A group of six women who call themselves the “Hardcore Moms,” were clad in Wonder Woman and Superman T-shirts and capes with a picture of their trainer, standing outside Elon University’s Physician Assistant (PA) school abd waiting to run the “Great Cape Escape Race.”
As a buzzer went off at 9:40 a.m. Sept. 24, they took off down Haggard Avenue with a herd of capes, ninja turtles and zombies, racing to the finish.
“Back in July, we decided to make a commitment to working out with each other three days a week, and we figured a way to end that would be to do something big. This was that something big,” said Tara Boyll, of the Hardcore Moms.
The second annual “Great Cape Escape Race” was organized by Elon’s PA Student Society and benefits the Open Door Clinic of Alamance County. The organization provides free medical assistance for those who can’t afford it, according to Tracy Salisbury, executive director of the Open Door Clinic.
This cause is one of the reasons the “Hardcore Moms” decided to sign up for the race.
“We’re a free medical clinic that serves the uninsured in Alamance County and we not only serve as their primary care medical home, but we also provide them with their medications, diabetics tests and supplies,” Salisbury said. “Of course, that’s very expensive, and we rely on grants and fundraisers to provide these services.”
Since the Open Door Clinic runs solely on donations and volunteer doctors, the PA Student Society took it up as their philanthropy.
PA student and race chair Anna Parr organized the event, finding sponsors, posting signs and planning out mile markers and food for the participants to ensure they would raise as much money for the Open Door Clinic as possible.
Runners had the option of running a 10K, 5K or the Fun Run. In the Fun Run, children and walkers dressed up like zombies and were squirted by water guns. The racers participating in the 5k and 10k dressed like superheroes.
“The race is superhero-themed because everyone running the race today is a hero for the Open Door Clinic,” Parr said. “They provide care for over 600 families, and they function all off of volunteer doctors and donations.”
The course began at the Gerald Francis Center at 762 E. Haggard Ave., and took racers past Elon Elementary school, the Performing Arts Center, Lake Mary Nell, behind Global Neighborhood and finishing through Danieley Neighborhood.
Prizes were given out to the men and women who came in first and second place. More thab 260 people came out to run through the university, which exceeded last year’s participants.
Those who had the best costume also received a prize.
After the awards ceremony, runners got to experience the after party — complete with music, Panera Bread bagels and fruit from Lowe’s Foods, as well as recovery with a post-race yoga session from Zenitry.
“I wanted the position just to get involved with the community — it’s a new place, new people,” Parr said. “The Open Door Clinic has been a great place for the students to train and also the things that they do to provide medical assistance — I just wanted to be a part of that.”