The seventh Wolfson Children’s Challenge is in the books, but this year’s event broke some new attendance records, making it the most successful one yet. More than 2,300 runners participated in the Challenge on January 30 at Bragan Field at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, up from 1,700 in 2015.
The breakdown of the races included:
• 17 solo runners in the 55K Ultra Marathon Individual Run
• 56 in the 30K Individual Run (double last year’s number)
• 151 Ultra Relay teams (up by more than 20 teams this year) comprised of 1,816 participants;
• Nearly 400 participants in the 1-Mile Fun Run
The top three male finishers in the 55K Ultra Marathon Individual Run were:
• Dan MacGregor, 45, of Jacksonville
• Gregory Umberger, 59, of Jacksonville
• Carter East, 28, of Jacksonville
The top three women in the 55K were:
• Jennifer Joy, 46, of Jacksonville Beach
• Kristen Eckert, 36, of Ponte Vedra Beach
• Dawn Hancock, 41, of Jacksonville
In the 30K Individual Run, the top three male finishers were:
• Conner Vaughn, 19, of Jacksonville
• Jeff Roberts, 40, of St. Simons Island, Georgia
• David Bonnette, 43, of Orange Park
The top three women in the 30K were:
• Tina Dyal, 53, of Jacksonville
• Beth Dearment, 36, of Jacksonville Beach
• Lisa Adams, 41, of Fleming Island
Top three male finishers in 55K Ultra Relay:
• Team Carolina
• Running for Luke
• Bransfield & Gorrie
Top three women finishers in 55K Ultra Relay:
• Team Pajcic & Pajcic Fasties
• Run Like a Mother 2
• Team the Young and the Restof Us
The top three co-ed finishers in 55K Ultra Relay:
• Team Maggie 3
• Racing Raccoons
• Team Evan
Those who came out enjoyed live performances by The Voice’s Justen Harden, Karate America and Jacksonville Country Day School; fun activities hosted by Home Depot, Gator Clowns and much more, plus delicious barbeque from 4 Rivers Smokehouse.
The Wolfson Children’s Challenge telethon, held on January 21, 2016, at WJXT TV4 was also successful, raising more than $52,000. Proceeds from this year’s Challenge and Telethon will be used toward the purchase of more life-saving equipment for the hospital, and will help fund a technology support endowment. The amount raised by this year Challenge is still being calculated.
“Wolfson Children’s Hospital is so grateful to have the wonderful support of our physicians and team members, volunteers, individuals, families and companies in this community,” said Hospital President Michael D. Aubin. “Every year, people come from all over the region to take part in a running challenge, family-friendly events and to help raise funds to ensure that Wolfson Children’s continues to fulfill our mission to children and families. Thank you!”
The family-oriented Wolfson Children’s Challenge is a major fundraiser for Wolfson Children’s Hospital, the region’s only not-for-profit pediatric referral center which serves tens of thousands of children of all ages each year. The hospital includes centers of distinction in cancer, congenital heart disease, neurosciences, gastroenterology and behavioral health, as well as providing many other services. It also is an opportunity to honor 55 children who have benefited from the life-saving and life-changing services the hospital, along with its regional pediatric specialty centers, provide.
To date, the event has raised enough money to purchase a 3 Tesla MRI, which has 10 to 15 times the strength of a regular or open MRI, which translates into sharper images that allow for better evaluation of conditions involving the brain, spine and musculoskeletal system. Proceeds from this year’s event will be used toward the purchase of more life-saving equipment, and will help fund a technology support endowment.