Francis Marion Dirt Dash 5K
Here is a posting about the race from my friend Richard Blalock's blog:
As mentioned in the prior post, a network television show may want to highlight our fundraising efforts for the IFOPA (International Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva Association).
This came about when a Twitter / Facebook friend Colin Cooley mentioned it to someone "in the business" (I am not sure how many details I should offer for now) who he knew was looking to do a different kind of program. What makes this show so unique is it will be an attempt at an uplifting, positive theme instead of some of the more contentious subjects that pit contestants against each other.
They wanted to know about any upcoming fundraisers we were doing. The All-American 5k would have been a perfect venue had all this happened earlier, but that was water under the cart path. I still plan to run the Boston Marathon in 2012 honoring Ashley Kurpiel and fund raising for the IFOPA and you can preview that page here.
The network scheduled dictated we would have to have a race far sooner than that, so we had to organize a new one or piggyback on an established event. Having never put on a race and having so little time to do it, I was completely overwhelmed at the prospect of trying to do it. The thought did come to mind of two local people who I could talk to about either a new race or an existing one, as I had little confidence I could do it myself.
I first talked to Mike McKenna, who has been a dedicated supporter of my efforts of fundraising for IFOPA. Mike is also the current Charleston Running Club president and was co-director of the Catch the Leprechaun race back in March. Last week we had a good phone conversation, and we concluded that asking Chad Haffa, the race director for the Francis Marion Dirt Dash half marathon and 5k would be our best bet.
I sent Chad a FB message and he immediately gave me a call and agreed to letting us latch onto his 5k. Not only that, he went the extra mile and quickly set up the Active.com 5k registration to allow a donation to be made to the IFOPA as well as stating that all proceeds from this race (outside of expenses) would go to the charity as well.
Among the hats he wears, Chad is a firefighter, trail/endurance runner, and race director. We are deeply appreciative of what he has done for us, as this opportunity to give FOP national exposure may not have had a venue otherwise. Again and again I am amazed of where this journey has taken us, and what might not have happened had it never been started. How can there possibly be any regrets?
So the title of this post, "Run Forest Run" is exactly that, a run through the Francis Marion National Forest on September 10, 2011. I ran the half marathon last year at the inaugural race and will run the 5k this year in support of the IFOPA. This was my first amputee half marathon in 2010 and turned out to be a difficult race with the heat and sharp-edged prosthesis. This year the race starts an hour earlier and is designed so there will be more shade in the later stages of the run. Chad is striving to improve his events and has responded to runner's comments from last year.
Television show or not, the 5k race will be a charity event for the IFOPA and I intend to be in good shape to run it well. I hope readers of this blog will consider running or walking the 5k and donating when you sign up for the race here. Please note the 5k race is being used for IFOPA fund raising, and the half marathon donates to the Mount Pleasant Fire Departments Wildland Firefighting Program. The latter is something Chad is involved in as a firefighter and is a great cause as well.
Hope to see you on September 10, 2011! Please say hi to me, I have no problem talking about my prosthesis or answering any questions you have. Several people have asked me questions because they or someone they know are looking into elective amputation and have never talked to someone with a lost limb.
Ashley plans to be there as well and I hope you get a chance to meet and speak to one of the most remarkable people you will ever know. Running this race WILL help Ashley and everyone else with FOP, so Run Forest Run!