Unleashing their Inner Spartan for a Great Cause

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Thursday March 17, 2011

This August will bring adventures in mud crawling, barbed wire dodging, wall scaling and many more obstacles to a group of Vermonters ready to rough it “Spartan Style” for a good cause.

Heidi Smith and ninety-nine other eager participants will be running in the Spartan Race in Killington, VT this summer to raise money for the ALS Association.  The Spartan Sprint Race is a 5k road race which presents a variety of obstacles and exercise challenges to the runner.  Video clips of the race present team effort, smiles along with grunts, and lots and lots of mud.

Smith, a resident of South Burlington, has been working on several big projects this past year to raise money for the ALS Association.  Smith’s husband Frank was diagnosed with ALS last March.  In the past year, the family has spent time appreciating each day they have together and Smith has been involved in numerous projects to raise awareness of ALS. 

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which is also known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects the nerve cells in the spinal cord and brain.  Over 5,600 people in the US are diagnosed with ALS every year.  The ALS association is a resource for people with this illness and their families.  The association’s goals include providing support to families and promoting nationwide advocacy and global research. Find more information at  http://webnne.alsa.org/site/PageServer?pagename=NNE_homepage.

Smith, along with friends, family and fellow athletes are looking for more participants in their Spartan Race team.  The race which takes place on August 6th in Killington was originally including only the 8 mile Super Spartan Race.  Smith and her teammates were looking for a Spartan Sprint Race (5k) to launch their fundraiser.  Smith managed to have a private 5k course opened up for her team but under the condition that the team would have a minimum of 100 people.  The group is now looking for additional members of their team “Huzzah for Frank.”   The Spartan Race presents challenges and excitement for these teammates.

“I am most concerned about jumping over a bonfire” says Burlington teammate Siobhan Henry-Hooker, “but I feel supported by training from Heidi and I am excited to be part of a great challenge for a great cause!”

Members of the team will receive: a discounted entrance fee of $35, a free T-shirt, a  free beer and help from Heidi Smith with training if they are interested..  Those interested in signing up can down load a registration form on the Burlington Boot Camp website at http://www.burlingtonbootcamp.com/site/index.php

The effort and spirit of this unique project is summed up well in the words of Heidi Smith: “There is something amazing about people who are healthy and strong facing a challenge like the Spartan Race to raise money for research to help people who are not as strong and healthy.”

SOURCE: Dana Mallon, Spartan Supporter