Three great reasons to train hard and get in shape

May 19, 2012

Looking for a great reason to get in shape? Here are three worthy events that could serve as motivation to train hard, get in shape and take part in something well worth your time and effort.

2012 Old New Castle Run for the Elizabeth Loncki Scholarship Fund

Elizabeth A. Loncki was born in New Castle, where she attended St. Peter’s grade school and graduated from Padua Academy in 2001. After high school, Elizabeth joined the Air Force and volunteered for the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team, otherwise known as the bomb squad.

In 2006, shortly after Elizabeth completed her EOD training, she was sent to Iraq to use her skills to help save lives. Twenty days before her tour in Iraq was to end, Elizabeth and her team where killed while trying to disarm a roadside bomb. She became the first Delaware woman killed in Iraq in the line of duty and the 66th female soldier. At the age of 23, Elizabeth A. Loncki gave her life for her country so that others can live free.

To honor the life of Elizabeth Loncki, friends, family and fitness buffs get together each year to compete in the Annual Old New Castle Run. The run features a scenic five-mile race through historic Old New Castle as well as a two-mile run/walk. All proceeds go to a scholarship fund for tuition needy families in Elizabeth’s Loncki’s name. This year’s race will be held at 8 a.m., Saturday, June 2, in New Castle. For more information and directions go to or contact Jim Steele at

Delaware Mud Run Jr.
Almost 15 years ago, Natalia Ferrara was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 3 1/2. She was treated for three years and eventually declared cancer free. However, Natalia and her parents, Nicky and Denni Ferrara, never stopped fighting and continue to host events and raise money to help find a cure for leukemia. The Delaware Mud Run Jr. is a great event in which kids ages 6-13 race through a 1.5-mile boot camp-style obstacle course in a fun and competitive environment. Participants will slip, slide and do what kids like to do best, get dirty, all without getting yelled at by their parents. The best part about the race is that not only is it an excellent way to promote fitness and camaraderie to kids, but 100 percent of the proceeds will go to blood cancer research. The race will be held at 6 p.m., Thursday, June 14, at the Frightland complex in Middletown. For more information call 302-218-6424 or go to

Third Annual Kelly J. Fritchman 5K
Kelly Fritchman was born with a disease called cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease that attacks the lungs and digestive system; those who have it have a life expectancy of 30 years or less. Kelly Fritchman was very unique because she ran races, swam laps, biked and lifted weights. Instead of viewing her disease as a limitation, she embraced life with an energy and positive attitude that was felt by everyone who came into contact with her. Unfortunately, Kelly passed away three years ago, but to honor her memory, family, friends and people from all over get together annually to celebrate her life by competing in a 5K named after her. Once the proceeds from the race reach a certain amount, a scholarship will be awarded to a University of Delaware swim team member. This year’s race will be held at 8 a.m., Saturday, July 14, at Irish Eyes Pub in Lewes. For more information contact Wayne Kursh at or register online at

So if you’re looking for great ways to get motivated while championing a worthy cause, try one of the events above. It will be well worth the effort.

  • Chris Antonio is a personal trainer and former world-class weightlifter. He has been lifting for more than 20 years and has trained a wide variety of clients ranging from All-American athletes to the average person trying to get into shape. To send a question to the Ask the Trainer column, email Chris at or check out