Shepherdstown, WV -  Let Freedom’s Run ring! Shepherdstown WV will again host the 6TH Annual Freedom’s Run Festival Weekend Friday and Saturday October 3 and 4.  The issue of Competitor Magazine, hailed as the largest globally circulated monthly magazine for fitness enthusiasts of all levels and backgrounds, selected Freedom’s Run as one of their few “Must Do” Races.

Race Director Mark Cucuzzella MD is thrilled with the national exposure and what it means for the race, “We are thrilled with the exposure and attention given by Competitor by having the Freedom’s Run event grace the pages of their September issue that recently hit newsstands and mailboxes all over the nation,” he said.  “We hope this extra national coverage will extend our reach to runner’s outside of this region who do not yet know about the amazing course we have to offer and the unique cause that is attached to it.”

University Healthcare and Robert C Byrd Health Sciences Center have been partners since the first event.  Vice President for Marketing and Development Teresa McCabe adds, “Freedom’s Run fits in perfectly with our mission to support community wellness and a culture of health in our own employees”.  Berkeley Wellness Center lead Dana DeJarnett says, “I’ve witnessed the impact of Freedom’s Run on other events too.  In the last 5 years more people are out doing more events.  This brings people together for health and local causes.”

The layers of the past that the Freedom’s Run course uncovers trace from the days of early invention and discovery to the most brutal day in our country’s history. Runners will experience a living museum, preserved for our future generations in the 26 miles that wind through four national parks.  The event celebrates history, community health and the soul of running, according to Cucuzzella.

“West Virginia is often viewed as an unhealthy place to live. Much of this opinion unfortunately comes from real data. We are the second most obese state and fiftieth when it comes to trails,” according to Cucuzzella.  “Six years ago with the help of local partnerships we set out to change that. We set out to give opportunities in a small community by providing teaching, mentoring, opportunities, encouragement, and some nice trails for the setting. The goal was to spark cultural change, reattach children and families to nature and heritage, and produce mentors who will spread the themes deeper into each community.  With the awareness, we needed funds to achieve large goals and thus, Freedom’s Run was born.”

The idea was to put on an event that gave citizens awareness of healthy living, promote outdoor activity, and in the process discover the rich history of the area- an Event for Health and Heritage. A collaborative group between leads at the Robert C Byrd Eastern Education Division, University Healthcare, the National Park Service, Shepherd University, local citizens and businesses, teamed to create Freedom’s Run. The event offers opportunity for all to engage in a new challenge with 5 events- 1 mile kids fun run, 5k, 10k, Half Marathon, and Marathon. The race raises funds for fitness trail building in local elementary schools and supports initiatives of health and heritage.

With close to 3000 participants, Freedom’s Run is the largest running event in West Virginia. Over 40 states have been represented since the inaugural year in 2009. The event has been awarded 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014  Road Runners Club of America Regional Marathon Championship. Over $100,000 has directly gone back to the community and additional grants have been acquired with the assistance the race committee  has given.

Youth can come out too for free kids one mile fun run.  Also use the code “Youth10” for runners 18 and under for online registration and $10 off entry for 5k,10k, half marathon events.  Interested runner’s should check out the website and register at www.freedomsrun.org.  Or come in to Freedom’s Run HQ Two Rivers Treads in Downtown Shepherdstown www.tworiverstreads.com or phone 304-876-1101.