Share |

Saturday, September 15, 2001 -- New Castle, KY
Friends for Michael (iPO Event Id#: 3695)
Story by Rebecca Doerr with photos by Laura Dulaney

[Details] [Coverage]
[Overall Results] [Results by Class]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5]

Race Pic
The 5K gets off and running
It is Saturday, September 15, 2001, just four days since the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. In a week filled with confusion and grief, a group of Americans gathered at Henry County High School to give testament to the spirit which formed our nation. Despite what you may be thinking, these people aren't involved in a vigil or blood drive, but are preparing to run a race.

Michael Brent, a Henry County High School graduate was injured in a car accident on July 21, 1997 at the age of eighteen. He had been working at PGA's Valhalla Golf course when he unknowingly became dehydrated in the hot sun and was on his way home when he blacked out, causing his car to flip several times, crushing the top of his car and breaking his neck.

Damage to his spinal cord left Michael a quadriplegic but it did not leave him without friends. Thus Friends for Michael, Inc. was born. In the years since its conception Friends for Michael, Inc. has been able to help not only Michael but others dealing with spinal injuries through such fundraising as the 5K Run/Walk.

Race Pic
Showing the colors
That is what brings all of these people here today on this frigid Saturday morning. Shivering in the cool morning air the walkers and runners watch as the wheelchair participants begin the race. As they break free from the high school parking lot and down U.S. Highway 421, the sound of the gun signals the start of the race for the runners and the walkers. They will head down the highway toward the Henry County fairgrounds and then double back until they make their way back to the high school and around the track where they will cross the finish line.

First to cross the finish line is wheelchair participant Greg McMahon who finished with a time of 15:20. Categories ranged from women's 12-15 which was won by Chloe Ryan with the time 23:24 and Lindsey Moore with a time of 25:44 to men's and women's 60 plus which was won by Betty Quisenberry with a time of 30:45 and Bob Quisenberry with a time of 26:36. The Friends for Michael race is for everyone, a true family affair.

Race Pic
High stepping in the 1600 meters
For those wishing to participate, but are perhaps not old enough or athletic enough to be a part of the 5K race, there was also a one mile race immediately following the big 5K. Here, even elementary school children got a chance to give participate and contribute.

The real winners of this race are not present at the awards ceremony. These winners don't carry home trophies or medals. The real winners are those that receive help and support through the efforts of those that ran the race for them.