Tampa Red Ribbon Run Raises $10,000

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The second Red Ribbon Run raised funds for both Metro Wellness and Community Centers of Tampa Bay and the AIDS Institute. Metro deals with HIV client services and the AIDS Institute is an AIDS advocacy group in Washington, D.C. The 2013 Red Ribbon Run went off without a hitch.

“Everything went very well,” said organizer Kathie Michael, who works with Metro. “No one even asked for a Band-Aid.”

Michael said Metro learned a lot while planning this year’s run, especially since it’s the first time the organization has produced a certified 5K event.

“It’s not the same as a fun run,” Michael laughed. “Runners will go online and find calendars of certified runs, and we were one of those runs this year. We had 36 people sign up the morning of the run, and producing a certified run definitely helped us increase our exposure.”

The S2 Timing Company was on board to keep official records of the run, which participants can use as they prepare for other, longer runs, like marathons.

One lesson learned this year, Michael said, was that planning must start earlier in the year.

“We’ve got a lot of experience under our belt now and I think runners would prefer it as a Saturday event next year,” she said. “Sunday was tough because people have other commitments like church. But we had a limited window of days to utilize, and that’s just how it fell this year.”

A 2014 run will return next year, Michael said, and she hopes for a late March or early April date.

“We got a lot of really good feedback,” Michael said. “The runners liked it and seemed to really like that 101.5FM was out there. We also did quite a bit of HIV testing while we were there, which is why we brought the RV unit. That’s also great exposure for Metro.”

In all, 152 runners and walkers took to the course. The first male to cross the 5K finish line was Bryan Garcia. The first female was Jacemo Andino. The highest individual fundraiser was Bill Kanouff, who raised nearly $700. Kanouff was featured on the cover of Watermark’s 2012 year-end issue as one of the year’s most remarkable people after battling back from a leg amputation. This was his first official run since losing his leg in November 2011.

“I think I did okay,” Kanouff said after the run. “I ran quite a bit of it but had to walk some too, which I expected. But it felt great to be out here and I enjoyed it.”

A diverse group of people helped make the run a success this year, and Michael said the youngest runner was 7-years-old. The oldest was 70.

The team that raised the most money was Scott Carter from Salon Inga, which raised $2,235.

In 2011, Metro held its first Red Ribbon Run, which was not a certified 5K. That run was held within the Lowry Park Zoo on Dec. 1, World AIDS Day. No run was held in 2012 because organizers wanted a spring event.

“I want to thank everyone who supported, participated and volunteered,” Michael said. “It was a great showing and I really appreciate everyone supporting Metro and the mission we’re on.”

Official results from the 2013 Red Ribbon Run are posted at TampaBayRedRibbonRun.org.

From our media partner WatermarkSteve Blanchard

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