Professor and local resident to represent flag in marathon ‘Jimmy Fund Walk’

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CLINTON — When Dr. Helen J. Knowles isn’t inside her classroom teaching political science at SUNY Oswego or conducting extensive research for her latest project or book, she’s out showing her patriotic pride.

Knowles has joked that she’s known to her neighbors in the village or around town as “the lady with the flag” as she participates in several area runs donning her stars and stripes while carrying Old Glory.

A member of the team Red, White & Blue (RWB) organization, it’s Knowles’ way of supporting her husband, as well as all veterans and those who have been battling the coronavirus on the front lines. RWB is known nationally for specializing in providing physical fitness and mental health awareness for veterans.

An active runner and walker herself, Knowles plans to walk her “virtual course” on Sunday, Oct. 4, as she completes the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk for the 18th time, a fund-raiser for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Mass.

“I’ve always done the full marathon, but this will be my first year carrying the flag the full distance,” Knowles said. “I’m planning a route honoring first responders and veterans, starting from the American Legion in Franklin Springs, walking to the 9/11 Memorial in Utica, then back towards Clinton, into Clark Mills, and then finishing in Clinton.”

While she encourages everyone to wear masks and adhere to social distancing guidelines, Knowles said she hopes neighbors and friends will be able to come out to show their support somewhere along her route, and to help cheer her on. She plans to start her 26.2-mile trek at 8 a.m. sharp.

Because she plans to walk, rather than run, Knowles said she predicts her average pace for the marathon will be around 14 minutes and 50 seconds per mile.

“I’m hoping I can finish in just over 6 hours and 30 minutes,” she added.

Knowles’ Route: Starting at the American Legion on Route 12B in Franklin Springs; right onto Franklin Avenue past Clinton Fire Station #2; through the village past the main fire station; out on 12B to the New Hartford Veterans Memorial; Genesee Street to the Utica Parkway, right on the Parkway to the 9/11 Memorial, then turn around and come back towards Clinton; right on Limberlost Road to Byrne Dairy on Route 5; left on Clinton Street into Clark Mills past the Kirkland Police station, Clark Mills Fire Department and American Legion; left on South Street to Route 233; left on Route 233 into Clinton; left on Norton Avenue; right on Sanford Avenue; and right on College Street to finish at her home.

An online map of Knowles’ route is available here: https://www.strava.com/routes/274292259008

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According to the center’s website, Dana-Farber provides expert, compassionate care to children and adults and is home to groundbreaking cancer discoveries. Since its founding in 1948, the Jimmy Fund has raised millions of dollars through thousands of community efforts to advance Dana-Farber’s lifesaving mission.

With a $50,000 matching challenge from an anonymous donor announced by Dana-Farber, every dollar that was given through Sept. 30 became $2.  For more information, or to donate, go to: https://danafarber.jimmyfund.org.

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