepherdstown, the C&O Canal and the engaging hills of Antietam are designed in the Kennedy spirit. The historical route and race organization has earned Runner’s World Magazine’s recognition as a “Bucket List Race for the Family,” a “Top 25 Half-Marathon” in 2013, and the “Highlight Race” in October 2013. Just last month USA Today recognized the event as a “Top 10 Destination Race.”

Freedom’s Run also wants youth to participate in the free Kids One Mile Fun Run. For those under 18 who want to challenge the 5k, 10k or half-marathon, there is a $10 Off Code–“youth10”–to be used at the online registration.

Race weekend will have a pre-race Expo Friday from 12-8 p.m.at the Shepherd Wellness Center. There will be lots of local vendors and footwear available to try. The weekend also includes two amazing speakers/guest runners who will share their stories of coming off opiates and losing 200 pounds. Opiate addiction and obesity are undefeated in West Virginia and around the country- we want to help show the way out. The talk with take place Friday at the Shepherdstown Opera House at 5 p.m. Read about TravisMeulheisen and PhillipBrenneman and be inspired that the body can heal. (NaturalRunningCenter.com / Dr. Mark’s Desk)

For more information on Freedom’s Run, and to register, visit www.freedomsrun.org.