5K honors the memory of Fairport man

27 Jul

Mark Callanan

As you might have gleaned from the headline, this blog is definitely not Webster-focused. But one of my a Schlegel Elementary School colleagues is helping organize this race, so it’s near and dear to my heart. I want to let as many people know about it as possible, and hopefully drum up a lot of participants.

It’s called the Mark A. Callanan Memorial Run, scheduled for Saturday August 4 in the village of Fairport.

I wrote an entire East Extra column in the Democrat and Chronicle about this race a few weeks ago, in which I shared more about the race and Mark:

Mark Callanan grew up in Fairport, graduated from Fairport High School in 2005 and attended SUNY Geneseo. He served seven years in the Marine Corps, and settled in Washington D.C. There, in June 2015 in front of the Capitol Building, he proposed to his sweetheart Kristi Altieri. They set a wedding date for the following year.

On the morning of June 7, 2016, just two months before the wedding, Mark was warming up to play basketball and collapsed with cardiac arrest. He was 28 years old.

At 6-foot-6 and 250 pounds, Mark Callanan was a very big man. And he had a heart to match. Fellow Sigma Nu Chi fraternity brother Mark Picardo called his friend “someone who I always looked up to as a young adult at Geneseo.”

“Mark was one of the major reasons that I decided to join the fraternity,” Picardo said. “He was very welcoming, loving, charismatic. (He) held an enormous presence, physically and figuratively, in the fraternity.”

In the eulogy she wrote for the funeral, Mark’s fiance Kristi recalled that he “had a deep reverence for brotherhood and what it means to take care of the people we love.” Then she reminded everyone about his mischievous side.

“Surely the brother who fell off the Sig Nu roof no less than three times and refused to buy a towel for his first week living in the house because he preferred to ‘air dry,’ could not also be the brother who served in Iraq and went on to complete an internship at the White House,” she said. “But that truly was Mark. Larger than life, in every sense.”

Proceeds from the run will be used to create a scholarship in Mark’s name at Geneseo.

I recently received an email update about the race which has made me even more excited about it. It’s going to be an incredible community event.

Here are some details:

  • Racers will gather at Potter Memorial Park, 53 West Church Street, between 8 and 9 a.m. to pick up race bibs and t-shirts. You’ll also want to take a moment to find Mark Callanan’s brick in the Veterans’ walk there.
  • Opening remarks will take place from 9 to 9:15, after which participants will walk three blocks to the s=race start on Pleasant Street
  • The out-and-back race course will be well marked, but not timed. Feel free to turn around at any point, especially if it’s really warm and muggy.
  • After the race, around 11 a.m., everyone is encouraged to walk back to Potter Memorial Park for Gatorade, fruit and snacks. From noon to about 4, Mark’s family invites everyone to join them at the Inn on Church, 11 West Church Street, where there will be a food truck and dessert truck.
  • I’m looking forward to sharing some lovin’ that Saturday, and I hope a lot of my runner friends (or even walkers) will join me.

Cost to register for the race is $30 in advance, $35 the day of the race. For more information and to register, click here.

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