Now that our Founder Day’s celebration is over, I wanted to share a few final thoughts on the Beast.
We had 1,100 participants on the 10-mile course and 100 on the adaptive course. A beautiful day greeted our 300+ volunteers.
This was Ryan’s 7th year participating in the Beast. The first 2 years he did the adaptive course and, of course, he was very fast. Ryan runs most days for 60 minutes at a very quick pace. So, I asked him if he wanted to try the Beast, and his answer was a resounding “YES.”
Over the years he has had numerous buddies participate with him. All of the guys have been people who have worked with him. The person who had done the Beast with him the last few years moved out of Erie this summer, so I was in a quandary. Who might be able to Beat the Beast this year with him????? It was suggested that Kate and Brian Stark might be willing . I reached out to them, and they immediately said yes. Ryan was so excited. We met them at Waldameer so that they could ride out together to the start of the race at Beach 10. He couldn’t wait to get on the bus.
I confess I was nervous. How would Ryan do? I did not need to be. They finished the 10 miles, and I learned that Ryan tried all of the obstacles, something that he had not been willing to do in the past. He was so proud, and I was as well.
When you ask Ryan, “why do you do the Beast?”, he immediately responds that he wants to help the kids of the Barber Center. The Starks decided that this was their motto as well. So, next year you will find Ryan, Kate, and Brian at Beach 10 to Beat the Beast for the kids of the Barber Center. We are so fortunate to have friends and supporters in the community who are committed to supporting persons with disabilities. Erie is a very special community!