Posted by: Autism Speaks | July 7, 2010

2010 Autism Speaks 5K is a Huge Success!

This  post is by Susan Pereles, event director in the National Capital area for Autism Speaks. 


July 4th marked the 10th anniversary of the Autism Speaks 5K/1 Mile Walk in Potomac, Maryland.  As the sun rose in a crystal blue sky, over 1200 runners, 800 walkers, 100 volunteers, and countless spectators gathered to continue an Independence Day community tradition to help raise awareness and funds to find a cure. Over 150 runners, who could not be  in Potomac, signed up to “Run Anywhere” and joined the race from coast to coast. Congressman Chris Van Hollen as well as sportscaster Brett Haber and weatherman Topper Shutt, both from CBS affiliate WUSA9, rallied the crowd prior to the 8am starting gun.  High school student Raeann Robisch, who has never let autism hold her back, sang the National Anthem. For the second time in a decade, Autism Speaks Executive Vice President Peter Bell and his family participated in the race.  This event has raised over $200,000 so far this year, exceeding 2009, and donations are still coming in online and by mail.  

Encouraged by a supportive race committee, for the first time as race director I had the opportunity to lace up my running shoes and experience the race from a different perspective.  With my camera in hand, I documented the dedicated runners and tireless volunteers all along the course.  Despite the heat and humidity, I was uplifted by their words and spirit.  I started the race hand and hand with some of the elite runners from the Washington, D.C. area but soon thereafter was even more honored to be among the mass of runners in the pack.  The people I met on the road came in all shapes and sizes, ages 5 to 81, from many different states, and from all walks of life.  They ran for various reasons.  Many had a relative or friend with autism.  A few have run the race for 10 straight years.  Others were running their first road race ever.   Some were just looking for a race to run and had no connection to the cause at all.  By the time we reached the finish line, we were all united by our desire to find a cure. 

For more information about Autism Speaks 5K, visit our website at



  1. Great news. Thanks for a decade of hard work and caring.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: