America – a country founded on principles of individual freedom, by strong-principled men and women who fought to create a social structure in which citizens could choose their religions and their own ways of life.
Some people may consider that the American way of life is under attack by political or economic factors. This may or may not be true – but one thing is certain: America and Americans are under concerted attack by those who manufacture, smuggle, distribute and sell drugs of abuse. This is so true that there is no corner of this great country in which illicit drug use or abuse of prescription drugs cannot be found.
The story of illicit drug use in America is a devastating tale of lost life, abuse, neglect, emotional and physical damage and lost potential. Since 1996, statistics on the number of current drug users ages 12 and over have risen from an estimated 13,000,000 to 20,400,000. Drug abuse and addiction aggravate every social ill we experience, from child or domestic abuse to crime, medical costs, production and employment problems and social welfare costs. .
The 20th Annual “Say No to Drugs” Holiday Classic 5K - 10K Run
Clearwater Florida, December 20, 2008 - Once again, a team of over 200 volunteers ranging from local business executives to children of the community worked together to orchestrate what has become one of the premier races in the Tampa Bay area. Top runners in prior years have included six-time World Ironman Triathlon Champion Mark Allen, Canadian Olympian Peter Maher, American Olympian Ronnie Holassie, Swiss Olympian Dan Otz as well as local Clearwater stars Mary Level-Menton and Judy Mercon-Maguire.
This year Heather Gollnick, 5-time Ironman champion and past national and world champion at national and world duathlon level, placed 4th overall.
The 20th Annual Say No to Drugs Holiday Classic drew 940 runners. “Last year we had 805, which was our previous highest ever year. What makes this [statistic] even more spectacular is that, this year, we were up by 140 runners with 3 other races taking place the same morning in Tampa, St. Pete and Tarpon Springs – with one of them sponsored by ESPN! Last year we were the only race on that day, so [this year] we’re especially pleased…” Race Director Chris Alexander proudly remarked.