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Long Distance Relay To Honor Fallen Athlete, Raise Funds - RRW

Published by
RunnerSpace.com/College   on May 1 2012, 05:47 PM

By David Monti
(c) 2012 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission.

(01-May) -- Kevin Dare was a Penn State University pole vaulter who lost his life at the 2002 Big Ten Indoor Championships when he fatally struck his head on the arena floor after a failed jump.  To honor Dare, and raise funds for a memorial charity which bears his name, ten Penn State alumni will attempt to break the world record for the ten-man, 1000 mile relay: 99 hours, 3 minutes and 27 seconds.

"It's been ten years since Kevin Dare passed away, so we wanted to do something special to mark that and honor Kevin and the type of guy that he was,” said event organizer and run participant, Ryan Foster, the 2011 Big Ten indoor 800m champion through a statement.

Called the Life Back on Track Relay, scheduled for August 26 - 30, the ten runners will begin their journey at the fieldhouse at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis where Dare died, then run the roads to State College, Pa.  They plan to raise funds for the Kevin Dare Foundation's scholarship program which helps severely injured and ill high school student athletes to attend college.

"All of us have been a student-athlete at some time," said Foster. "For some of us it was how we paid our way through college. It's hard to imagine what it would be like to have that taken away. We can definitely sympathize with those who won't ever get to have that opportunity."

In order to beat that mark, Foster's team --which includes former Penn State stars like Luke Watson, Tyler McCandless, and Dennis Pollow-- has to average 5:57 per mile during the relay, a task made even more difficult by the hot mid-western summer.  Each runner will have four and one-half hours of break time between running segments.

"We're planning on each runner covering 5 miles in turn, which will allow us a bit over four hours to recover before we have to run again," Foster explained.

Foster said that runners who live near the route can jump in and run alongside his team members, assuming they can handle a 5:57/mile pace.

"There will be no pacers mostly because it's been so hard just finding ten guys who are willing, capable, and can take a week off work, that anyone who would pace is now in the run," Foster said.  "Having said that, anyone is welcome to join us along the way."

Kevin Dare's father, Ed, who is president of the foundation, said he was impressed by the Penn State alums attempt at the record.

"It's very exciting to have such a fantastic group of men wanting to honor Kevin in this way," he said.

For more information, or to donate, visit the team's website at LifeBackOnTrack.com


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