The fourth annual Heather L. Hurd 5K Run and 1 Mile Fun Walk will take place at Harford Community College this Saturday, Nov. 10.
The race, on a USA Track and Field certified course, honors the memory of Heather L. Hurd, a history major at Harford Community College from 1999 to 2003, who was killed in 2008 by a distracted driver who was texting.
On-site race registration takes place in the newly renovated Susquehanna Center auxiliary gymnasium from 8 to 8:45 a.m., with the race starting at 9 a.m.
Approximately 300 community members, from Ms. Hurd's family and friends to HCC students to general community members, plus Poe, the Ravens mascot; Ferrous, the IronBirds mascot; and Screech, the Harford Community College mascot; will be cheering on participants at the finish line. Joining them will be State Sen. Barry Glassman, Harford County Sheriff Jesse Bane and Harford County Councilman Chad Shrodes. Tim Hartley from WXCY-FM will serve as master of ceremonies.
Also present will be a "Drive Square" texting-while-driving simulator for participants to use, a police cruiser with "no texting" messages wrapped around it and a wrecked car to indicate what can happen when people text and drive. Maryland State Police will be on site with a seat-belt demonstrator, and Upper Chesapeake Health will be offering blood-pressure screenings before and after the race.
The walk/run was established by the Hurd Family and Harford Community College in 2009 to raise funds for book scholarships for HCC students and to raise awareness of traffic accidents, their consequences and what can be done to prevent them.
The event also remembers the hundreds of victims who are killed on Maryland roads each year and acknowledges the critical work of first responders—fire, police and ambulance personnel.
The registration fee for the race is $20 per person in advance and $25 on race day. The cost is $10 for those under 18 years of age accompanied by a registered adult.
Each participant will receive a T-shirt and refreshments after the race. Runner's gloves will be given to the first 200 registrants. Awards will be presented based on age groups and final times. Participants may pre-register for the race by visiting harford.edu/heather.
"We invite the entire community to come out for this event," said Eyvo Johnson, the run/walk coordinator. "We will have a course for every level of participant, from a one mile fun walk to a USA Track and Field Certified 5K for the experienced runners."
For those unable to walk or run but would like to participate, donations may be made to sponsor a participant running or walking in the race, or an outright donation may be made by visiting harford.edu/heather.
"It is my hope that by bringing awareness to the tragedies of distracted driving to every run/walk participant, they will remember this message every time they get behind the wheel," said Russell Hurd, Heather's father. "I want to save other families from the grief that our family experiences every day with the loss of our Heather."
Over the past three years, $32,000 has been raised by the race for Remembrance Book Scholarships. Book scholarships have been presented to 54 deserving HCC students.
Also taking place at the run/walk will be a raffle. First prize is two tickets to the Ravens vs. Steelers game on December 2. Second prize is a signed, framed poster of Joe Flacco. Tickets cost $5 each and may be purchased at the race on or by contacting Russell Hurd via e-mail at email@example.com.
Silver Sponsors of the run/walk include C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc., Kollman & Saucier, P.A., and Kent Schwab Allstate Agency. Bronze Sponsors include B. Michel & Sons, Blue Dot Services, Cook Motor Cars, Heather Ann Ricci Memorial Fund, Inc., and Mars Supermarkets, Inc. Blue Ribbon Sponsors include APG Federal Credit Union, BK Trucking Company, Inc., Boyle Buick GMC Truck, Chili's Bel Air, Della Roses Tavern, 1st Mariner Bank, FocusDriven, Heritage Auto Mall, Klein's ShopRite, MediaWise, Inc., Plaza Ford, Inc., Perluke Consulting Associates, Inc., and Sunshine Designs.
Other exhibitors include Stay Alive Just Drive; Harford County Sheriff's Office; MADD; Aberdeen Police Department; Maryland Teen Drives; Heather Ricci Memorial Fund; The Kent Schwab Agency and Canby Motors Collision Repair.