Tallahassee Parkinson’s Outreach Association holds annual run

Courtesy of Alesha Thomas

The Tallahassee Parkinson's Outreach Association held its second annual Tulip Trot Walk Run event on Saturday.

Proceeds from the run benefitted caregivers and patients with Parkinson’s disease, which is a progressively degenerative disease of the nervous system.

Michille Pellito, administrative assistant and race director for the Parkinson’s Outreach Association, says many participants ran to support family members with Parkinson's disease.

“We had a lot of people participate that had parkinson’s or that have had a loved one with Parkinson’s,” Pellito said.

The Tulip Trot included three different races: a 100-yard dash, a one-mile run and a five-kilometer run. More than 350 people participated in the races.

Pellito said each run was designed for people of different levels of racing experience.

“It runs the gambit of people experienced with running,” Pellito said. “We've got fast runners as well as people who like to walk the course.”

Runners faced 40 degree weather as they prepared for their races. Participants walked around and jogged in place to keep warm.

Barbette Pannitteri, participant in the race, said she has been training for the 5k race for several weeks. She stayed warm by staying on the move before the race started.

“I'm just moving around a little bit and stretching,” Pannitteri said. “I’m excited but I wish it was a little warmer.”

Joseph Garcia was one of the first people to complete the five kilometer race. Despite the early finish, Garcia said he was disappointed in his finishing time.

“I finished at 16 minutes and 14 something seconds,” Garcia said. “This is a hard course because there were so many turns. My usual time is around 15 minutes.”

Although he didn't make the time he wanted, Garcia said he enjoyed the run. He plans to compete in collegiate races but wanted to run in the Tulip Trot for fun.

“I was doing this as a workout, just by myself have fun with it kind of deals,” Garcia said. “I had fun.”

The Tallahassee Parkinson's Outreach Center will host another walk on May 16.