And they were off Sunday, one foot in front of the other, all for 22-year-old Patrick Morales, the star of the show at Norwich University.
"All the emotions running through my head, just seeing him back then and all the doctors saying he's not going to make it, he's not going to make it," said friend Kyle Edson.
Doctors didn't think Morales would survive a suicide attempt 16 months ago. The tragic death of a close college classmate during his freshman year at Norwich sent him into a deep depression. He tried to hang himself, and instead was left with a severe brain injury. Once an accomplished athlete at Northfield High School, he could no longer talk, walk, or see. Doctors had little hope.
"I think his mental psyche took a dramatic turn. It's hard to really fathom that Patrick would think of such a thing, but with mental illness you don't know when or how it can occur in a person's mind. So it was shocking. I broke down when I got the call. It was just heart wrenching," said friend Dylan Otis.
But Patrick fought back and has persevered. He not only can walk and talk again, he can see, too. His will to recover has inspired those around him who organized this combination Zumbathon and Race for Recovery, to raise money for his continued therapy. But what's with the wigs?
"Pat grew out a from a few years ago and he cut it. Now he's growing it back out so everybody on the committee for this race has a fro. So I'm wearing mine proudly," said friend Chelsea Dion.
A show of support not lost on Patrick Morales.
"I'd just like to say thank you to everyone that has supported me along my journey, and thank you to God who has helped me along the way," Morales said.
The goal for organizers was to raise $5-thousand dollars for Patrick.
"I want to eventually be able to run and try to run in a marathon," he said.
A lofty goal, but he's well on his way. One small step at a time.
Thursday, December 12 2013 7:45 AM EST2013-12-12 12:45:10 GMT
Erika LeBlanc and Alyson Rochefort are in the kitchen with us this morning making rugelach. Dough: 1 lb unsalted butter 1 lb cream cheese 1/2 cup sour cream 4 cups all-purpose flour Filling: 1 cupMore >>
Erika LeBlanc and Alyson Rochefort are in the kitchen with us this morning making rugelach.More >>
Thursday, December 12 2013 12:32 AM EST2013-12-12 05:32:39 GMT
Voting ends Thursday on a measure that could decide whether a major industrial wind project in the Northeast Kingdom moves forward. The Seneca Mountain project calls for 20 turbines on ridge lines inMore >>
Voting ends Thursday on a measure that could decide whether a major industrial wind project in the Northeast Kingdom moves forward.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 11:37 PM EST2013-12-12 04:37:09 GMT
Vermont State Police say they're looking for a thief who made off with 50 gallons of diesel fuel. Authorities say it happened Wednesday morning at a farm on Shoreham Depot Road in Shoreham. They say anMore >>
Vermont State Police say they're looking for a thief who made off with 50 gallons of diesel fuel.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 11:34 PM EST2013-12-12 04:34:11 GMT
Family and friends of victims Amanda Murphy and Jason Timmons -- gathered in Wilder Wednesday night for a candlelight vigil to mourn the loss of the recently engaged couple and their unborn child. MoreMore >>
Family and friends of victims Amanda Murphy and Jason Timmons -- gathered in Wilder Wednesday night for a candlelight vigil to mourn the loss of the recently engaged couple and their unborn child.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 5:19 PM EST2013-12-11 22:19:28 GMT
Police say they've caught the man wanted for three bank robberies in the Upper Valley. James Oberfeldt, 30, of Claremont, is currently jailed in Massachusetts on a drug charge. Police say he's been identifiedMore >>
Police say they've caught the man wanted for three bank robberies in the Upper Valley.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 6:54 PM EST2013-12-11 23:54:10 GMT
Two men are behind bars after a burglary in St. Albans. Police arrested James Perron, 27, of St. Albans, and Eric Walsh, 34, Tuesday for allegedly stealing a safe containing $15,000 in cash. It happenedMore >>
Two men are behind bars in connection with a burglary in St. Albans.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 7:53 PM EST2013-12-12 00:53:13 GMT
Two Plattsburgh State students are under arrest in connection with a brawl outside a fraternity house. It happened last month outside the Alpha Chi Rho (AXP) house on Brinkerhoff Street. Police say itMore >>
Authorities say allegations of a sexual assault in Plattsburgh led to a brawl. Now, some fraternity brothers are facing charges and more could be coming.More >>