HAVERFORD, Pa. - The Haverford College community turned out in record numbers on Sunday, April 27, to unite in the fight against Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) by participating in the 2014 Joe Schwartz '83 Memorial 3K Run/Walk.
A group of over 300 people gathered at Founders Green for the annual event including an event-record 255 race finishers.
The prior six years of the event saw over $23,000 donated in the fight against ALS and the community came through again on Sunday. A gross of over $10,000 in 2014 makes the latest installment of the race the most successful one yet.
Elliot Schwartz, Joe's son and a member of the Haverford's cross country and track & field programs, finished first in the race for the third straight year with a time of 9 minutes, 37.3 seconds. Haverford field hockey coach Jackie Cox was the top female finisher in 13:16.9 which was good for 26th place.
Nancy Sunderland from the Business Office won the top prize in the 10-week training contest that led up to the race which saw individuals and departments compete against each other through exercising and participating in fitness class opportunities. The highest-scoring team was T-Rex Hates Burpies (Sebastianna Skalisky, Chloe Tucker, William Leeser, Nicole Hesson, Lilly Lavner).
Joe Schwartz graduated from Haverford College in 1983. He was a committed member of Haverford’s cross country and track teams for the four years he attended Haverford, and he excelled in both sports. He encouraged those who won MAC Championships as well as students who were casual participants to be part of something bigger than themselves. From the moment he stepped on the Haverford campus, Joe was integral in building a proud tradition of athletic excellence at this school.
In 1995, Joe contracted Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) at the age of 34. He first noticed the symptoms when he was out training for road races. He courageously endured the hardships imposed by this cruel disease for thirteen years until his unfortunate death on March 2, 2008.
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The Joe Schwartz ’83 Memorial 3K Run/Walk is designed to attract the running superstar and the walking novice because that is exactly how Joe would want it. He simply loved people lacing up their shoes and enjoying the freedom to run and walk, a freedom that was deprived from Joe by ALS. Proceeds will be donated to The ALS Association and directed towards ALS research and patient services. The ALS Association is the only national non-profit organization dedicated solely to the fight against ALS. The cause, cure and means of control of ALS are unknown. Symptoms of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, include the wasting and paralysis of the muscles of the limbs and trunk as well as those that control vital functions such as speech, swallowing and respiration.