Runners completing 6 marathons in 6 days for good cause

Hope to raise $180,000 for NE FL Medical Legal Partnership

The first marathon starts at the state capital and each one after it, will bring the runners closer to Jacksonville. The final race is a 5K and will here at the courthouse. The money goes right toward helping young patients and their families.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Six marathons in six days. That’s what’s on tap starting Sunday for hundreds of local runners who are part of the group “Freed to Run," founded by Jacksonville attorney Michael Freed.

Freed and roughly 200 runners will be running the six marathons. The first starts at the Florida State Supreme Court in Tallahassee. Each marathon after it will bring the runners closer to Jacksonville. They will make stops at six courthouses, including in Columbia and Baker counties, along the way. The final race is a 5K and will end at the Duval County courthouse.

This year’s goal is to raise $180,000. Freed said the money will go toward the Northeast Florida Medical Legal Partnership, which provides legal services for chronically ill children and their families.

Freed says this is not only about helping sick children and their families, it’s about bringing communities together.

“There’s truly so much more that unites us than divides us,” Freed said. “And putting on a pair of sneakers and running across the state. And having fun with other people doing it and helping kids.”

The Northeast Florida Medical Legal Partnership provides civil legal aid in areas such as access to health benefits, safe housing, special education and housing accommodations, and legal assistance with family law issues.

The cases are referred by the providers of Wolfson Children’s Hospital, Nemours Children’s Specialty Care, Jacksonville, UF Health Specialty Pediatric Clinics, and Community PedsCare®, a pediatric program of Community Hospice & Palliative Care, as well as Sulzbacher Village Pediatrics.

“Every cause takes somebody getting it started,” Freed said. “I’m very pleased my family and I were able to do that. But it’s really so much more than about any individual. It’s about the community.”

Freed’s goal for this year’s event is $180,000 with an end goal of over $2,000,000 in 5 years. While this year’s teams are already set, he also hopes this inspires people to give back overall.

“The Bible tells us that to whom much is given, much is expected. We all, in this country and in this city -- even the poorest -- has so much more than many people elsewhere,” Freed said. “So go do something more than what you’re doing, and you’ll find that you’ll be more enriched.”

Donations can be made by sending a check made payable to “Jacksonville Area Legal Aid”. Or, you can click here.

1. First Marathon:

Dec. 15, 9:30 a.m.

Florida Supreme Court, 500 S. Duval St., Tallahassee

2. Second Marathon

Dec. 16, 9:00 a.m.

Jefferson County Courthouse, 1 Courthouse Circle, Monticello

3. Third Marathon

Dec. 17, 8:45 a.m.

Madison County Courthouse, 125 S.W. Range Avenue, Madison

4. Fourth Marathon

Dec. 18, 8:30 a.m.

Suwannee Circuit Court, 200 S. Ohio Ave., Live Oak

5. Fifth Marathon

Dec. 19, 8:15 a.m.

Columbia County Courthouse, 173 N.E. Hernando Ave., Lake City

6. Sixth Marathon

Dec. 20, 10:00 a.m. Baker County Courthouse 339 E. Macclenny Ave., Macclenny

About the Author:

Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013. She reports for and anchors The Morning Show.