The 2012 Eli Gilbert Memorial Ride & Run will be held at Fort Hunt Park in Alexandria, VA on Saturday, October 13, 2012.
This special event honors the life and memory of Eli Gilbert, the loving son of our friend and colleague, Jean Gilbert. Eli died 5 days after his 21st birthday, so this event will offer both a 21 mile bike ride along the Mt Vernon Trail and a 5k run/walk along the Alexandria waterfront for registered participants, as well the option to spend a more leisurely day enjoying only the commemorative events planned for this program.
Registration proceeds from this event will benefit a nonprofit that helps young men like Eli – Nick’s Place. General Registration will be accepted until the day of the event, however, bike and run registrations will close when capacity is reached for those options – see "About the Ride" for more details.
Eli Gilbert was born in Alexandria, VA on January 2, 1991. He was all-boy: fun, affectionate and generous. When he was 5 years old, visiting Santa, he brought him a gift, a compass, so that he would not get lost finding his way on Christmas Eve. He was an accomplished snowboarder, drummer, writer, rapper, dancer and artist. With his creativity and positive energy he was also deep into his spirituality. At 7 years old, he asked his dad, "how old were you when you knew you had a soul?" After his father died in 2002, Eli struggled, and looked for escape through drugs from the pain of losing his beloved father. In November, 2010, he became drug free and began a journey which included helping other young men get clean. He found his voice again, and the light returned to his eyes. His friends say he walked into a room as if he were a celebrity, always with a smile and a witty observation. He stayed drug free until he suddenly and tragically died on January 7, 2012. He gave all who encountered him a reason to smile. Those who love him will feel his absence forever. We will ride, run and walk, but most of all we will remember to honor a life that ended too soon, and to carry forward his cause.
Founded in 1999 in memory of Nicholas Cristarella (1974-1997), Nick’s Place supports young men in their recovery from substance abuse. Like Eli, Nick was a smart, handsome young man with his whole life ahead of him. He had a wonderful sense of humor and a strong love for his family. Tragically, Nick's life ended as a result of the disease of addiction and alcoholism. He struggled with his addiction from his early teen years, until his death at age 22. Nick's Place is in his honor... to help other young men in their journey through recovery from this disease.
The Eli Gilbert Memorial Bike & Run Event is proud to support Nick’s Place with this day of hope and remembrance. Our goal is to raise $21,000 for this charity with this event. Every dollar pledged by Eli Gibert Memorial Bike & Run participants will be matched 100% by RAFFA, P.C.
Eli’s Ride - 21 Miles of Hope and Remembrance
The Mount Vernon Trail follows the Potomac's Virginia shoreline from Theodore Roosevelt Island to George Washington's Estate located at Mount Vernon. For Eli’s Ride we will pedal two 10.5 mile segments – starting and ending at Fort Hunt Park, and meandering through Belle View, Belle Haven and turning around in Old Town Alexandria. Several activities are planned along the route and a fully supported rest stop will be provided at Dyke Marsh on the Potomac River. For the most part, the trail is fairly flat with an occasional rolling hill and is mostly paved but some sections are boardwalk. It follows the course of the Potomac, passing through parks, yacht clubs, wetlands, neighborhoods, towns and wooded acres.
Eli’s Run – 5 Kilometers of Hope and Remembrance (Michelle working on this )
7:30am Bikers arrive to Fort Hunt Park
Eli’s 21 Mile Bike Ride Begins on Mt Vernon Trail
8:00am Runner/walkers arrive to Fort Hunt Park
Board Buses to Old Town Alexandria
9:30am Eli’s 5K Run Begins at Alexandria Waterfront
11:00am Program Begins at Fort Hunt Park – Pavilion
12:00-2:00pm Lunch Served
Fort Hunt Park (Pavillion Area B)
8999 Fort Hunt Rd, Alexandria, VA 20389
Date: Saturday, October 13, 2012
Time: 7:30 AM to 2:00 PM (EDT)