HAMILTON - Local running group, the Northwest Alabama Runaways, recently had 17 members participate in the St. Jude Marathon.
The race took place on Saturday, Dec. 1, in Memphis, Tenn., with more than 25,000 participants in a number events, including 5K, 10K, half-marathon and full marathon.
According to Runaway member Bobby Bellew, 10 Runaways took on the 26.2-mile marathon event.
“It was a very warm December day,” Bellew said. “Temperatures were in the upper-60s and low-70s. Typically, this race is in the 40s and 50s, so heat and humidity took a toll on a lot of people, but everyone in our group finished the races they entered.”
“All races actually take their routes through the hospital's campus. It is very emotional and inspiring to see patients and their families cheering everyone along.”
Local runners included Bobby and Heather Bellew, Todd and Rhonda Clippard, Jeremy Streetman, Eric Baker, Jim Northington, Jeff Fleming, Neil Moore, Mandy Stone, Alissa Hood, Myra Rainey, Loretta Carter, Windy Myers and Phillip and Stephanie Cain.
Bellew said that many of the group are St. Jude Heroes and ran in the event to fundraise for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
For the year, Bellew said that the local “Heroes: have been able to raise $19,406. He expects to break the $20,000 threshold by the end of the year--their best fundraising year to date.
Since 2012, Bellew says that the Runaways have raised close to $100,000 for St. Jude.
“The St. Jude Memphis Marathon is the hospital's biggest one-day fundraiser. As of race time, $11.2 million had been raised as part of the race,” Bellew said.
One local St. Jude Hero, Todd Clippard, who is also the preacher at Burleson Church of Christ, completed the Rocket City Marathon in Huntsville on Saturday, Dec. 8, marking his fourth marathon in only four weeks in four different states.
After his second race within a 16-day period, Clippard qualified as Marathon Maniac club. This fourth race on Dec. 8 placed him on the Gold Level in the maniac club.
Local runners completed their marathon races in the following times:
• Bobby Bellew, 45, Guin - 3:51:44;
• Todd Clippard, 51, Hamilton - 4:29:40;
• Phillip Cain, 54, Hamilton - 4:52:33;
• Michelle Ward, 46, Haleyville - 5:02:35;
• Eric Baker, 42, Haleyville - 5:10:34;
• Jeff Fleming, 58, Hamilton - 5:29:48;
• Alissa Hood, 38, Haleyville - 5:35:25;
• Windy Myers, 49, Guin - 6:01:41;
• Mandy Stone, Hamilton - 6:14:13; and
• Loretta Carter, 49, Sulligent - 6:25:48.
Local runners completed their half-marathon races in the following times:
• Rhonda Clippard, 53, Hamilton - 3:09:31;
• Heather Bellew, 37, Guin - 2:10:26;
• Neil Moore, 43, Sulligent - 1:54:21;
• Jim Northington, 69, Gattman, Miss. - 3:22:10;
• Jeremy Streetman, 42, Hamilton - 2:40:45;
• Stephanie Cain, 51, Hamilton - 3:09:32; and
• Myra Rainey, 39, Fayette - 2:27:53.
See complete story in the Journal Record.