‘Blizzard Run’ looks to beat MS/Juvenile Diabetes

Published 9:22 am Monday, September 14, 2009

FRANKLIN FURNACE — On a morning drenched with sunshine and a hint of the fall chill soon approaching, more than 70 people came out to run and walk in the inaugural Blizzard Run Saturday at Green High School.

And while the purpose of the 5K was to show off athletic ability or just to complete the course, the motive behind the race went much deeper.

Organized by Wheelersburg-resident Hope Blizzard, the run/walk was held to benefit Hope’s sister-in-law, Emily (Thornsberry) Blizzard who was recently diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.

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The race also benefited Emily’s daughter and Hope’s niece Kaylynn Blizzard who has lived with Type I Juvenile Diabetes since the age of 19-months.

“We held this event because we wanted to show them our support and that we love them,” said Hope Blizzard who is a frequent competitor in 5K runs throughout the Tri-State area but was making her race organization debut on Saturday.

All proceeds raised were split with 60-percent of all monies garnered going towards the Blizzard family to assist with medical and pharmacy bills, while the remaining 40-percent will be donated towards both the National MS Society’s Ohio Valley Chapter and the Central Ohio Diabetes Association.

The course took runners throughout the streets of Franklin Furnace with the start and finish lines located behind Green High School at the football stadium. Competitors were treated to a “goodie” bag and shirts upon arrival.

Awards were given to each overall male and female finisher, with the top three in each age division also receiving awards.

The overall winning male competitor was 16-year-old Zane Smith who finished with a time of 16 minutes, 45 seconds. Smith is a sophomore at South Webster High School.

Second place in the men’s category went to Brian Shope, 44, of Ironton who is a frequent competitor in area races.

In the women’s division, top honors went to Courtney Blanton of South Webster who came in with a winning time of 19 minutes and 38 seconds. Amy Kline of Pedro was second.

“The turnout for this has been wonderful,” Hope said during the race. “We couldn’t ask for more.”

After the race, participants were able to take part in an all day benefit festival that included live music in the high school gymnasium, inflatables, barbeque and a silent auction that had donated items like corn hole platforms, pictures, candle holders, Afghans and even custom towing mirrors.

Race sponsors included: Franklin Furnace Pharmacy, Party Pro’s, Monster Signs, Apple Security, Genesis Medical Equipment, The Ashland Center for Women’s Health, Shirt Shop, Pepsi, Caudhill Trailer Sales and Dr. Marty Staker.

An account has been set up for additional donations and for those to donate who were unable to attend the race and benefit festival. Checks can be deposited at Fifth-Third Bank under “The Blizzard Run” or mailed to Hope Blizzard, c/o The Blizzard Run, 11 Short St., Wheelersburg, OH 45694.