Record-breaking year for Joe Schwartz 3K
HAVERFORD, Pa. – The 2013 Joe Schwartz ’83 Memorial 3K Run/Walk featured a new race course on Sunday, April 28 but the unwavering support of the Haverford College community in the fight against Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) remained a constant.
An event-record 224 people ran or walked the three-kilometer race that started and finished this year on Founders Green and included two laps around the duck pond. The record-breaking number of participants surpasses the previous high of 179 set in 2010.
The latest installment of the annual race was also record-setting in funds raised. Proceeds from the day, directed towards ALS research, have already exceeded over $7,000 with donations still coming in. Previously, the event had reached a high mark of $4,600 in the inaugural year of 2008.
The six-year history of the event has seen 887 people participate overall and over $23,000 raised in the fight against ALS.
Elliot Schwartz, Joe’s son and a member of the Haverford track & field team, was the top finisher for the second consecutive year with a time of 9 minutes, 32 seconds while his brother, Jonathan, was the winner of the under-18 age group.
Aileen Keogh garnered the top female prize in 11:22 and she also joined with Matt Cohen and Alyssa Mayo to win the team competition.
The 10-week training contest leading up to the race saw individuals and departments from the college community compete against each through exercising and participating in the Squirrel Boot camp every Tuesday and Thursday. Institutional Advancement earned the top prize for rate of participation by department members and Nancy Sunderland from the Business Office was the winner of the individual portion of the training challenge.
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.
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 from the Run/Walk will be donated to The ALS Association and directed towards ALS research. 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.