History

Brian’s Run began in 1978 as a one-time fund raising event to benefit Brian Bratcher, a West Chester Henderson High School football player who sustained a life-challenging spinal cord injury at the age of 15 during a scrimmage.BR 1978 StartBrian PhilliesBrian 1978

 

Brian was paralyzed that year, and his friends, their parents and the community as a whole wanted to help.

They organized a race and hoped to raise $500. That first year, 2,000 runners participated and the effort raised $20,000 to help Brian with his expenses. After 1979, Brian felt he had benefited enough from the proceeds and asked to have others benefit from the annual event.

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The race for years has raised funds for disabled people from the community who need help with physical mobility, seeing and communication.

In 2009, the race changed from a 10k to a 5 mile lop. The course is a challenging out and back through West Chester, starting and ending at Henderson High Schiool, Brian’s alma mater.

Each year, the race has attracted thousands of runners – ranging from locals to nationals and international participants — and has been called one of the “100 Great Races” by Runner’s World and “Top 12 Essential Philly Runs” by Philadelphia Magazine. In recent years, the race-day activities have drawn about 3,000 participants and many spectators who spend the day volunteering and cheering on the runners.

Other Press- Patch, Daily Local, Inquirer, Inquirer, Runner Gazatte, 2002 Daily Local, Examiner, Back on my Feet, West Chester Rotary

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Rememberance:
Dennis Haggerty, a 20+ year runner of Brian’s Run, who loved Brian’s Run and loved West Chester will be missed by his family and friends, but will not be forgotten.