More than 500 gather to ‘Run for Our Sons’

Children, parents pushing strollers, and even a few eager canines dashed across the finish line to resounding applause on Saturday, April 16, at Charles F. Patton Middle School.

Under sunny skies, more than 500 racers assemble for the 2016 Unionville Race for Our Sons.

Under sunny skies, more than 500 racers assemble at Charles F. Patton Middle School for the 2016 Unionville Race for Our Sons.

The event was the Seventh Annual Unionville Run for Our Sons 5-K, a race that raised more than $48,000 to fund research for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a debilitating disease that affects approximately one in every 3,500 boys born each year.

Parents, children, students and school staff from all over the Unionville area gathered at 8 a.m. for the race, and the crowded lot was buzzing with enthusiastic runners and volunteers.

The race originated in 2005 through Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD), an organization focused on raising awareness and funding research of muscular dystrophy, and has since spread to cities and towns across the country.

Volunteers Delaney Crosley and Dina Spyropoulos pose with Joanna Johnson (right).

Volunteers Delaney Crosley and Dina Spyropoulos pose with Joanna Johnson (right).

A local couple, Joanna and Paul Johnson, became involved with PPMD after their sons, Henry and Elliot, were diagnosed with the disease in 2007. Joanna Johnson teaches Spanish at Unionville High School. The Johnsons, who have organized the Unionville version of the race for the past seven years, were impressed with this year’s turnout.

More than 500 registered runners and 75 volunteers –many of whom were students – participated. Those who could not run the full 5-K took part in a 1.5-K Fun Run. Plenty of activities and attractions were available before and during the race, including a clown, games, music, raffle baskets, and prizes and giveaways, some of which were donated and set up by the Philadelphia Union soccer team.

The National Art Honor Society ran a face-painting booth, and both the National Honor Society and the UHS track team supplied many of the volunteers.

Though putting together a 5k is certainly not a simple endeavor, Joanna Johnson said that she was up for the task. “At this point, after seven years of doing this, we’re a well-oiled machine,” she said. “No one really knows how much work goes into planning a 5k, but for us it’s just so important that it’s worth the extra effort.”

For race results, click here. For those who were unable to attend but would like to support the cause, an online auction is open until 9 p.m. on Monday, April 18. Items include gift certificates for treats ranging from spa services to golf outings and tickets to local attractions, including Longwood Gardesn, the Phillies, Twin Lakes Brewery, AMC movies theaters and more. For a full list, visit http://stores.ebay.com/unionvillerfos.

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About Morgan Carter

Morgan Carter is a creative writing student interning with Chadds Ford Live. She loves tea, long walks on beaches, and baking – provided there is a recipe on the back of the box. She lives in Chadds Ford with her parents, three siblings, and two spunky parakeets. Morgan is very excited to be a part of the Chadds Ford Live team, and hopes to pursue a career in writing after graduating from college.

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