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By LARRY VAUGHT
The Danville is blessed with many terrific 5K runs during the spring, summer and fall. Saturday’s Bluegrass Drug Run for Camp Can Do 5K was just another example — even though no other run can boast of the scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, donuts and pancakes offered for breakfast after the 3.1-mile run like this event does.
But this Saturday’s Pigskin Classic 5K that starts and ends at Admiral Stadium will give area runners/walkers, especially those who are University of Kentucky fans, a chance to experience something a bit different as well. Media personalities Ryan Lemond and Mark Buerger are both going to run in the event. So is Amanda Lemond, Ryan’s wife. Former UK quarterback Freddie Maggard will be the official starter for the 5K run and his wife, Jen, will be running.
The race starts at 9 p.m. — and that makes the event unique because you’ll be running under the lights — but Buerger and Lemond should be in Danville by about 8 to talk sports or anything else with anyone who is interested no matter whether you are running in the race or not. (And if you have not pre-registered, you can sign up on race night).
Buerger (@meisterbuerger on Twitter) is the host of Sunday Morning Sports talk from 9-noon on WLAP (630 AM) in Lexington. He also fills in often for Dick Gabriel on WLAP’s weeknight sports talk show. Buerger is also a bit paranoid about sports at times and a bit wacky at other times. However, he’s become a serious runner and has been training for this event.
Lemond is the former sports anchor for WLEX-TV and now is a regular on the popular Kentucky Sports Radio morning sports talk show that air across the state. Lemond (@ryanlemond) says he’s not been training even though the commercial endorsement he does for Body Shapes Medical makes it sound like he’s ready for an Ironman competition and a mere 5K should be easy for him.
The initial idea was to pair me with Jen Maggard and Buerger with Amanda Lemond to see which team would have the lowest combined time. But now it is every man — and woman — for himself or herself because nobody wants to lose to Lemond. Buerger has vowed he will “dust” him — and he should since he’s running a consistent 24-minute 5K. I think I can finish around the 26-minute mark — depending on what running at 9 p.m. does to me.
Lemond? Who knows? But when I finish, I am heading out to encourage Jen Maggard all I can to beat Ryan. Don’t worry about his wife. She’ll take care of him on the course.
All the guest celebrities are also looking forward to meeting 9-year-old Jeff LeDonne. His inspirational story of overcoming being severely burned when he was about five months old and living in a Shuar tribe, deep in the Amazon. He rolled off his bed into his mother’s cooking fire and was severely burned from his feet up to mid-thigh on both legs. He lost all his toes and what was left of his feet were melted to the front of his legs.
But he’s finished two 5K runs this month and will run again in the Pigskin Classic 5K along with Buerger and Lemond. Who knows, maybe LeDonne can even beat Lemond.