NEWBURYPORT — Runners, walkers and supporters gathered outside of the Greater Boston Running Co. on Water Street yesterday morning for the Nate Bibaud 5K Road Race.
Hosted by the Joppa Flats Running Club, 400 runners participated in the third annual race to help support the Nate Bibaud Recovery Fund.
In December 2010, 27-year-old Amesbury native Nate Bibaud suffered a spinal injury in a car accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down. With the help of his mother, Nate organizes fundraising events such as road races to help combat the medical bills that he describes as “crazy expensive.”
Speaking about the road races, Bibaud said, “We try to make it more than just coming to help me — we try to create a fun atmosphere that people can enjoy.”
This race was nothing short of that description as Newburyport has proven to be a successful location for the fundraisers. Yesterday provided another great turnout with hundreds of people excited to be there.
Not only does Bibaud help organize and attend events, he is also quite an artist. His drawings were on sale at the race as well as clothing that features his designs. Prints of his artwork can be purchased online at www.flat-earth.net, and his personally designed clothing can be found at John Farley Clothiers in Newburyport and Surfland on Plum Island.
As for the race, Pat Fullerton, 24, of Bradford, came in first in the men’s division with a time of 15:3. Maddy Hribar, 29, of Newburyport, a runner training for a long distance race in Colorado, came in first in the women’s division in a time of 18:15.
However, there were two runners who stole the show with a finish-line story that captured everyone’s attention. Prepared at the end of the race was a proposal spelled out in letters with the future groom finishing with enough time to grab the ring and get down on one knee to greet his now-fiancée as she came across the finish line. Unfortunately, their names were not available.
Also, the first annual art scholarship was given by Nate Bibaud to Rebecca Warner of Triton High School.
To learn more about Bibaud, contribute to the fund or attend the next event, visit www.natebibaud.org.