Brittany 5K to continue this year at Lake Park

| May 5, 2014

COSHOCTON – This marks the ninth consecutive year for the Brittany 5K Walk/Run to raise awareness locally for Williams Syndrome. The event will be Saturday, May 31 at Lake Park. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. and the run starts at 8:30 a.m.

“It has grown in a different way,” said Nanci Rogers, Brittany’s mother. “Every year, we see new people, but we have a nice core group of people who we continue to have every year.”

The run averages about 150 to 200 participants each year. People come from all over, not just locally, and some have even been affected by Williams Syndrome.

“They have always participated,” said Rogers. “They all walk. Some don’t make it all the way through, but they all participate. They all get honorary medals at the end and they love attention and being center stage.”

Nationally, this is the fifth year for the Williams Syndrome Awareness Month, which was in April. In 2014, 14 new walks were added with a total of 52 events in 27 states. Two-thirds of their income goes to the Williams Syndrome Association. In 2013, they raised half a million dollars nationally, which allowed the association to provide free conference opportunities for education, increased financial assistance for members, provide a greater funding for research, and housing initiative.

Those with Williams Syndrome may experience cardiovascular disease and are more prone to develop diabetes at a later age. They may also have learning disabilities and are more likely to experience premature aging due to lack of the elastin gene.

“It’s pretty intense medically for parents for the first 10 to 15 years,” said Rogers. “It’s really laborious getting to doctor’s appointments and meeting school demands, but things settle down and getting them integrated in the community becomes a challenge. This 5k is a great social event for them.”

Those with Williams Syndrome seem to enjoy music more than the average person and are extremely sociable, going out of their way to be polite and talk to others.

The deadline for registration is Saturday, May 10 to ensure a t-shirt. You can register online at walk4williams.org and click on the Coshocton link. Registration fee is $20 per person and $50 per family.

“It’s a great event for anyone who is new to running because we have all levels of ability,” said Rogers. “It’s a great way to kick-start your spring training.”

Kids America has provided memberships to the top overall male and female. Becky Lowe also hand-makes medals with the Williams Syndrome Association logo to give to first, second, and third place male and female in each age division.

“Anything we can do for wellness, exercise, and keeping them healthy is good,” said Rogers. “That’s why I started this run, to promote wellness and healthy living.”

After the run, there will be fruit, granola bars, and water available. There will also be raffles and door prizes.

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Category: People & Places

About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

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