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WV races for a healthier future at Harpers Ferry half/5k

May 4, 2017
Mark Cucuzzella , Shepherdstown Chronicle

It's no secret WV statistically has been named one of the unhealthiest and obese states in the country. However, one community in the Eastern Panhandle is fighting to reverse this. Jefferson County is home to an ever growing population of runners and impressive races. As a family physician and small business owner, my local band of volunteers are dedicated to improving our community through healthy initiatives such as Freedom's Run Series of Events.

Next up is the Harpers Ferry Half Marathon & 5K, scheduled for Saturday, May 13. The Half Marathon is a challenging, yet beautiful course covering the expanse of the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park and the Civil War era towns connecting them. Panoramic views of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers, a loop through Harpers Ferry National Historical Park and John Brown's Fort take you back to the 1860s. The 5K event is not to be forgotten, with a mix of trail, road and historical ruins, this breathtaking course will leave even the fair weather runners and walkers wanting more.

Although many of the registrants come from out of town, there is a push to get the community involved. Runners will enjoy hand-made ceramic half marathon medals from a local potter, or volunteering along the course to encourage the participants through their final leg of the race.

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Additionally all youth 17 years of age and under run the 5K free. Kids run free at our spring event because we do not want any barriers from allowing a youth to participate in a 5K and see the wonderful course."

The Harpers Ferry Half Marathon is a part of the Freedom's Run Race Series. All proceeds from both events contribute to the Freedom's Run Grant. Since the inaugural year, over $200,000 has been given directly back to the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia as well as neighboring communities. With both races, we have assisted with matching grants to bring the total to almost $400,000.

The success of both races is largely due to the incredible support from community sponsors. West Virginia University Health Science Eastern Division, WVU Medicine University Healthcare, River Riders American Public University System, Bank of Charles Town and Hollywood Casino have been overly generous and their contributions allow race prices to stay low and more worthwhile projects to be funded.

The Harper Ferry Half Marathon has proven to be a significant inspiration, impacting hundreds of youth's lives in its 8-year career. Although small in comparison to big name races, Harpers Ferry Half is making big changes. The race is only 60 miles from Baltimore or D.C.. Close in miles but seemingly a world and time from the past.

For more information or to register, visit www.harpersferryhalf.org or www.freedomsrun.org or contact Freedom's Run Series Headquarters Two Rivers Treads 304-876-1100.

As of May 1 the new location for Two Rivers Treads will be 400 Mildred Street in Ranson.

 
 
 

 

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