Approximately 20 local runners will gather at Java Jive this morning (Friday) before starting a trek that will conclude in Peoria, Ill., Saturday evening.
Approximately 20 local runners will gather at Java Jive this morning (Friday) before starting a trek that will conclude in Peoria, Ill., Saturday evening. The purpose of the excursion is to raise money for St. Jude hospitals and the children they serve.
“We have great people in our group – Judge (David) Mobley, Kevin Knickerbocker, John Hark… There’s so many guys and women that will be running with us,” said Brian Chaplin, a first-time participant in the St. Jude Runs event. “It’s kind of a family, running together and sweating, and doing this for a great cause.”
Knickerbocker is another first-time participant in the St. Jude Run.
“I’m very excited,” he said. “It’s a worthwhile cause because St. Jude hospitals treat children at no cost.”
Each runner must raise a minimum of $750, but some raise many times that amount.
“Several have raised over $3,000,” said Knickerbocker.
Among those exceeding $750 is Bob Wathen of Hannibal, who extended a pledge to run 75 miles during the upcoming 165-mile run from Hannibal to downtown Quincy, Ill., to the Peoria Civic Center, provided enough money was donated locally.
“He’s determined to do this,” said Knickerbocker, noting that other members of the Hannibal contingent of runners are “committed to help him achieve his goal.”
Knickerbocker says his personal goal is to run 30 miles, but added that running with Wathen will likely “motivate” him to run even further.
Chaplin was recruited to run by Knickerbocker.
“I feel like I’m in some of the best shape of my life, and I’m 40 years old today (Thursday),” he said. “I’m excited about my first St. Jude Runs. It’s a great cause.”
Local runners will head to Quincy today at 11 a.m., where they will join up with that community’s approximately 70 St. Jude Runs participants. Around 5 p.m. today (Friday), the Quincy and Hannibal runners will head out together for Peoria.
“We run all night long and all day (Saturday) and meet in Peoria Saturday night,” said Chaplin.
Participants do not have a set amount they have to run.
“You can run as much as you want or ride (on a motor home) as much as you want, but the whole idea is to put that effort out there and run because these kids are struggling every day,” said Chaplin. “We’re talking about a lot of money that’s being raised, but it goes to a great deal. I encourage people to get involved with this. Every little bit helps.”