Saturday, January 28, 2023

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Four Burlington runners compete in New York marathon – for a cause

By Bob Sutton

Special to The Alamance News

There were four runners with Burlington roots in the New York City Marathon earlier this month, but there were others giving encouragement along the race route.

It came in support of a certain cause because of a health crisis involving Anne Powell, a Burlington woman who suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage on Memorial Day weekend 2021.

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“It has been a year and a half,” said John Banks Powell, one of her sons. “Ultimately, there was an opportunity to do something. This was to support the Brain Aneurysm Foundation.”

John Banks Powell and brother Ross Powell along with long-time family friends Ryan Moffitt and Adele (Henderson) Hogan ran the 26.2 miles. The foursome raised money through sponsors and pledges, reaching a total of nearly $30,000 in a few months.

They ran in honor of Anne Powell.

Close to two dozen friends, mostly from the Burlington area, attended the marathon in support roles. Many wore shirts with “Team Dee” printed on them, recognizing Anne Powell’s nickname.

“It was no small peanuts to be there,” Moffitt said of the supporters. “It was a great weekend all the way around.”

John Banks Powell, who works for online health news and information publisher WebMD, said he met with Brain Aneurysm Foundation personnel. The objective is that funds designated for the foundation will go toward research. Ideally, this will lead to early detection and screening.

“We want to find ways to stay involved,” he said.

Anne Powell continues a long rehabilitation process. Her son said she spent about six weeks in a coma and later at a facility in Richmond, Virginia. She receives speech therapy and is wheelchair bound.

“It has been challenging in a number of different respects,” John Banks Powell said.

Ross Powell is in medical school. He and his brother live in Chapel Hill.

It was the third marathon for Moffitt, an attorney with Burlington’s Vernon Law Firm, and Hogan, who lives in Charlotte. This was different because of the cause.

“That is the overarching purpose of all this,” Moffit said. “We all did what we could to get ready. We were hoping we would be putting the cause on a lot of people’s minds. That was the important part of the whole thing.”

The Brain Aneurysm Foundation is based in Hanover, Massachusetts.

In the November 6 race, Moffitt posted the best time among the quartet, who are all in their 30s, in 3 hours, 41.33 minutes. He placed 5,301st. Hogan had a time of 3:43.57 for 5,809th. Ross Powell’s time was 5:09.49 and John Banks Powell clocked at 5:09.50.

All four of the marathoners are former Williams High School athletes.

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