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This Race Goes the Extra Mile

Benjamin Alden | Writer




For the 11th year in a row, the Eastern Pennsylvania Down Syndrome Center (EPDSC) broke racing conventions with their 3.21 mile run at the Lehigh Parkway in Allentown on March 30. The race, measured at just over a standard 3.1 mile 5k, is held each year to bring awareness to Down syndrome and celebrate its community.


The race’s length is directly tied to the cause of Down syndrome. 


“It’s a triplication of the 21st chromosome,” said Kerri DiDario, the Executive Director at the EPDSC. “It’s not your typical 5k; it has that little bit more, just to make it special.”


The event took place as part of a 21 day initiative to promote a healthy lifestyle within the community, with a walk being held on the same day and a virtual run for those unable to attend. Any participants were also awarded a T-shirt. 


DiDario, the only full time employee at the EPDSC, runs a small, but impactful, organization. 


“We thrive based on the events that we have, like the run or donations from our community and our local businesses,” said DiDario, “We had about 40 volunteers that came to the 3.21 run to help pull that together.”  


The 12th annual 3.21 Run for Down Syndrome is already being planned with help from Bryn Mawr Running Co. and DiDario hopes for even more support from the community. 


“We would love to take your volunteer time and utilize it in a way that will help both of us, maybe a skill that you’re working on in college…”


The EPDSC is also holding their 25th Anniversary Lehigh Valley Buddy Walk on October 5, 2024 at Cedar Crest College, in association with the National Down Syndrome Society. 


“That event brings in about 1,200 people,” said DiDario. “There’s volunteer opportunities, there’s just opportunities to come out and learn, and of course, have fun.”


For more information on the organization and volunteer opportunities, visit epdsc.net.


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