After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, this April 30th marked LADD’s 13th annual Run, Walk & Roll 5k, LADD’s Flying Pig team event! Wellness Coordinator Kristin Harmeyer speaks to the importance of participating in the 5k as a part of the community.
“The people LADD supports love getting out and being part of the community and as an agency and as the Wellness Coordinator, we want to participate in events that are more open to everybody and engaged with the community in general,” Kristin explains.
After the two-year break from the in-person Flying Pig event due to COVID, the Wellness Program at LADD created a walking challenge in an effort to inspire people to get out and be active in the cold January weather. This year, however, the team of participants is back in full swing, being one of the largest groups to participate in the Flying Pig’s Saturday event.
Among the 198 registrants on LADD’s team this year was a brand-new relay team that completed the entire 26.2 mile flying pig marathon, with each leg lasting around six miles. Meet the partners that put in the months of hard work and training to make it happen:
Special Olympics swimmer and tennis player David Tripathy and his companion, LADD Board of Directors’ President Kush Kotecha, ran the first 6.38 mile leg of the race. Stepping up for the second leg was pro-gardener Jenny Crowe and her sister, Cindy. The sister-duo pushed through a very hilly section. Up next was Jason Harris, Director of Strategic Ops at LADD and founder of Jason’s Connection, a non-profit and online community for individuals with disabilities, and his companion, board member Mark Clippinger. The anchors of this relay team were LADD superstar Niel Dignan and his companion Susan Brownknight, who is the Chief Executive Officer of LADD.
This relay sparked interest in continuing to grow for Jason, who is now training for the half marathon for next year’s event. Kristin says that running is unique because it is about being better than you were yesterday. In her opinion, “The culture around this stuff is amazing. It’s all about having the mentality about doing better than you did yesterday and working hard to achieve your goals.” Kristin predicts the inspiration won’t stop with Jason and that there will be more relay teams in the future!