Two weekends ago, our small town of Shepherdstown, West Virginia was bustling with activity and runners. It was the third annual Freedom’s Run, of which I am the race director. From the start we intended to make this a small town event with scenery, history, fun, local flavor, and low fees compared to the big city events.  This was an all-volunteer effort of a small community. We had 2,400 official finishers from 43 states in the 5 events, including a half and full marathon which takes runners from Harper’s Ferry up the C&O Canal and Potomac Heritage Scenic Trail into Antietam National Battlefield.

The 200 kids in the Free Kids Fun Run was a highlight of the day for us.  We were about to call this off but the kids insisted we run it.  Good advice.  They were happy and smiling.

My son Leo in the photo is eight years old. He had just finished a wet soccer game and came over to help at the Freedom’s Run finish line with his sister Lily, who is six.  The kids’ run was scheduled for 11:30 .  At 10:30 there was a miserable cold rain and I was considering canceling.  I asked Leo’s opinion and he was puzzled.”Why would you cancel?” he asked.  So we ran and over 200 children played happily in the puddles.

Leo ran a mile in 7:40 in his super minimalist  Saucony Hattori’s.  Sister Lily was hot on his heels in 7:59 in her VivoBarefoot Rooty’s.  The Cucuzzella kids are Born to Run.