By Justin Jones, Staff Writer
Saturday, March 23, 2013 —
While runners may have a variety of reasons for why they run, the entire Stanly County community has a reason to run next Thursday in the first Honor the Fallen 24-hour run.
The race is organized by Jeremy Mullins, who serves in the Air National Guard, and is sponsored by Vac & Dash.
Mullins, who has served three tours of duty in Iraq, has organized the race to honor fallen soldiers, as many other communities are having similar races within the National Guard branch.
The race, which is set to begin at 3 p.m. March 28 and end on 3 p.m. March 29 was chosen specifically in memory of Mullins’ friend and fellow soldier, Jacob Frazier of the 169th Air Support Operations Squadron from Peoria, Ill.
Frazier was killed March 29, 2003.
Mullins wanted to honor Frazier and other soldiers after hearing of successful 24-hour runs in other areas that took place last year.
“No better place than Albemarle with the running community that’s here to participate in that,” Mullins said.
The event does not require an entry fee, but donations are requested to be at $20.
Mullins explained that the money is then sent to the Tactical Air Control Party Association. The association has means to create scholarships for children that have lost loved ones in the War on Terror, as well as help families in times of need after a loved one has passed away during the transitional period.
“It’s really just to encourage people just because it’s such a good cause,” he said.
“People don’t realize how many in Stanly County are serving or have served.”
Vac & Dash owner Peter Asciutto said that being a part of an event that raises money for families of fallen heroes is worth giving support.
Asciutto was also fond of the event setup.
“Where you’re coming out and helping out a cause, all ages and all paces can come run in it. You can run one and a half miles or run 70 miles and that’s what makes it unique,” Asciutto said.
“The idea of 24 hours intimidates people,” Mullins added.
“Run for an hour, or 30 minutes.”
Mullins said that he plans on running as a team divided into different hour-long shifts.
Runners in the event can take home black shirts that detail the event, with an emphasis on the soldier.
“It’s a typical image of a soldier at a cross. And it’s all black. The ink is black, and the shirt is black. And it put the focus on the fallen themselves,” Mullins said.
But beyond the shirts, which can be purchased for $5, runners will run in memory and support of fallen soldiers.
“Run all night, run all day or you can walk it. No prizes, no award, just a good way to raise money,” Asciutto said.
To submit story ideas, contact Justin Jones at jljones @stanlynewspress.com or (704) 982-2121 ext. 24.