Over 100 runners took to the streets of McMinnville Saturday morning for a good cause – helping a wounded warrior who lost his legs in Afghanistan to build his family home here in Warren County.
Retired Army S.Sgt. Charles “Chaz” Allen led the way on board his specially designed hand crank bike. He was accompanied by Sgt. Franz Walkup of Woodbury, also on hand crank bicycle.
Walkup was wounded in action in Afghanistan in 2012, a little over a year after Allen stepped on an IED while on patrol in January 2011. Together, they led the 126 runners and walkers who joined together Saturday in the fundraising effort.
Organizers say the race marked the first 10K run (6.4 miles) ever done from downtown McMinnville. The course ran a circle around the downtown area before turning toward Westwood. Once in the residential neighborhood, those running the 10K ran the outside perimeter of Westwood while those running the 5K (3.2 miles) took a cut through to return downtown. Both Allen and Walkup did the 10K circuit.
Money raised in the Chase for Chaz will go to help build Allen and his family a handicapped-accessible home which is under construction on Crisp Springs Road. The family presently resides in a two-story home in Clarksville which they purchased before he lost his legs.
Additional details about the race will be included in the sports section Wednesday.