Run for Ian set

Published 7:20 pm Saturday, November 21, 2015

Everyone’s looking for a magic way to keep the calories from Thanksgiving dinner from sticking around past Black Friday.

There’s no better way than a little exercise, and it’s offered in Smithfield on Thanksgiving morning to benefit a memorial fund honoring a runner who loved Thanksgiving.

Ian Michael Burgett, 18, died in an auto accident on April 29, 2012. He was a senior at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy.

Email newsletter signup

“Ian was a runner,” said his mother, Tammy Burgett. “That was kind of his thing. He was really good at running.”

Thanksgiving was Ian’s favorite holiday, she added. He enjoyed having the family around the table, the traditional meal they prepared and the unusual experience of eating in the dining room with the good china and crystal.

“For a teenage boy, I thought that was different,” Burgett said. “Most kids are all about Christmas or their birthday or something.”

The first Thanksgiving 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run was held seven months after Ian’s death. It was planned hastily after the Burgetts decided upon it in September.

The event is a small one as runs go. About 200 are registered so far this year, Burgett said. Late registration is available this week as well as the morning of the event.

Having a small crowd is good, as the run is held in the Burgetts’ Gatling Pointe neighborhood.

“You’re responsible for timing yourself,” Burgett said. “We do awards for first, second and third place, but mostly it is a celebration, a chance for people to remember Ian.”

Following the run, a ceremony is held in the gazebo near the water in Gatling Pointe. Local florists have donated flowers for participants to toss into the water.

Proceeds from run registrations benefit the Ian Michael Burgett Memorial Fund, which gives a $2,000 college scholarship, a yearly donation to the Riverside Regional Medical Center for a student pursuing a future in health care, and a donation to the American Cancer Society.

Two of the past recipients of the scholarship will be running the 5K, Burgett said.

Online registration for the run is closed but can be completed Sunday from 3 to 5 p.m. or Wednesday from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Gatling Pointe Yacht Club, 903 Gatling Pointe Parkway.

Registration also will begin at 7:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning. The 5K starts at 9 a.m., followed by the fun run.

For more information, email or visit Donations payable to the Ian Michael Burgett Memorial Fund can be sent to Farmer’s Bank, c/o Ian’s Foundation, 9111 S. Church Street, Smithfield, VA 23430.