A Race to Remember

By Jake Chiarelli

Sophomore Blake Coonrad and senior Andrew Shannon have been organizing and scheduling the upcoming charity race “A Race to Remember STL”. A large percentage of the proceeds from the Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 1.32.42 PM5K race will go to the Alzheimer’s Association. The race will take place on Saturday, June 27, at the Lakeside 370 Park in St. Peter’s (below).

“We wanted to sponsor a race and were shopping around for a cause to support,” Coonrad said. “Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading killer in America, and there aren’t as many events supporting the Alzheimer’s Association as other causes, and there are no races for Alzheimer’s at all.”

Coonrad and Shannon contacted Fleet Feet Sports, which offers gear, training and racing opportunities to athletes. Fleet Feet agreed to measure the course, time the race, and help organize the event. The percentage of proceeds that the boys are hoping to donate to the race is unusually high. With some charity events, only a small percentage actually goes to the charity because of the cost of events. The team is planning on donating close to 50% of the proceeds, given that enough participants register. Registration for the race is currently $30 per person.

“One cool thing about the race is that everyone gets a free Dri-FIT t-shirt, and the opportunity to help someone with Alzheimer’s,” Shannon said. “Some of the funding will go towards the Alzheimer’s Association help hotline, and research efforts. We hope this raises awareness for the disease too.”

Race times will be texted to participants and posted online and medals will be awarded at the end of the race. There will be refreshments and vendors around the finish line. Following the race, Coonrad hopes to track how the money given to the Alzheimer’s Association benefits Alzheimer’s patients.

“I think Alzheimer’s is a good cause to support and they’ve put a lot of work into the race,” Blake’s sister, senior Emily Coonrad said. “I’ve seen all the work going into it so I’m excited to see how it all turns out.

The volunteer team has put together a webpage for the race, and Fleet Feet has also featured the race on their website where participants can register, here. A page on the Race’s website is being made for Volunteers to sign up, and for businesses and other sponsors to make tax-deductible contributions. The team is currently handing out fliers at track meets, contacting local college track teams, running clubs and organizing a social media campaign to help promote the race.

“Sometimes people look at Alzheimer’s as a disease that’s just old age and forgetfulness, or just a ‘natural’ thing, but it can progress as early as 30. It’s a debilitating disease and we hope this will help bring some attention to it,” Coonrad said.

A Race to Remember STL Website

Fleet Feet Race Page