by Jen Eichelberger
I made it over to Cape Girardeau to cheer, count laps, and run with friends at the 4th annual Aslinger 12/24-hour event. Although the wind was annoying at times, we got pretty lucky with the weather as none of the forecasted thunderstorms hit during the 24-hour event.
This event has a wonderful family feel as it was developed by Bryan and Kim Kelpe and the Aslinger family and Foundation to raise money for education scholarships to support individuals with disabilities. The run is held on a 1-mile (0.984, to be exact) paved loop course in Cape Girardeau’s Arena Park. There were lots of SLUGs on hand, both running and volunteering, and not surprisingly, SLUGs took home many of the overall and age-group awards in both the 12- and 24-hour events. I had fun running with some of the SLUG ladies, including my Carbondale running partner Renee Bull (1st female overall, 80 miles in 24 hours), Laura Range (1st masters female, 73 miles in 24 hours) and Suzanne Kenyon (1st masters female, 51 miles in 12 hours). In addition to the usual contingent of runners, this year there were three athletes competing in the 12-hour wheelchair division during the night portion (7 pm to 7 am) of the event, and the presence of these athletes on the course was a great inspiration to the other runners, providing a frequent (and fast!) reminder of the true purpose of this very special event.
The Aslinger Foundation Endurance Run is truly an endurance event for all ages, as evidenced by the completion of over 51 miles by 77-year-old and constantly smiling Eugene Bruckert of Arlington Heights, IL, to more than a marathon run by 10-year-old JD Clippard of Cape Girardeau. It was so much fun to witness their pride and joy in completing these impressive performances! Congratulations to fellow SLUG, Travis Redden, who won the 24-hour event (110 miles), nearly tying Phil Marra’s 2012 course record (110.4 miles)!