Wolfson Children's Challenge a success

Thousands brought together for event helping children

By Chris Parenteau - Reporter, Elizabeth Campbell - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - It was an early morning for some very dedicated runners taking part in Saturday's Wolfson Children's Challenge.

Twenty one runners started at 4 a.m. Saturday morning, and 55 miles later they crossed the finish line.

Channel 4's Richard Nunn was one those completing the ultra marathon. Hundreds of other runners ran in the 55-mile relay run or the 1-mile fun run.

As the runners took the first steps on the 5.5 mile course, there was seemingly no end in sight.  Ten laps, each starting and finishing inside Bragan Field were lying ahead.

There were also 93 relay teams of 10 people each running a lap. Even though it may seem like a pretty daunting task, everyone running it says that the reason behind the run makes it worth it.
"There's 20 other runners this year that know the work that Wolfson is doing in this area for kids," Nunn said. "Each one of them, some of them tied directly to Wolfson, are going to come out and help to raise awareness and money so that they can continue to do what they do."

"I think what's really amazing is not only the ultra runners, but the growth of the relay event and how many relay teams, runner Andy Woods said. "It brings so many more people into the event and so much more awareness to the event."

Woods actually just recently ran a 130-mile race in Brazil, so he says that 55 miles almost seems easy compared to that one.

"I hadn't really planned on running it, but it's one of those events that you want to be a part of," Woods said. "Just to be able to do this and bring awareness to the hospital, it's something that you want to make sure you are at the event."

As runners crossed the finish line, whether it was the first time, the last time, or somewhere in the middle, there were a lot of smiles on faces.

Even though Nunn says that this is his last time doing this, he was still going strong when Channel 4 caught up with him at the halfway point.

"Everyone has a nice little charge going," Nunn said. "The Ultra runners look strong, and the weather is obviously helping. The hard part is that I look over in that direction and I see people that have finished their 5.5 miles and they are standing over there with cold beers. I still have five loops to go. That may make me not want to finish the rest of the five, or maybe it will make me go faster. It's an experiment."

Experiment or not, everyone had a great time raising money for a great cause.

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