The Clemson University Running club is hosting the Kevin\'s an Ultimate Stallion Benefit 5k Run/Walk Saturday, March 10 on the campus.
The event\'s purpose, in its first year, is to help Kevin Dejonckheere, who was diagnosed with osteosarcoma on January 3, 2007, and his family with the cost of cancer treatment.
The club was started by Dejonckheere, Thomas Moore, Eric Owensby, and Dan Wagoner, all former Dorman athletes (class of 2005), now at Clemson University, during their freshman year in 2005.
\"We\'ve always thought about holding a race and this was an excellent way to help out the Dejonckheere family,\" said co-race director Thomas Moore.
\"Along with the Clemson Running club, we\'re getting a lot of advice and help from Coach (Bobby) Urban, Casey Berkshire, our club sponsor, the cross country parents of our era, and many other people.\" Urban is a former cross country and track and field coach at Dorman.
\"I coached Kevin for four years,\" said Urban. He was on the \'02 State Championship team and the \'03 State Runner-Up team. Here\'s what my comments meant... in \'01 we had beaten Byrnes in a dual meet and won the region. During the State Meet that year we were running neck and neck with Byrnes half-way but both Janks passed out from the heat that day- 98 degrees! I guess they went out too hard. Anyway, needless to say, we were very disappointed. Everyone from that team was coming back so we made it our mission for one year to come back and dominate the state (which we did all season). After what happened in \'01, we as a team, decided to try harder than any team so that nobody could run with us. Anyway, during the summer we came up with the slogan that we were all \"100% IN\"... meaning we were all in this together to support each other every day at practice and outside of practice. So putting it up on Kevin\'s website refers to that. We are here to support him in his battle with cancer. Kevin has always been one of the most positive people I know, that will serve him well.\"
In order to help covers the treatment costs, Moore mentioned, \"We\'re going to try and get a lot of sponsors to help fund the event. Maybe some sponsors to bring food to feed the masses. I\'m not really sure how many people will show up. We\'ll also have a band, Swift Robinson, performing at the run. It should be an all around good time.\"
Moore said in an interview that everyone he has talked to has been very supportive of the event. \"We\'re seeing a lot of support from friends and family from back in Spartanburg. Also a lot of friends from Clemson have registered.\"
Moore, directing his first race, said, \"It is a good learning experience. And that\'s what really counts, education.\"
Dejonckheere, informed of the race to help covers medical fees, said after Moore told him, \"I was blown away.\"
After informed he was diagnosed, Dejonckheere mentioned, \"I knew it was just another thing I had to get through and I was going to have a lot of help. So I knew it wasn\'t a thang but a chicken wang.\"
The directors are trying \"to make a course that\'s also spectator friendly, but maybe branches out a little more.\"
What does the race name mean?
\"The exact lineage of the \"Ultimate Stallion\" title has been lost over time but the exact vernacular began during a 1000s workout. Now one must qualify for ultimate stallion status by completing ballerific feats such as dominating two mountain peaks on a 26 mile run (at the start of a 100 mile week), or having unsurpassable mountain bike skills,\" said Moore.
Daniel Stephens, a former athlete at Dorman with Dejonckheere, and now at USC Upstate, left the following note on Dejonckheere\'s caringbridge.org Web page.
Hope your feeling better man. I know your strong and want you to know that even though you were always the one I looked up to during my high school running career....you have become even more of an inspiration to me with your fight with cancer....they way your fighting and getting through with it. Not many poeple have the heart and drive you do, and thats what makes you a hero to me. You need anything man you let me know. I\'m dedicating my track season to you this year so im gonna make ya proud. Take it easy.
In the future, Moore hopes \"we\'ll be back next year with a similar run to benefit a charity.\"
Read more about osteosarcoma at cancerindex.org.