ATKINSON —On Sat., July 12, participants from across the country will descend on Atkinson, to celebrate the life of Jeremy Graczyk, as part of the first annual “Live Free or Die 5000,” a 5K race and stroll being held in Jeremy’s honor.
The race was established to honor the life of former Atkinson resident Major Jeremy J. Graczyk, who died on July 12, 2011, in a BASE jumping accident in Switzerland. All proceeds from the event will help fund the Major Jeremy J. Graczyk USMC Memorial Scholarship, which is awarded each year to a high-achieving graduate from Timberlane Regional High School.
“Jeremy, before he even joined the Marine Corps, epitomized the principles of Semper Fidelis and Ductos Exemplo,” Navy Lt. Cmdr. Patrick H. O’Mahoney, a friend and race organizer, said. “He lived a life that inspired, whether it was in the class room, on the playing field, on the front lines of battle, or just sharing stories and philosophizing over a drink. That’s his legacy. This race merely provides an opportunity to pay tribute and, in a small way, help perpetuate the impact he had on so many.”
The race starts at 9:00 a.m. at Woodlock Park Lane in Atkinson, and consists of a 3.1 mile loop that extends through the town. The USATF has certified the course, which is suitable for runners and walkers of all skill levels and abilities. Participants are being asked to arrive at 7:00 a.m. on the day of the race to sign in. Those who register at least two weeks prior to the event will receive a race bib and a short-sleeve performance shirt, as well as “race bag” giveaways and select sponsor products.
Donation and sponsorship funding is being managed by The Atkinson Lions Club, an accredited 501(c)(3) charity. The participation fee is $30.00 for adults and $20.00 for youth (17 and under). The fee for those who sign up on the day of the event is $35.00.
Those interested in participating in the race can register at: http://www.lightboxreg.com/live-free-or-die-5000.
To sign on as a race sponsor or to donate directly to the scholarship fund, please visit the website for more information, at https://livefreeordie5000.squarespace.com/. The deadline for sponsorships is Fri., June 20.