Town contributes to runner's cause

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— More than 8,000 runners converged on Jacksonville, Fla. on Feb. 18. Many of them present were focused on finishing the 26.2 mile marathon run in the Florida heat.

For Tom Williams, a 61-year-old Craig resident, it wasn't about winning the race, or even finishing - which he did - it was more about why he was racing.

Williams made the more than 2,000-mile trek from Craig to raise money for the Donna Hicken Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to funding the needs of underserved women with breast cancer.

The event raised more than $1 million this year, and thanks to the residents of Craig, Williams contributed more than $1,000 himself.

"I had a really good time," Williams said. "I want to thank all those that donated very sincerely."

Williams said the event drew more than 10,000 spectators who watched from the sidelines in Jacksonville Beach.

"The people treated us great," he said. "There was at least 10,000 people lining the route. They were throwing candy, snacks and spraying us with hoses. It was hot."

Williams began his run at 8:30 a.m., and he said by the time it was 10 a.m. it was 75 degrees.

By the time he was coming down the home stretch, it was 90.

"It was hot, but it was really good weather for the event," he said. "The next day it rained, so I'm glad we missed being wet."

Williams finished the race, he said, "somewhere in the middle of the pack," but not without a struggle.

"I had a good pace until about mile 17," he said. "Then I hit a small wall."

Williams said every runner hits the "wall" at some point during a race; it's what you do after that makes or breaks a runner.

"A lady came up to me and said, 'It looks like you have a problem,'" he said. "So she held my hand, and we finished together."

Williams said he's grateful to have been able to make the trip south, to run for a good cause and to have a good time.

It's something he would do again.

"I'd definitely do it again," he said. "But, I wouldn't have been able to compete in the event without the support I received from the people in town. I feel fortunate to have done it."

John Vandelinder can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 211, or jvandelinder@craigdailypress.com

Comments

Barbara A Smith 4 years, 8 months ago

And where, stopcrime, did you get all your information?? This person sure could file a suit against you for spreading all this gossip.

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twin2175 4 years, 7 months ago

Unless Tom Williams publicly says that he used the money raised for his own personal use, we cannot accuse (libel-written or slander-spoken) him of misuse. Maybe Tom would like to show us where he donated the $6,000 to the cause. If he is not willing to present the documents, maybe the citizens of Craig will come forward and tell the CDP how much they donated to Tom Williams and this cause.

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