State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

Local Charity Race Partners with Team Ream

by and on May 16, 2018 6:00 AM

The Tussey Mountainback 50-Mile Relay and Ultramarathon encourages teams to work together to conquer its grueling course, and this year the race will partner up with Team Ream to raise money for the charity.

Race director Michael Casper said he was happy to see the event partner with such a great a local charity that benefits people in need.

The Team Ream Foundation is a nonprofit group with the key mission to assist the everyday lives of financially disadvantaged individuals in State College and surrounding areas who have been affected by cancer and other serious medical conditions.

“Partnering with the Tussey Mountainback is very exciting,” said Michael Martin, a board member of the foundation. “The relay teams and individual ultramarathoners of the Mountainback race are emblematic of Brandon Ream’s unstoppable spirit and determination, and this support will help us assist more families in Central Pennsylvania.”

Team Ream was established initially to support Centre County native and Penn State alumnus Brandon Ream through his own fight with cancer. Ream was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. The charity continues to raise money for others who need help with the difficulties of dealing with serious illness

“Not everyone is able to have the support system that we did,” said Samantha Ream, the foundation’s executive director, “so we want to be able to lend that support out through our foundation.”

Held in central Pennsylvania’s Rothrock State Forest, the Mountainback footrace welcomes both recreational and competitive runners to participate on relay teams to cover the 50-mile course, as well as offering a solo ultramarathon option.

This year’s event also will host the USA 50-Mile Road Championships, which will draw top runners from throughout the United States to compete for national titles and a slice of the $5,000 championships purse.

Relay teams from clubs, businesses, university departments, student groups and families from throughout the region split up the course in sections. Participants have represented more than 35 states, four foreign countries and more than 250 communities in Pennsylvania. The event’s ultramarathon draws distance runners from throughout the nation.

This year, the Mountainback will offer a new challenge, with the course running in the  reverse direction of previous years, said Casper.

“Many runners have become very familiar with every section of the course, and this way even the race’s most experienced 'alumni' runners will experience most of the reverse direction course for the first time.”

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This story was produced by the staff at the Centre County Gazette. It was re-published with permission. The Centre County Gazette is a weekly publication, available at many locations around Centre County every Thursday morning.

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