How many of you think you could run 2 miles, eat a dozen doughnuts, and then re-run 2 miles to the finish line? Oh, and – I forgot to mention – this you must do in 60 minutes. Well, this November 17, in downtown Huntsville, the United Cerebral Palsy group will host their annual Krispy Kreme Run Challenge, which requires its participants to complete those challenges listed. Those deemed winners run all 4 miles, ingest all 12 doughnuts, and complete the tasks in the allotted time.
Each participant who completes the challenge receives an “I Met the Challenge’ t-shirt, which is green. Those who do not meet the challenge receive a consolatory white t-shirt that ever-marks them as sub-par. This fundraiser is extremely popular, and particularly successful among young professionals. Now in its fourth year, the event it is expected to be more colossal than ever.
Adding to the colossal crowd this year are a dozen, or so, special participants. They will don pink shirts and run the race to honor the recently slain Brandon Hydrick, who was shot in cold-blood when riding as a passenger by the mobile home of Joel Moyers.
Josh Hamilton, a family friend who has known Brandon since childhood said of the shirt design, “I guess you could say that Brandon himself inspired the shirt design. We went with a pink shirt because that’s the color we most identify him with.”
“I don’t think it was his favorite color by any means, he was just random about sporting the color every now and then. He was the only person that could put pink shoe laces on his skateboarding shoes and no one would have anything negative to say about it.”
Brandon – who ran seven or eight miles a day at an average of seven minutes a mile — and still wanted to improve, volunteered to mentor others in their fitness journey. His own brother Ryan Hydrick recalled, “Brandon was instrumental in getting me to run and encouraged me in that way that only he could.”
“With a big grin he’d twist my arm by telling me before we started running, “I might just do 6 miles today,” and when I would confront him on 6 not being a low number for him he would admit that, to make me run farther, and try harder, he was willing to shorten his run. He always thought about others first and inspired everyone he met.”
In full-disclosure, I must confess that I was Brandon’s girlfriend. We first met nearly a year ago at the Krispy Kreme doughnut run. He ran the race — and met the challenge, by the way — while I, along with my friend Larkin Grant, handed out t-shirts to the winners. When I saw Brandon from a distance, immediately I found his bright blue eyes and beautiful smile to be striking. Was it love at first sight? Well, now we’ll never know as Brandon is no longer with us to share his half of the encounter.
The rest of our fairy-tale romance was beautiful until the night Brandon was killed. Then it became a horror story — one that Stephen King himself could have penned. If you are interested in reading the entire gory account visit the ‘Media Coverage’ section of the Justice For Brandon Hydrick website.
In spite of all of the negativity surrounding the death of an innocent, hardworking, intelligent, handsome, and kind man, those of us who were close to him would like to have something positive flourish from this tragedy. The first step begins with running in the U.C.P. race wearing ‘Justice for Brandon’ t-shirts. There is a second step in the works, which we will be able to give you more details on at a later date.
For those of you that have been touched by this story there is also a Brandon Hydrick Memorial Fund at Redstone Federal Credit Union. If you feel compelled to give you may donate a check, made out to Brandon Hydrick Memorial Fund, at any Redstone Federal Credit Union bank. Or if you bank electronically you may transfer a fund using the code: 51005418925 NIC.
While the family is still determining what charity the fund will support, it will likely be used to establish a scholarship for someone that is gifted at soccer or running in honor of Brandon’s passions for those pursuits.
If you would like to weigh in on this tragedy please email firstname.lastname@example.org who has released the shooter on bail and charged him with reckless murder, a much lesser charge than capital murder. The message need not be long — a simple — “I support a capital murder charge for Jody Moyers, killer of Brandon Hydrick” —- would suffice. Personally, I have taken it one step higher to the Attorney General of Alabama, Luther Strange. Here is his number if you would like to voice your opinion also: 334-242-7300.