Two upcoming runs will benefit great causes

29 Jul

So, I’m a runner. If you’d told me 10 years ago that I would actually say those words, I would have called you crazy.

But life takes you strange places sometimes, and these days I find myself running 5Ks with some regularity, and when I come across one that I particularly like to run — which means it benefits a cause I really want to support — I like telling you all about them.

Today I want to pass along information about two upcoming races. The first, which is happening this coming weekend, is actually not in Webster, but is a cause near and dear to a close Webster friend of mine. I also like it because the run is flat and scenic, right along the Erie Canal.

Marco+LogoIt’s the second annual Mark Callanan Memorial 5K, scheduled for this coming Saturday Aug. 3 at 9 a.m., beginning at the Veterans Memorial in Potter Park, W. Church Street in Fairport.

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. His fun-loving spirit improved the lives of everyone he met. The 5K has been organized to celebrate that spirit, has another purpose as well. Funds raised through registration, t-shirt sales and more are being used to create a scholarship in Mark’s name at Geneseo.

Last year’s first annual run raised an amazing $25,000 for the endowment fund, and Mark’s friends and family hope to add to that with this year’s event.

For more information about the race and to register, click here.

run, walk and roll

This second race isn’t happening until late September, but I’ve already signed up for it, and I’ve run it every year.

It’s the 5th annual Run, Walk & Roll 5K and 1 mile stroll to benefit Challenger Miracle Field. The event invites participants to run or walk, push a wheelchair, push themselves in a wheelchair, or participate with other assistive devices including adaptive bicycles and tricycles.

Great progress has already been made on Challenger Miracle Field, which is located behind Town Hall, 1000 Ridge Road. Games are being played there, and now the focus has turned to completing the Karpus Family Play with Possibilities Playground, a barrier-free, safe, accessible place for all children, regardless of their physical challenges.

In previous years, this race began and ended at Webster Thomas High School. But this year, for the first time, it will all happen at Miracle Field itself, which I think is an awesome idea. The 5K will start at the corner of Van Ingen Drive and Hard Road, behind Town Hall, take runners through North Ponds Park and down the bike path back to Miracle Field. The Miracle Field Stroll will actually take place on the field itself.

The race is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 29 beginning at 9:30 a.m. Registration is $20 for the 5K and $17 for the one-mile stroll, if you register online in advance. After that, in-person registration at the race will cost $30/$22. Prizes will be awarded, and the first 200 registrants get a free t-shirt, which you can wear proudly to show what a good person you are. Click here for more information and to register.

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