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New Hope Run Club hosts annual Zebra 5K To highlight rare diseases

Tom Corrigan presents an Avery’s Hope check last June with his nephew, St. Jude patient Carson.

Rare Disease Day is approaching, and to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, New Hope Run Club is holding a Zebra 5K Run/Walk at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 29.

The cost for the philanthropic event is $35 to run or walk and to join the post-race celebration and gift raffle at Triumph Brewery in New Hope.

The race can also be joined “virtually,” as participants can complete 5K (3.1 miles) at any time during the month of February at their own pace and wherever in the globe they are, and can create a pledge account upon registration.

One can walk the dog roughly one mile per day over three days, or can walk on the treadmill at their local gym, or a runner can choose an existing race or training run and try for a new 5K personal record.

A participant’s time is reported back to the club via the “honor code,” with an optional photo of them performing their  activity. If a runner chooses to use the Strava or Map My Run apps, they can compare their times with others. For people who choose to actually be present on the big night and want to join the New Hope Run Club for this event, segments of the race are going to be selected so that runners can receive door prizes, which include a “runners gait assessment” from P3 trainers, gifts from Celt-Iberia Traders in New Hope, packages from Arbonne and Nuun, services from Functional Life in New Hope, and gift cards to local business and services.

Proceeds will go to Avery’s Hope, which raises awareness and funding for four patient assistance funds in the United States, and in this race for a patient assistance fund at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital who experience GI complications from either cancer or their cancer treatment.

Avery’s Hope was started by Village 2 resident Caryl Harris whose grandson, Avery Harris, was born with Microvillus Inclusion Disease. Board President of Village 2 and New Hope Run Club Co-founder Tom Corrigan, is the charity’s treasurer, and his nephew, Carson Corrigan, who turns four on Feb. 11, suffers from rhabdomyosarcoma and trichodysplasia spinosa polyomavirus.

Around 7,000 diseases are considered rare. Approximately one in 10 Americans have a rare disease, and the zebra is the official symbol of rare diseases in the U.S. The charity’s impact statement further elaborates on how they have covered patient expenses when insurance lapses or unemployment occurs.

The New Hope Run Club is a casual community of runners who meet every Tuesday night, regardless of the weather, and follow alternating routes. The group was founded by Kelleen Gebler and Corrigan three years ago. The club’s schedule can be found here, including their regular Tuesday night runs and other local running events.

Last year, the run had virtual participants from five countries and more than 15 states. This year, the club is aiming to double the number of countries with participants and have at least one participant in every state.

For those joining the run club for the 5K in person, Triumph Brewing Company in New Hope will be the starting point at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 29. Triumph Brewing is opening early for the event, and the day drinking atmosphere will be unique. Participants registering for either option before Feb. 14 will receive a commemorative technical t-shirt. For virtual participants who cannot be at the real location, the t-shirt will be mailed to the registration address.

About the author

Steve Chernoski

Steve Chernoski is a writer, film director and teacher who lives in Lambertville. Here's his website:

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