On Saturday August 4th, the Lutzie 43 Foundation hosted its Fourth Annual Road Race, presented by Jim Ellis Kia of Kennesaw, in Marietta, GA. This year’s race saw a strong turnout of both on-site and virtual runners. There 747 on-site runners, 300 virtual runners and the foundation raised over $43,000! We could not have done it without your support!
Runners and volunteers gathered at Lassiter High School’s Lutzie Field early Saturday morning to get their race bibs, catch up and warm up before the starting gun went off at 8:00 a.m. Philip was looking down on us and provided great weather, as rain was in the forecast for the morning of the race, but it never came. At the sound of the starting gun, runners ran through the start gate and forward to the course. Wonderful volunteers were at each mile to provide runners with water as they continued on their run or walk. Every direction you looked during the race there were people pushing themselves to finish and people chatting, enjoying the fellowship that this race brings.
As everyone finished the race, friends and family gathered in our sponsor zone to get a snack from Chicken Salad Chick, Chick-fil-A, Williamsons Brothers BBQ or Tropical Smoothie Cafe or a post-race recovery session from Strack Chiropractic . It was encouraging to see the support the sponsors and local businesses provided the Lutzie 43 Foundation for this event. It wouldn’t be possible without you!
2018 Jim Ellis Kia Lutzie 43 Road Race from Lutzie 43 Foundation on Vimeo.
It was humbling to the foundation and the Lutzenkirchen family to know that while all of these festivities were taking place in Marietta, there were runners across the country doing their own “virtual” Road Race and celebrating Philip. There were virtual runs in Birmingham, Colorado Springs, Julesburg, Austin, Chicago, Miami and even Afghanistan! Thank you to the many runners and supporters who sent us their virtual run photos!
As the day came to a close, Mike gave his annual speech thanking all of the supporters, runners and sponsors. It was during this speech that he revealed the new direction of the foundation, which focuses on creating a nationally-recognized symbol for safe driving. As Mike made his announcement, volunteers passed out keys as physical reminders of the “43 Key Seconds” message. The white keys featured the Kia logo and the 43 Key Seconds logo on them, in hopes that each time drivers see the key, they will be reminded of Philip’s story.
As Mike wrapped up his speech, he was moved to tears as he remembered why we were gathered at the Road Race and why the foundation works every day to create change: because of Philip. Thank you for your support in all we do!