Tim Kennard River Run to Support Animals and Children
But that wasn’t all he loved. He left behind a 7 year old son and a passion for running. Tim passed away on March 11, 2014, at age 48, after fighting a courageous battle against kidney cancer.
While he was sick, Linda Mills and Harlan Eagle asked Tim what they could do.
Start a race, he said.
“He wanted a race and not a little race, a big race that would benefit grieving children and animals,” Mills, Tim Kennard Organization Executive Director, said.
Mills was his neighbor. She says he wasn’t much into exercising besides walking his dogs, but she was a personal trainer, convinced him to come to a class and he was hooked. Kennard went on to participate in the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run, Annapolis Ten Mile Run and the Philadelphia Half Marathon.
“He fell into running, loved it, did every 5K around and when he fell ill, that was the best way to honor him,” Mills said.
The thirteenth annual Tim Kennard 10 Mile River Run & 5K Run/Walk is a full-weekend event, thanks to sponsors who have stepped up to help.
On Saturday, March 5, pre-registration and packet pick-up will take place at Headquarters Live. Those participating in the race can also stop into Evolution Craft Brewing Company on Saturday and enjoy 10% off their pre-race meals. On Saturday from 1-4 p.m. and Sunday 8-11 a.m., 10 milers can enjoy a complimentary cup of coffee from Rise Up Coffee.
On Sunday, March 6, runners can register at 7 a.m., followed by opening ceremonies at 8:30 a.m. The 10 Mile River Run, 10 Mile Relay and 5K will begin at 9 a.m., followed by the 5K Non-Competitive Walk Start at 9:05 a.m. Following the event, there will be a post-race party and awards ceremony.
Mills says each year, about 600 runners participate in the event, bringing in around $50,000 for the organization.
According to the Tim Kennard Organization, this year the proceeds will help: Coastal Hospice, specifically for pediatric cases and programs for grieving children who have lost a sibling or a parent to cancer; the Salisbury Horizons Student Enrichment Program, which provides support, education and hope to children from economically disadvantaged families; Coalition of Caring, a fund for our animal friends in need; also, VSCOA PAWS, which is the first-ever program of its kind to train disabled homeless Veterans to train homeless rescue dogs to become service dogs.
There are a few changes to this year’s event. For the first time in race history, the course is certified meaning if a runner sets a record, it will count. Mills says there are a lot of experienced runners for this event so setting a record is a possibility.
Henry Peck, Kennard’s late employer, sponsors the event each year and plans on bringing 10 elite runners from the Baltimore area for this year’s event. Among the crowd of runners is Andy Weaver, who just qualified for Olympic Trials. Kennard’s three sisters from Baltimore also run the event each year.
This year the Tim Kennard River Run added ‘Rob’s Run for Kids’ to honor Salisbury native, Robert Schultheis, who was killed in October 2015, while running. Rob’s Run for Kids is free and features distances for ages 2-10. All donations will benefit the “Live Life Like Rob” foundation in memory of local runner and community advocate Rob Schultheis.
One of the many reasons people participate in this run year after year is because of the sense of community felt during the event. Taylor Smith has been participating in the event since 2013 and says she won’t miss it.
“I always try to run this race because it’s an awesome course and the whole community is involved,” Smith said. “They have students from Salisbury University and other volunteers lined up on the course to cheer everyone on. It just feels like the majority of the city is there cheering everyone on and it’s a great feeling of community.”
For more information on the Tim Kennard 10 Mile River Run & 5K Run Walk, click here.