Local road race remains strong, impacts community

Local road race remains strong, impacts community
Mt. Acosta Classic committee members Darrell Purkey with Scott Gross, Gena Star, Robbie Higgerson, Charlie Fetzer, Andres Santandreu, Drew Rowland and Marie McMaster; committee members not pictured: Phil Foreman, Alice Gould, Matt Gulden and Carina Brillhart

A passionate committee recently met to plan, strategize, and organize the game plan for this year’s 6th Annual Mt. Acosta Classic, a major fundraiser for the Jared Bynum Scholarship Foundation. The Feb. 17 bicycle road race and running event will have rubber hitting the road in tandem with runners on the same course as cyclists. The race kicks off from the Haskell Building at 111 Riverside Ave. and will challenge participants to get involved, get engaged, and embody the spirit of longtime Ironman Jared Bynum, as they traverse the St. Johns River on the Acosta Bridge.

Bynum, a committed runner and triathlete tragically lost his life on Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012, while training for the Florida Ironman competition. He was struck from behind by an SUV while on his last 100-mile training ride prior to the big event. He was a large supporter of anything and everything local, including establishments in the Riverside and San Marco communities, nearby to his office at the Haskell Company. According to friends, his workouts began and ended in the local area, and he always strived to help local merchants and restaurants gain more visibility.

In addition to his support for local businesses, he took it a step further a few years prior to his passing. In 2010, Jared and his wife, Kelli, started mentoring at-risk students at Julia Landon Middle School through their church, Southside Baptist. After his fatal accident, a scholarship was established to help fund college tuition costs for a deserving Landon student from an underprivileged background. Deserving students have shared their experiences and more can be found by visiting MtAcostaClassic.com, 100 percent of proceeds go to students in the community.

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