Cape Gazette
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Ask The Trainer

Don’t miss the annual Kelly J. Fritchman 5K

By Chris Antonio | Jul 05, 2014

Runners from around the tri-state area will gather again Saturday, July 12, to celebrate the life of an extraordinary woman by participating in the 5th Annual Kelly J. Fritchman Memorial 5K. The race will be held at Irish Eyes Restaurant in Lewes, and the funds raised will benefit a scholarship to be awarded to a University of Delaware swim team standout.

This race was created to celebrate the amazing life of Kelly Fritchman, who died at 32 from a disease called cystic fibrosis. CF is a deadly disease that attacks the lungs and digestive system and eventually leads to loss of life. Kelly was diagnosed with CF at 5 months old, and her mother was told that Kelly’s life expectancy would likely span into her early teens, but Kelly had other plans, and she lived to become a wife, mother of two and friend of many.

I can personally attest to the strong will and character that Kelly possessed, and I was privileged to be her friend and trainer. I worked out with her and witnessed her will to live and her positive attitude. She never complained, and regardless of how sick she became, everything in her eyes was a minor setback that could be solved with more work and dedication.

Despite her condition, Kelly was able to become a Division I swimmer for the University of Delaware swim team, where she used exercises and hard work to stay healthy and live a longer life. After Kelly passed, friends and family worked together to establish a scholarship in her name to be awarded to an outstanding member of the University of Delaware swim team.

This year, Kelly’s family is proud to announce that not only has the scholarship fund swelled to more than $70,000, but that they have named Brittany Lazear the first scholarship recipient. Brittany was chosen by head swim coach John Hayman, who said, “I wanted to choose someone who exhibited the same energy, beliefs, drive and passion as Kelly did, and I believe that Brittany fit that description.” Nobody knows better than coach Hayman, as he had the privilege of coaching Kelly for four years.

So, if you’re looking for a great reason to work out and would like to join us for this honorable cause, mark your calendar for Saturday, July 12. Registration starts at 7 a.m. and the race will begin promptly at 8 a.m. If you are not a runner, you can still contribute by walking the course. There is also a kiddie K, so bring your little athletes. Early registration will be offered through Thursday, July 10, for a cost of $20, and it's $25 after the July 10 deadline through race day.

There will also be a raffle with donations from local businesses including Big Fish Grill, Gary’s Surf Spray Cafe, Cultured Pearl, Rehoboth Bod Pod and many others, so be sure to bring some spending cash, and you just might get lucky. If you would like to contribute but can’t attend the race, a tax-deductible gift can be mailed in the form of a check to University of Delaware Athletic Fund, with reference in the memo section for the Kelly J. Fritchman Swimming Scholarship. Then send the check to 239 Bob Carpenter Center, Newark, DE 19716.

For more information about the race, contact Wayne Kursh at 302-654-6400 or wayne@races2run.com.

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