On Saturday, May 1, members of the Baltimore Ravens organization will participate in the Packard Center's Fourth-Annual Fiesta 5K, a race with proceeds benefiting ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) research at Johns Hopkins.
For the third consecutive year, O.J. Brigance, the Ravens' director of player development, will serve as the event's honorary chair.
Brigance, who played in the NFL for seven seasons, was a linebacker for the Ravens in 2000 and a vital part of the team's Super Bowl XXXV Championship. He was diagnosed with ALS – also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease – in 2007 and has been a leader in the fight against the disease ever since. His brave battle inspired the creation of the Brigance Brigade (www.brigancebrigade.org), an organization that promotes ALS research and education.
"We are honored to stand beside O.J. and everyone else who is facing the challenge of ALS," Ravens president Dick Cass stated. "O.J.'s spirit and strength continue to touch not only our team, but everyone who is currently fighting this battle with him. He is an inspiration, someone whose courage serves as a reminder never to give up."
The race centers around M&T Bank Stadium, with the start and finish lines set in front of the Johnny Unitas statue. Over 1,500 participants are expected, including Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, who will kick off the morning with opening remarks at 7:40 a.m. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will also be in attendance to officially start the race (8 a.m.), and Brigance will conclude the day as part of an honorary presentation around 9:30 a.m.
Pre-race registration and packet pick-up are available on Friday, April 30, at Charm City Run (2045 York Rd., Timonium, MD 21093) from 3-7 p.m. Registration will also be available on race day at 6:30 a.m. in Unitas Plaza, located on the Hamburg Street side of the stadium. The entry fee is $25 in advance and $30 on race day. Free parking will be available in stadium lots B and C.
For more information on the event and to register, please visit the following Web site: www.fiesta5k.org
Race-Day Timeline: M&T Bank Stadium
6:30 a.m. Registration and packet pick-up opens
7:40 a.m. Opening Ceremony: Director of the Robert Packard Center for ALS Research Jeff Rothstein, Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake come to stage for welcome and opening remarks
8:00 a.m. Race will begin promptly (5K runners first; walkers shortly after), with Mayor Rawlings-Blake announcing the start
9:30 a.m. Closing/Awards Ceremony: Rothstein and Dick Cass come forward to present awards to top runners and teams. Includes special presentation with honorary chair, O.J. Brigance, and 10-year anniversary celebration with Robert Packard's daughters