American flags lined both sides of Seven Farms Drive on Daniel Island like a gift wrapped with a red, white and blue ribbon. The spirit was patriotic and prideful but the sentiment was mournful.
On Saturday, Sept. 11, the Travis Manion Foundation (TMF) held its 10th annual 9/11 Heroes Run-Charleston. For the first time since the race’s inception, it coincided with the date of the 9/11 anniversary.
Charleston finished No. 2 in the race nationwide in terms of registration, following Houston. There are more than 85 Heroes Run locations across the country and internationally each year and Charleston has always been in the top five nationwide in participation and fundraising.
Since the Heroes Run inaugural race in 2012, 15 local agencies have received up to $152,000 from funds raised, with an annual average of $24,000. This year, the Summerville Police Department served as the beneficiary, with approximately $25,000 in proceeds going toward purchasing additional lifesaving equipment for the department.
The 20th anniversary race exceeded records in all categories across the board including donations, registration, attendance and support from local volunteers.
In terms of turnout, 1,427 people signed up and 1,340 came ready to race. The number of registrants calculated approximately $90,000 in donations, of which $50,000 was proceeds and split with the Summerville P.D. and matched by the foundation.
The sidelines of the streets yielded even more participants than on the race course. There was an estimated 2,200 in attendance.
As for support, there was about 400 volunteers lending a hand and helping the runners stay the course and keep hydrated. The TMF ran out of cups at the water station during the 2-mile mark of the race in front of Center Park. Thankfully, the Daniel Island Exchange Club volunteers knocked on doors of neighbors and collected extra cups to help overcome the shortage.
“This was by far, in our 10 years, the largest show of support we’ve ever had from the community,” said Theresa Faircloth, 9/11 Heroes Run-Charleston race director. “It meant a lot to our team to be able to have that sense of unity, pride and patriotism. I think our country could use a lot more of that right now.”
An awards ceremony took place at 10 a.m. in Simmons Park. For full results from the race, visit results.svetiming.com/SVE-Timing-East/events/2021/911-heroes-run/results.
For more information about the TMF and ways to donate, visit travismanion.org. To see more photos from the event, check out The Daniel Island News’ Facebook page.
RESULTS FROM 2021 9/11 HEROES RUN:
• Top male overall: Benjamin Laprise (17:08), 25, Mount Pleasant
• Top-female overall: Christina Couper (19:13), 29, Charleston
• Go-ruck male: Sam Havelock (24:28), 52, Charleston
• Go-ruck female: Andrea Zenisek (26:59), 38, Mount Pleasant
• Most patriotic team: The Citadel Cadets
• Most patriotic individual: Vickey Conner-Beasley, 54, Maineville, Ohio
• Top military team: Neutruns
• Top law enforcement team: Charleston County Sheriff’s Office
• Top fire department team: Summerville Fire Department
• Top overall team of most participants: VFW Post 3137
• Top Fundraising Team: Dorchester County Fire and Rescue ($1,798)
• Top Fundraising Individual: David Moore ($1,744), 55, Summerville
• Youngest participants to cross the finish line: Male: Alexander Bosse, 3, Daniel Island. Female: Makella Kunker, 4, Charleston
• Most senior male participant to cross the finish line: Sam Kirton, 82, Ladson
• Most senior female participant to cross the finish line: Shelia Valentukonis, 78, Daniel Island