After raising thousands for grieving families of America’s fallen soldiers, a local charity race will put away its running shoes for good.
For three years, hundreds of runners turned out in late September to scramble across the Bullis School campus in Potomac for the annual Bubba's Belly Run event. The 5K race was held in honor of Captain Brian "Bubba" Bunting, killed while serving in Afghanistan in February 2009, and has raised over $100,000 for families of fallen veterans, according to Belly Run founder Nicki Bunting.
Usually by now, Bunting, of Darnestown, has spent countless hours with race organizations and making goodie bags, selling sponsorship flags, booking entertainment and signing up racers. This year, the mother of two says she has decided not to host the race to spend more time with her children.
Bunting announced the decision to racers and supporters on the race Facebook page in June:
"After many months of contemplation, it is with a heavy heart that I announce that we will not be holding Bubba's Belly Run this year. This decision has been made with the best interest of my children in mind. I feel that too much time would be spent in preparation of the run that should otherwise be spent with the boys. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank each and every one of you that have been such strong supporters of our cause. So many Gold Star families have benefited because of you! I will continue fundraising through various avenues throughout the year and will keep you all posted. Thank you again for 3 AMAZING years."
Followers wished Bunting well, and thanked her for all she had done to raise money in the past.
"You have done an amazing job and you should be so proud. Please keep me updated and contact me anytime for outreach," said Jennifer Pilcher.