Up & Coming Weekly

December 17, 2019

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 15 of 32

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM DECEMBER 18-24, 2019 UCW 15 COVER STORY Ryan's Reindeer Run: Run because you can by STEPHANIE CRIDER Ryan's Reindeer Run is a longstanding tradition in Fayettev ille. It celebrates t he life of Ryan Patrick K ishbaugh, who died in 2003 from complications of a bone marrow transplant after a 15-mont h bat- t le w it h Hodgk in's Ly mphoma. The run celebrates Ryan and his passion for life and his love of sports while bringing people toget her to share a unique and uplifting experience. Ryan's mom, Roberta Humphries, started t he run in Ryan's honor. This year, it takes place Saturday, Dec. 21 at Cape Fear R iver Trail's Jordon Soccer Complex. The 14t h A n- nual Ryan's Reindeer 5K Fun Run/Walk is family- friendly and is open to walkers and runners. Bring your favorite people and log a few steps toget her celebrating life and good healt h. Long-time participants w ill notice a few changes t his year, but many of t he traditions t hat make t his run so unique are still a part of t he event. There are t wo new organizations involved in hosting t he event, alt hough Ryan's mom is still ver y much a part of t he run. The Fayettev ille Running Club and Fayettev ille A rea Tri Warriors have come toget her to host t he event. "FRC is a reg istered nonprof it, and we use our love for r unning to g ive back to our commu- nit y," said Dav id Wilkes, FRC president. "We do t hat t hrough proceeds f rom our A nnual Fire- cracker 4 Miler race on July 4. We have 15 dif fer- ent meetups a week to choose f rom, and you do not have to be a 'professional' to r un w it h us. We have g reat socials and ex per t g uest speakers at our mont hly meet ings." Shelly Los is t he v ice president of The Fayettev ille A rea Tri Warriors. The Fayettev ille A rea Tri Warriors is a group of triat hletes dedi- cated to t he sports of sw imming, bik ing and run- ning. "Our at hletes range from t he beginner to t he Ironman, teenager to senior citizen," said Los. "We encourage people of all f itness levels and interests to branch out and push t heir limits. Our meetings and club events include sw im, bike maintenance, transition and running clinics as well as group workouts w it h social get-toget hers after wards. Each year, our club organizes t he Litt le Warriors Triat hlon, a local triat hlon for children ages 6-14. … We love to meet new people and welcome t hem to our communit y." Wilkes sees t his run as a good f it for FRC be- cause, "First, t his race supports t he Child Advo- cacy Center. We are all about supporting local nonprof its. Our members put in t housands of volunteer hours supporting many local events … and second, t his race has been a longstanding tra- dition because of t he cause and because it is one of t he most fun runs in tow n. … We want ever yone to k now t hat even t hough Roberta Humphries is allow ing us to present t his run, t his is still Ryan's Reindeer Run, and it is still Roberta's event." Los ag reed, adding t hat it is a good f it for t he Fayettev ille A rea Tri Warriors, too, say ing, "The Tri Warriors have developed profound respect for Rober ta Humphries and her team at t he Child Advocac y Center, so we v iew t his f un r un as one more oppor tunit y to ser ve our commu- nit y. For me, Ryan's Reindeer Run has become a Fayettev ille Christ mas t radit ion right alongside sett ing out milk and cook ies for Santa Claus. Families w it h children of all ages come out to enjoy t he costumes, camaraderie and Christ mas spirit — all t he while suppor t ing a wonderf ul local charit y. Plus, it allows you to bank some calories for holiday feast ing!" W hat's new There are a few changes t his year, starting w it h t he route and mak ing it an untimed run. This year's route unfolds on t he scenic Cape Fear R iver trail. "This is t he f irst year t hat FRC and Fayettev ille Tri Warriors have presented t his run, and it is our intention to help Roberta to continue hav ing t his run for many more years," said Wilkes. "Next year, we look for ward to mov ing t his route back to its original route and mak ing it a timed race again. This year, we just want to keep t he fun in t his 14t h annual fun run." Registration is 50% off t his year, at $15, alt hough next year t he event organizers intend to return t he registration price to full cost. Registration for t he f irst 250 participants includes an exclusive Ryan's Reindeer Run bomber hat, as well. Reg ular long- sleeved shirts are also available. This year's proceeds w ill go to The Child Advo- cacy Center in memor y of Ryan K ishbaugh. W hat's staying the same One favorite aspect of t he race for many long- time participants is t he costumes. It brings a sense of light heartedness to an already lively and enter- taining morning. "We are def initely encouraging ever yone to bring on t he costumes," Wilkes said. "This year, our main goal was to keep t his race fun. We ver y much appreciate t he support we have got- ten from t he reg ular sponsors, volunteers and t he running communit y. … Our clubs k now how to put on a fun and well-organized event, and t his year you w ill … have a great time." Santa w ill be t here. Come and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate. There w ill be door prizes, too. Work groups and teams are welcome. Wilkes and Los are excited to be a part of t he event. "I w ill leave w it h t he words of Ryan K ish- baugh," said Wilkes. "'So do a favor for me and whatever you're doing today, just go out and RUN, somewhere, any where, just RUN because you can – RPK.' — w ritten t hree days after receiv ing his bone marrow transplant." Registration Register at https://runsignup.com/Race/NC/ Fayettev ille/RyansReindeerFunRun5K online. Online registration closes Dec. 20. On-Site regis- tration w ill be available Friday, Dec. 20 from 5:30- 7:30 p.m. at Fairf ield Inn and Suites, 4249 Ramsey Street. Call 910-223-7867 for more details. Same- day registration takes place Saturday, Dec. 21, from 7-7:45 a.m. at Cape Fear R iver Trail - Jordan Soccer Complex, 445 Treetop Drive. The race starts at 8 a.m. Visit http://w w w.r yan- sreindeerrun.com/ to f ind out more. STEPHANIE CRIDER, Associate Pub- lisher. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcom- ingweekly.com. 910-484-6200.

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