Great American Race passes through Northwest Ohio

Coast-to-coast event stretches from Boston to Santa Monica
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Published: Sep. 25, 2020 at 9:23 PM EDT
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FREMONT, Ohio (WTVG) - Jason Hawkins is an avid runner and even has Boston Marathon finisher on his running resume after complete the race in honor of his father who died from colon cancer in 2005.

“When he was healthy - even after after he got cancer when the chemo knocked him down pretty good - he still got up and would still run four miles a day,” Hawkins said.

And that is what keeps Jason moving today. He is part of an 11 mile run to the edge of Sandusky County. It is a small part of the Great American relay benefitting the American Association for Cancer Research.

“If you think about it, it’s amazing,” Marc Glotzbecker said. “It started in Boston, it’s going to end in (Los Angeles) at the Santa Monica Pier. Right in the middle its coming through Sandusky County. Obviously we’re going to look at a lot of corn today. It’s just a great thing to be a part of.”

The national organizer for this event says the idea was simple. He just wanted to give runners something to do during a pandemic.

“When I saw this pop up and was coming through our area I thought, ‘Oh my god, I gotta be part of this,” Doug Freeh said. “This is great. All of the races are cancelled. There’s not much going on.”

Freeh lives in Castalia and trains with a running group out of Sandusky.

“Just to know that there’s a lot of people who unfortunately get cancer and my mom was one of them,” Freeh said. “She was a survivor. She did the Walk for the Cure every year and we supported that. It gave her another 15 years.”

Putting one foot in front of the other may give Doug a few more years. Thanks to running, he is down 30 pounds over the last decade.

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