2nd Annual Hess Lake Run For A-T
By N3 Sports
You’ve seen the signs throughout the area.
No, not the pesky political signage popping up everywhere there’s a spare patch of ground, we’re referring to the ones promoting the upcoming Hess Lake Run.
And for many the questions are...
... “What is A-T and why do the signs say “Run For Those Who Can’t”?
A-T (ataxia-telangiectasia) is a rare, genetic disease that attacks children, causing progressive loss of muscle control, cancer, and immune system problems. A-T is presently incurable and unrelenting.
If the kids afflicted with A-T are lucky enough not to develop cancer, most are dependent on wheelchairs by the age of ten, not because their muscles are too weak, but because they cannot control them. Later, A-T patients usually die from respiratory failure or cancer by their early or mid-twenties. A few A-T patients live into their forties, but they are extremely rare.
Established in 1993, the A-T Children's Project is nonprofit organization that raises funds to support and coordinate biomedical research projects, scientific conferences and a clinical center aimed at finding life-improving therapies and a cure for ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T).
Good, because if you’re a runner or even a wannabe runner or perhaps someone who merely wants to help the cause while getting in a bit of outdoor exercise this is your opportunity to pace your way along a scenic route circumnavigating the lake while contributing to the A-T Project that will hopefully bring researchers to a cure for this insidious disease.
But this is not merely for those who will make their way around at a leisurely pace while enjoying the wildlife around the lake (including many residents). This is also a competitive challenge that includes a half marathon and a 10K in addition to the 5K fun run.
The race kicks off Saturday, July 16 and runners from all over the country will be coming to challenge local talent with representation from Washington and California to New Jersey and Virginia. Last year’s Half Marathon winner, Jeff Bajema from Grand Rapids, finished at 1:11:43.7. 10k winner Scott Berg, also from Grand Rapids, came in with a time of 42:31.6.
“I had a great time last year and I'm excited to be a part of it again this year,” said Lisa Beight from Grant.
The second annual Hess Lake Run For A-T will fire off at 8:00 a.m. from River Valley Community Church to send the competitors through the challenging and hilly route. You will find local companies Jimmy’s Roadhouse, North Woods General Store, and A-WASTE at the race representing the Newaygo area businesses. Hess Lake residents often take part by cheering the runners on.
It is not too late to sign up. Runners are welcome to register all the way up to the morning of the race. Pre-registration is encouraged and will increase your chances of getting a shirt in your size. Packets for all runners include goodies like: a race t-shirt, a nice Hess Lake Run tumbler, Kashi and SOYJOY bars, and more. All finishers receive an A-T Children’s Project medal while age group winners get a special Hess Lake Run medal.
Hess Lake Run For A-T is organized completely by volunteers so every penny goes directly to the charity. The coordinating team, Kyle, Lisa, John, David, and Aletia, are grateful for any support whether it be runners, sponsors, volunteers, or donations.
For more information on the race, visit www.hesslakerun.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
More on the A-T Children’s Project can be found at www.atcp.org.