The first Ulrick John Foundation 5K is in the books. The event this past Saturday had nearly 100 participants who all got a chance to run alongside a Super Bowl Champion while raising funds for a local cause.
Current New England Patriot football player and Bradwell Institute graduate, Ulrick John, was back in his hometown of Hinesville signing autographs and taking photos with his fans. John, who played collegiate football at Georgia State University, spent Friday at the Gateway Center and Vaden Nissan mingling with fans in advance of the race.
John created the Foundation for the purpose of “Empowering adults/children with developmental disabilities by providing an environment that will allow those individuals to function through education, counseling and mentoring to fulfill their dreams and goals.”
In November 2017, The Foundation and ASM Sports Consulting announced a partnership with the Vaden Nissan Group. The partnership allows both parties to help the Liberty County area raise awareness for children and adults with developmental disabilities.
At Saturday’s race Vaden Nissan Marketing Manager Lora Gunsallus had her crew bring in some Nissan vehicles which proudly displayed their support and partnership with the Foundation.
ASM Sports Consulting founder Nate Schaffer spoke to the runners saying the funds raised would stay in the local community. The race benefited the Foundation and the Gateway Center.
Prior to the start of the race John said he was thrilled to be back home and also be able to give back to the community that supported him in his youth.
“The turnout for the race today was awesome,” John said. “It is always really humbling to come back and to see all that.”
Racers lined up and were thrilled to see that John his wife Jansen and their dogs Chance and Blake would also participate.
John’s mother, Jay and Schaffer also ran the race. Afterwards John signed T-shirts, posed for photos and handed out the winning runners’ medals.
The first place overall male winner was Brendan Lgolkin with a time of 22:56. Overall first place winner for the female division was 11 year old Macey Higgason. Her father Rusty won first place in the men’s 45-54 age group.
Lazavia Burros was the men’s first place winner in the 25-34 age group. Meghan Page took the women’s 35-44 age group first place medal.
SanDejago Wilson took first in the men’s 14 and under division. Johanna Probst came in first in the women’s 25-34 bracket. And Brooke Amerson was first in the 15-24 age group.
Kadyn Higgason was first in the women’s 14 and under group. Kim Ryon was first in the women’s 45-54 division. Joseph Gionson took first in the men’s 35-44 group. Charles Smith came in first in the men’s 65 over group. Quincy Edenfield was the men’s 15-24 division first place runner.
Lisa Smith was the women’s 55-64 top winner and Lula Blake was the first place finisher in the women’s 65 and over category. Bobby Ryon took first place in the men’s 55-64 group.
About Ulrick John
John grew up in Hinesville since the age of 3. He started his football career at Bradwell Institute, graduating in 2010.
He played college football at Georgia State while earning his degree in exercise science. He became the first football player from Liberty County to be drafted in the NFL drafter. That was in the seventh round of the 2014 draft by the Indianapolis Colts. May 10 has been proclaimed Ulrick John Day by the city of Hinesville.
John was picked up by the Miami Dolphins for one season and played one season with the Arizona Cardinals. In September 2017 he was signed by the Green Bay Packers. In May 2018 John was signed to the New England Patriots. The Patriots went on to win the Super Bowl.