Hundreds prepare for sixth annual ‘Run for Holland’
SPRUCE PINE – Hundreds of people are expected to participate in Saturday, May 18, in the sixth annual Run for Holland 5K, 10K and 1-mile Fun Run.
Run for Holland was started by Adam and Brooke Burleson in 2014. Just five months into their pregnancy they received a test result indicating a 99 percent chance their daughter would be born with Down syndrome.
More than 20 volunteers will assist in the races that begin around 8:30 a.m. at Riverside Park and meander through downtown Spruce Pine.
Race organizers for the second year have partnered with Speed for Need to sponsor the “Four Chairs” to raise awareness and foster inclusion of those with a particular need through participation in fitness events supported by the men of Fitness, Fellowship and Faith, also known as F3.
This year’s Four Chairs participants are David McLott, 48, of Bakersville, Gabe Troutman, 7, of Bakersville, Maddi Giganti, 18 months, of New Market, Maryland, and Zeke Deyton, 20, of Bakersville. Volunteers from F3 and Females in Action, or FiA, will push the four participants through the race in customized racing wheelchairs to help them participate and complete the event.
“Our goal is to give them an experience that they would not otherwise be able to have on their own accord. Inevitably, our track commanders are the ones that are actually pushing us through,” according to the Speed for Need website. “They are inspiring us to step up, engage and lead. They are motivating us to become better people, better servants and better leaders. Our track commanders lead the way in every Speed for Need Inc. event.”
A party to celebrate six years of Run For Holland will take place at Riverside Park after the races with inflatables, free ice cream, granola, fruit and ice pops and music. Runners are also eligible for multiple door prizes.
Prizes will also be awarded for the overall male and female finishers in the 5K and 10K races, who may choose between a vacation package or $100 cash. Second place will receive $50 cash and third place $25. Age group first- and second-place finishers will receive medals.
Burleson said he projects the event will raise at least $20,000 this year because of added support and recently achieving 501(c)(3) status. The money will be donated to various organizations that help people with special needs.
Run for Holland has donated more than $50,000 since its inception.