By MARY ANN KOSLASKY
© St. Petersburg Times, published July 21, 2000
FANNING SPRINGS -- The bridge over the Suwannee River provided a reunion of sorts for the participants in the annual Key Training Center Run For the Money and four of the center's clients. Dorothy Cole, Charlene Skidmore, Ricky O'Donoghue and Pauline Campbell, special needs residents at the center's Spooner Cottage, met with the runners Thursday morning and made the symbolic wheelchair crossing with the run participants.
More than halfway home on their 180-mile perambulation from Tallahassee to Lecanto, the tiny group is both elated and exhausted. Especially Sheriff's Office Deputy Mike Kanter, who forevermore shall be know as "Iron Mike."
Cabot McBride, program director of the center, sang the praises of Kanter and named him Iron Mike after Kanter jogged 15.5 miles Thursday morning.
"He poured out all he had on U.S. 19," said McBride, explaining that Kanter had been running for two when another runner had to back out.
The unusually hot weather had taken its toll, and when the group took its afternoon break, they were slightly behind schedule but planned to make up the additional 15 miles Thursday evening.
"It's just plain old nasty," said McBride. "The pavement is like a griddle."
Today's run will bring them into Inglis and ready for the last leg of the run on Saturday. The group will arrive at McDonald's in Crystal River about 10:45 a.m. on Saturday. After a short break, they will continue the run east on State Road 44, escorted by fire trucks and others as they make the final dash to the Key Training Center.
Also on Saturday, the Key Training Center Run For The Money Telethon will begin at 9 a.m. Featuring the runners, local entertainment, interviews with clients, parents, volunteers and supporters, the telethon will last 9 hours and can be seen on WKYE-TV49, Adelphia Cable Channel 27 or Time Warner Channels 1, 16 or 99. Tax deductible donations can be made by calling 795-5541. Visa and Master Card will be accepted.