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Thank you from Freedom’s Run

By Staff | Oct 14, 2016

You all are the heros of the day. For those of you who volunteered or ran Freedom’s Run, I hope you all have dried out. And to the volunteers, it is easier to run than to work a cold, rainy race. At least you are generating body heat while running.

Despite the rain that greeted us race day, we have been overwhelmed by the kind emails thanking our towns for the friendly welcome they received while visiting us for Freedom’s Run on Oct. 1. We would not have been able to pull this off without your incredible help. We had 2,500 runners from 45 states. The 300 kids in the free Kids Fun Run was a highlight of the day for us. They were happy and smiling as they ran through the puddles.

We are creating a festival weekend with the Friday pre-race expo and downtown activities and the post-race Oktoberfest at the Bavarian Inn. We are continuing our themes of health and heritage through continued community outreach for family and youth fitness and financial contributions to local projects.

Last week 200 children participated in the inaugural Berkeley County Middle School Cross Country Championship and a Home School Cross Country League has formed this year. These are outcomes created from a community embracing the benefits of running for a child’s and adult’s health. It was also the two year anniversary of the formation of Bros and Bra’s community running group which encourages all to come out and become healthy.

I wanted to share a couple nice messages from a visitors:

Thank you so much for this nice congrats and for all your informative communication. I did the ‘half’ this year due to a sore hip and the threat that my Physical Therapist was going to show up. Freedom’s Run is the most optimistic race I’ve ever done and that feeling seems to grow every year! It just has such a happy, wholesome spirit that never loses the right perspective of what we are doing that day. And, where else can you finish with a bunch of adorable munchkins (did you have to pay Oz for them to show up when it was most needed!?). I believe the initial challenge from JFK was the embodiment of the of your race. Martha; Keedysville, Maryland

Freedom’s Run was a great event for our whole family. I did the full marathon and my husband and kids did the 10K, so we all had reason to celebrate. We also thoroughly enjoyed spending time in Shepherdstown and seeing Antietam the next day. It’s not a particularly easy race to simply have spectators for the marathon, but that’s a great reason to have your spectator(s) sign up and do a race themselves! Well organized, and it’s clear that they are getting better and better every year. We would love to come back. Joanna: Durham, North Carolina

Part of me does not want the rest of the world to learn how great this race is. The community support is amazing, the views are incredible and the race director so dedicated to keeping everything fun and safe with a unique passion and continuous motivation. Running through the historic battlefields cannot be described, it should be experienced. Make the trip, do this run, enjoy the community and feel the history. Hillary, Atlantic City, New Jersey

I love running Freedoms’ Run. This was my 3rd time running in the event – 2 marathons and 1 half. What I love most about the race is the beautiful scenery, the difficulty, and how nice, cheerful, and helpful the volunteers and other runners are. It gives me the opportunity to just enjoy running while meeting my goal. Can’t say enough great things! Super thanks to all the friendly, smiling, clapping, cheering volunteers! Absolutely beautiful course, enough aid stations (w/portos too!), plenty of water, Gatorade, and fueling gel. And you just can’t beat pizza at the finish.

But to top it all off, I am most proud of my hand made medal!

You all rock! So glad to have been part of this race! Kerri Ackerman

Extra thanks go to some special folks who without them the event would never occur.

All the sponsors of the event especially, WVU Medicine and Eastern Education Division, for their financial support; Shepherd University for the amazingly generous use of facilities and their hundreds of volunteers; and The National Park Service for the open door to four national parks, and to the town officials and law enforcement. Many thanks also go to sponsors including The Chronicle. Please visit our sponsor page on www.freedomsrun.org and thank and visit all the kind businesses.

One individual who deserves special recognition is Co-Director Katie Nolan. Katie has worked a year on all aspects of this event, the Harpers Ferry Half Marathon, youth running camps, and Farmer’s Market Programs for youth. This is a year of work which all seems to come together seamlessly on race day. Thank you Katie! Tim Mason deserves huge credit for the complex permitting in the State of Maryland.

We are already planning for 2017, so save the date of Sept. 30-and invite your friends.

Mark Cucuzzella