Run for Heroes Marathon hits the streets this weekend, fundraising for full marathon continues

 

Chris Uszynski, race director with Running Flat, shows one of the pylons that has been purchased in support of the full Run for Heroes marathon.

Chris Uszynski, race director with Running Flat, shows one of the pylons that has been purchased in support of the full Run for Heroes marathon.

By Ron Giofu

 

The Run for Heroes Marathon returns to the streets of Amherstburg this weekend with efforts still ongoing to save the full marathon.

Few spots remain for Sunday morning’s full marathon while the half-marathon and the 10K runs are sold out. Saturday morning runs include the 5K Super Heroes run/walk, the Kids Dash and 1K Kids Marathon.

The race, presented by Running Flat, will feature 1,600 participants, according to race director Chris Uszynski.

“Year over year, it’s the same number as last year and it’s slightly down from the 1812 run,” he said.

This could be the final year for the full marathon, as rising costs have the race in jeopardy. Uszynski noted there are policing costs as well as costs to have eight stations along the course, but pylons are one of the big costs.

“We do 14-1/2 kilometers of pylons for the race, which means about 2,000 pylons,” said Uszynski. “No one south of Toronto has a collection of 2,000 pylons. It’s a very, very expensive full-marathon course.”

A fundraising campaign through the IndieGOGO website has been started with a goal of $45,500, an amount that will allow for the purchase of 2,000 pylons. Uszynski said the pylons have to meet minimum requirements, including a 70 cm diameter and 10-15 cm of reflective material.

“For $25, you can purchase a pylon and we’ll put your name or your business name on it,” said Uszynski.

There is an option to purchase five kilometers worth of pylons for $5,000, he added.

“All the money goes into pylons and we’re not going to stop until we buy them all,” said Uszynski. Should the campaign not raise enough to save the full-marathon, Uszynski said pylons will be purchased to use in the other races. Known as the “Pylons for Heroes” campaign, the site to donate on can be found at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/pylons-for-heroes-alzheimer-s/x/7169663.

The Run for Heroes Marathon will also feature a health expo again this year at the Libro Centre. Exhibitors will include ENJO Cleaning Products, Season’s Retirement Communities, Braun Roller works, Pursuit Message and Recovery, LMS Compression Socks, Solace, One Tooth, Velari Medal Racks, and New Balance with a guest speaker series being introduced this year as well. Uszynski and Kelly Steele will speak on social running Friday at 4 p.m. followed at 5 p.m. by a talk on the importance of being a pace leader. Dr. Michelle Prince will speak on “Wellness and Running with Cancer” Friday at 6 p.m. while Dr. Judy Fraser’s topic will be “Good Feet, Good Run.” Saturday sees speakers start at noon with Darcy Haggith speaking on hydration with Fraser returning an hour after that with a talk entitled “Keep Calm and Run On.” “Stretching and Making the Difference” is Saturday at 2 p.m. with Brandon Laan with another talk on pacing at 4 p.m.

Uszynski said the expo is open to the public with no admission charge to enter.

“I welcome everyone in Amherstburg to come to our expo,” he said.

The marathon will bring in people from all over North America, Uszynski pointed out, with the race director stating he would like to see a billet program develop in Amherstburg to accommodate runners. While a hotel could help alleviate the problem, he would like to see the town help co-ordinate an effort to allow runners to find homes in which to billet people.

“All the runners are staying in Windsor,” he said.

Billeting runners would give them “an amazing cultural experience,” added Uszynski.

“It’s only through doing stuff like this that this town is going to grow. The best way is for the town to co-ordinate that. Why do we keep sending business down the road?”

Volunteers are still being sought as well as some people to entertain the runners along the route. The public is encouraged to cheer the runners as they are on the course.

“We’d love to have people come out,” said Uszynski. “The runners are so appreciative of people coming out and welcoming them to the community.”

The marathon raises $20,000 to $25,000 in a normal year for caregiver programs at the Alzheimer Society of Windsor-Essex, he added.

The Saturday races will start and end at Fort Malden National Historic Site with the races starting at 10:15 a.m. Sunday morning races are based out of the Libro Centre and start at 7:20 a.m. For more information, e-mail chris@runningflat.com or visit www.runningflat.com.

 

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