Scott Adams, director of Information Technology at the School of Information and Library Science, plans to run 200 miles along the Blue Ridge Parkway in memory of friend Jay Clark, who died of cancer in May. Adams hopes to raise awareness – as well as cancer research money – by running the distance from Waynesboro, Va., to Fancy Gap, Va., in only four days.
Teaming up with fellow SILS graduate and friend Les Chaffin (MSLS ’98), who will bike alongside Adams and provide support, the longtime runner plans to set out on July 27 and run 50 miles each day.
“Our primary goal is to raise awareness of the struggle that families are facing as they battle against one or many forms of cancer,” Adams said. By setting this challenge for himself, Adams hopes to inspire others and to help raise awareness of the challenges cancer patients face.
Adams and Chaffin both belong to the Renegades running group, which meets twice weekly to run and encourage each other. The pair also teamed up in 2000 to raise money for victims of Hurricane Floyd. Running group member Amanda Kotecki also will run and bike portions of the Blue Ridge Parkway, and Mindy Adams and SILS instructor Kristin Chaffin will drive the route providing logistic and moral support.
“It’s not about the ‘I,’” Adams said. “Even though I’m the only one running, I couldn’t do this without everyone else behind me, pushing me and saying, ‘yes, you can do this.’”
The pair decided to undertake the difficult run after Clark, a lifelong friend of Chaffin’s, passed away in May after battling cancer for five years. “Any pain that we endure during this run wouldn’t even come close to the pain that Jay endured while battling cancer,” Adams said. Diagnosed with stage four bladder cancer in 2000, Clark left behind his wife, Kristin, and his son, Justin.
Hoping to inspire others to donate to cancer research, Adams and Chaffin are asking supporters to donate to the American Cancer Society or the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization in memory of Clark. More information on how to support their effort can be found at http://ils.unc.edu/blueridgerun, or by e-mailing Adams at firstname.lastname@example.org or Chaffin at email@example.com.
Follow the progress of the run each of the four days beginning on July 27 by linking to: http://ils.unc.edu/blueridgerun
Links to articles about the run at:
The Chapel Hill News
The University Gazette