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BrockTrot set for Sunday

LENOX — The 8th Annual BrockTrot will return to the Berkshires on Apple Squeeze Weekend, Sunday, September 29, 2013 at Shakespeare & Company. Activities include a 5k and 10k road race, a mile and half-mile kids’ race, and a 5k community walk.

Runners and walkers will take off at 9 a.m. from the Lenox Town Hall. The kids’ race begins at 10 a.m. on the Shakespeare & Company grounds, with an awards ceremony to follow in the Founder’s Theater.

The BrockTrot has been held annually since 2006 following the untimely death of Lenox resident Brock Wilkerson, an avid runner who completed 13 marathons, three of them while battling lung cancer, before passing away from the cancer at age 47.

According to race organizers, Wilkerson was an inspiration to his friends and family long before he was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer at the age of 45. Father, husband, and an active member of the Lenox community, he lived life with a unique capacity for kindness, friendship and leadership.

All proceeds from the event go towards the Brock Wilkerson Memorial Cancer Research Fund, which donates to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute to support lung cancer research in nonsmokers.

“The BrockTrot is organized each year to increase awareness of lung cancer in non-smokers,” said BrockTrot Race Chairman John Toole, who started up the memorial fund in 2005 in honor of his friend. “Our goal is to raise money for research and early detection, in the hopes of one day eradicating this deadly disease. Not only are we out there to spread awareness and raise funds, but to have some fun and celebrate the life of Brock Wilkerson.”

Toole also started up the BrockTrot event itself following his friend’s passing, and with tremendous community support the race has continued to grow each year. Last year saw a record number of participants – nearly 400 in total took part in the 10k and 5k race, the community walk, and the kids’ run. This year the bar is set even higher. “I want to hit 500 this year,” said race coordinator Karen Clairmont.

She said they already are at 247 total participants as of Tuesday afternoon, with more expected throughout the weekend. Online registration ended Wednesday morning, but forms will be available at Shakespeare & Co. the day of the race and also the day before at the Apple Squeeze.

“We have a wonderful booth at the Apple Squeeze. It’s going to be great weather, so we’re thinking we’re going to get plenty of people to sign up for the next day,” added Clairmont.

Registrations to date have brought in about $26,000, halfway to race organizers’ goal. “This year we want to be able to donate $50,000 to the Dana Farber cancer research,” said Clairmont.

New this year is encouragement of pledge donations for the “BrockWalk” community walk. Race organizers are encouraging each walker to raise at least $100. The walker who raises the most money through pledge donations will receive a free MP3 player courtesy of Lee Bank.

The BrockTrot has always been an inclusive community event, one that unites friends and families in the fight against cancer. According to Clairmont, the “dedication of our community, of all the wonderful families out there that know that cancer’s such as terrible disease” is what makes the event successful year after year.

“They’re just pulling together to walk together with their families in their community to raise the funds to help find a cure for this awful disease,” she added. “And of course the loyal support of the Wilkerson family, and the Brock Trot Committee, I mean we’re just one big huge family.”

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Posted by on September 26, 2013. Filed under Community Events,News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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