serious running: trail running, races, shoe reviews

Project Athena Races Series: Virginia Beach

posted by Chris Barber

project-athena-race-seriesI know is all about trail running but sometimes extreme endurance sports bring out stories and causes that need to be talked about; and Project Athena Foundation is one of those.  I met founder Robyn Benincasa at a running store event a while back, along with her associate in the Project Athena Foundation, Victoria Seahorn who is also the founder of the XTERRA Colorado Trail Race Series.  There’s your trail running connection die hards.  They are currently promoting their newest event in Virginia Beach on November 20th, the AKALI Project Athena Racing Series.

Why run this event?  Because helping others is better than any runner’s high you’ve ever gotten.  As a two-time cancer survivor, Norfolk resident Sara Jones became an Athena last year.  She is now fighting for a third time, a personal battle with terminal metastatic breast cancer; this event is to raise awareness and funds for Sara and the rest of the Project Athena Foundation.

It was just three years ago that Robyn Benincasa and four friends brought a dream to reality by creating the Project Athena Foundation.  All of these women were serious athletes and all had faced medical setbacks in their lives.  Through sport and through the support of one another, they were able to regain active lifestyles.  The non-profit organization provides a “goddess” network to help women not just survive medical setbacks, but to strive for more and unleash the athlete within themselves.  Since 2008, 30 women have received Athenaships, or grants, to participate in some awesome events.  Sara Jones who had to retire from her job as a Norfolk area firefighter, was an Athenaship recipient last year and participated in the 155-Kilometer Coastal Challenge rain forest expedition run in Costa Rica.  Sounds like some gnarly trail running to me.

The event will be held on November 20th at First Landing State Park in Virgina Beach, Virginia.  The unique recreational series offers a variety of run/walk/adventure activities for all skill levels and age groups.  They will have a 15K God/Goddess Race, 6K Athena Team Trek, and Merrell Mini Athena & Mini Zues Kidz Challenge.  There is a 20% discount on all registration fees for military and their dependents, the registration code is PAFmilitary (case sensitive).  I was in the Army so I can tell you, impersonating military personnel is a serious offense.  Registration is $45 per adult and $25 per child.  Race day registration is $55 per adult and $35 for children so register now!

Run this event on November 20th in the Virginia Beach area, meet some amazing people who have overcome obstacles to achieve great things, and help others that are less fortunate than yourself.  Sounds like a beautiful Saturday morning run to me!

Tags: ,