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Jun 13

11th Annual Fiesta 5K a Big Success!

Annual event raises awareness and bring together Baltimore’s ALS Community.

On a recent sunny Saturday morning, 1,200 people laced up their running shoes and headed to Power Plant Live! in downtown Baltimore to raise money and show their support for the Robert Packard Center's 11th annual Fiesta 5K for ALS Research.  The event raised just over $320,000.

Since its inception in 2007, the Fiesta 5K has raised more than $2.8 million for ALS research. Packard Center Director Jeffrey Rothstein, M.D., Ph.D., says the race was developed to alert the local community about the Center's innovative work. "The Fiesta 5K has become an important way to rally the ALS community in and around Baltimore.  Our goal is simple - we want to make people more aware of ALS and raise funds to support our efforts toward a cure," Rothstein said.

Runners take your mark!  Members of the Johns Hopkins University Men's Soccer team lead the race.

A highlight from the event was meeting Dave Wilson, a long-time Fiesta 5K participant who was recently diagnosed with ALS.  Wilson addressed the runners at the end of the race.  He first participated and walked in the inaugural Fiesta 5K in 2007 in honor of his friend Tim who had died of ALS a few months earlier.  Inspired by the event, Wilson started running and never stopped. 

Dave Wilson, a recently diagnosed ALS patient and avid runner, addresses the crowd.

Since that first Fiesta 5K, Wilson has run countless races including 5Ks 10Ks, half-marathons, cycling events, triathlons, and the Baltimore and New York City Marathons. In a twist of fate, Wilson was diagnosed with ALS in the fall of 2016. Wilson ran the Fiesta 5K this year and then shared his unique and inspiring story with the runners and spectators.  “Since my diagnosis I have committed to living life each day to the fullest, and fundraising and raising awareness,” Wilson said in his post-race address.  “Participating in today’s event is just one way we can all give back.”

The 12th annual Fiesta 5k for ALS Research will be held on Saturday, May 5, 2018.  Be sure to save the date!

See more photos from the Fiesta 5K:

Team Everything Coming Up Roses gets ready for the race.

Sean Radcliffe and Thor, members of Team Radcliffe, celebrate at the Fiesta 5K.

Matt Zubrod (second from left) ran the Fiesta 5K on the morning of his wedding.  Despite the busy day, Zubrod didn't want to miss the race that he runs every year in memory of his late grandmother.

Team Travelers ran in memory of their late CEO Jay Fishman, who died of ALS last year.

Thank you to Jon Boesche, host of the Mix Morning Show on Mix 106.5, for sharing his personal ALS story and serving as the Master of Ceremonies.

Thank you to the 65 volunteers who help make the event a success each year.  Special thanks to Hopkins in Action, the Johns Hopkins University Employee Volunteer Program, for their support.

Team Horst and Team Higgins Hero's held their own Fiesta 5K in April in Hagerstown, Maryland.

Team Barbara gets ready for the race.

Team Nelly won the award for the largest team with 100 members and the award for largest team for fundraising ($28,000 raised).  Note: Team Captain Andy Nelson lost his battle with ALS just as this article was published.  The Packard Center sends their deepest sympathies to the entire Nelson family and Team Nelly.  He will be missed.

Congratulations to Karli Lubin for winning the award for Largest Individual Fundraiser. Lubin ran in honor of her late father Peter who died from ALS a few weeks prior to the race.

Packard Board Chair Thornley Hart (center) congratulates age group winners Dick Cass (left) and George Yannakakis (right).

2017 Fiesta 5K overall winner: Cole Rosenberger with a time of 17:49.

2017 Fiesta 5K top female winner: Hannah Vaughn with a time of 21:43.