MS is BS Dracut Race to be Held Saturday, October 1st
Sep 23, 2016 05:26PM
By Mary Hart
On Saturday, October 1, 2016, the Dillon-McAnespie Park in Dracut will be filled with people coming together for a common cause: To walk, run, or ride a bike to raise funds to beat Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in the MS is BS Dracut race.
Event Director, Brandon Sweeney, first came up with the name when he was a high school student participating in the Walk MS Newburyport hosted by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS). He needed to create a name for his team, so he came up with “MS is BS” for “Multiple Sclerosis is bull….”.
“The name stuck,” says Sweeney, “and that’s what I thought of immediately as the name of the event after deciding to host our first fundraising event.”
The cause of multiple sclerosis is close to Sweeney’s heart as three members of his family have been affected by the disease: His father; his uncle; and his grandfather.
“I can remember all of them from when they were MS-free,” recalls Sweeney. “My grandmother can no longer use nor move her legs. However, her outlook on life is commendable! My father was diagnosed 10 years ago with Relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), which is the most common disease course. He went through several relapses until he found the mediation he uses today, which is called Rebif. If it wasn't for that medication, he would still be on disability and his quality of life would suffer dramatically. When my uncle was diagnosed three years ago, that was the tipping point for me. I saw his health rapidly declining and saw that he was losing function in both of his legs. Right then, I knew it was time for me to stand up and give all of them a voice in the community to advocate for a change and hopefully help to find a cure once and for all.”
As for the choice of Dracut as a location for the race, that was an easy one. Sweeney grew up in Dracut, so he felt it was fitting to bring the community together around the cause of Multiple Sclerosis. Plus, his father’s family lived in Dracut for more than 50 years.
Interested in participating? There is still space available. You can sign up for the 5k (either as a runner or as a walker) on its own; the 5-mile mountain bike portion through Dracut State Forest; or you can sign up for both (known as a “Duathlon”) and challenge your limits.
“We urge every participant that attends our event,” says Sweeney, “to live by our motto, which is ‘Don’t limit your challenges. Challenge your limits!’ If you’re in a wheelchair or scooter, you can absolutely participate, as we want to ensure that each and every person who wants to participate can do so.”
During the event, there will be a DJ at the Dillon-McAnespie Park for entertainment, as well as yard games such as cornhole, ladder ball, and Kanjam. There will also be a 50/50 raffle and baskets will be raffled off. If you would like to donate items for those gift baskets, such as sports tickets, concert tickets, fitness apparel, etc., reach out to Sweeney through the MS is BS Dracut page.
If you can’t make it, but would like to help out with a personal donation, you may do so through the Donation page of the website. All donations are safe and secure utilizing a PayPal checkout.
On the day of the race, on-site registration, check-in, and bib pickup starts at 8:30 a.m., with team photos to be taken at 9:00 a.m. The 5k and Duathlon will both begin promptly at 10:00 a.m. Come on out for a great day to help beat MS!