Five Points of Life Race
The streets and sidewalks of Gainesville were flooded today with athletes racing against the clock.
The annual "Five Points of Life" race attracted runners from all over North Central Florida and beyond, but it wasn't just about competition. Each of the 1200 runners who participated today in the marathon, half marathon or team relay marathon races had their own motivation.
But the overall emphasis was on the life saving importance of the Five Points of Life. CEO and President of LifeSouth Community Blood Centers Nancy Eckert said, "This is a medical community and a lot of what we do relies on people donating their organs, their tissues, their marrow, their blood, their apheresis. And so it's just to raise awareness of the need for that and how many lives are saved every day because people do that."
The record crowd of runners had to be mentally and physically prepared for the stretch of pavement in front of them, and for many, it was emotional too.
Caroline Barclift said, "She was my big sister...when I was younger I wanted to do everything she wanted to do and I always followed in her footsteps and this is just I think finishing the race that she couldn't."
Caroline and Stephanie Barclift and 40 others are running in teams to honor the memory of Catherine Barclift. The 23 year old UF Law School student was hit by a car and killed in 2007 while training for this race.
She was an organ donor. The Barclift's believe that giving the Five Points of Life can bring good even out of tragedy. Catherine's mother Stephanie Barclift said, "That's what organ donation is about. Making the best thing out of something horrible in your life...by giving life and a chance of life for other people."
A UF alumni used the race to celebrate a personal milestone. Seth Elsheimer has now run 100 marathons, including one marathon in each state.
There were also some familiar faces in the pack. TV20 had two relay teams and individual competitors in the marathon and half marathon races.
Dave Snyder said, "It's a good feeling to have gone five miles and to be part of a team. And hopefully we'll finish better than next to last this year."
Although there was a competitive spirit in the air...for those who ran today, no matter the finish time, the race was worth it.
Stephanie Barclift said, "In this time where we could just be crying, we're doing something good and that helps us."
For more information on the Five Points of Life and how you can help visit http://www.lifesouth.org/.
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