A team of 12 runners competed in a 200-mile overnight relay race through the back roads of Kentucky to raise funds and awareness for Paralyzed Veterans of America.
The Bullion 2 Bourbon race team was one of the 300 teams competing in The Bourbon Chase – an annual event that follows along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail – October 18-19, 2013. The Bullion 2 Bourbon team – made up of soldiers, contractors and members of the civilian workforce who work in and around Fort Knox, Kentucky – raised more than $11,600 for Paralyzed Veterans of America.
“This annual race has become a fundraising opportunity for us to help U.S. veterans and soldiers,” said team captain Ram Vantipalli. “Last year we raised $5,600 for USA Cares and this year, we successfully raised over $11,600 for Paralyzed Veterans of America.”
The team recruited several corporate sponsors, including Hewlett Packard, SAP NS2, VSoft, Government Works, TEKSystems and Cohns & Associates, as well as several local business and individual sponsors.
“Dedicating the race to Paralyzed Veterans of America isn’t just about raising the funds,” said team driver Sean Swick. “It’s about letting veterans know that we are thinking of them, we appreciate their sacrifices and struggle, and we want to give back and help them in some small way.”
Each member of the 12-person team ran about 16 miles on average at three different legs of the race to complete the 200-mile trek starting at the Jim Beam distillery in Clermont and ending in downtown Lexington.
The team finished in 201st place out of 300 with a time of 30 hours and 22 minutes.
Teams that select to raise funds for a specific charity are selected for the race on a lottery basis. If selected in 2014, the team plans to race again in support of Paralyzed Veterans of America.
“The race was a fantastic event and we enjoyed being a part of it, but promoting the Paralyzed Veterans of America mission gave it a purpose.” Swick said. “Anyone can start the race, but finishing requires commitment, struggle and perseverance.”
Learn more about how you can get involved and support Paralyzed Veterans of America
Brittany Ballenstedt is a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in several publications, including Government Executive, National Journal, Technology Daily and NextGov.com.