Access and Park Issues
islander will run 50 miles to raise
money for beach access and cancer patients
The Run for
Hatteras Challenge is now underway.
Hatteras Island resident Bob Spangler has challenged himself to run 50
miles on Friday, Nov. 26.
The run will begin at the south end of the Bonner Bridge over Oregon
Inlet and end at the Hatteras Ferry Docks.
Spangler’s goal in attempting this grueling effort is
First, he wants to use this as an opportunity to increase public
awareness of the fight to maintain access to the beaches within the
seashore. Secondly, he hopes to raise donations for two of
favorite non-profits. He has issued a challenge to the residents and
visitors of Hatteras Island to donate $1 per mile completed, to be
equally divided between the Outer Banks Preservation Association (OBPA)
and the Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation.
The motivation to Bob in his own words:
“Although I'm not a native to this island, I've vacationed here for
almost 30 years. Seven years ago I moved to Avon and now call
this my home. In the past few years, I've seen the burdens
on the residents and visitors of Hatteras and Ocracoke islands by the
excessive and unwarranted beach closures enacted by the U.S.
Government's Department of Interior agencies at the urging of
our cries of injustice have fallen on deaf or uncaring ears.
These groups do not care about the traditional values so important to
visitors and residents and don't care about us or our
Litigation, with all of its massive costs, seems to be our only
hope. We all should be helping the best way we can to fight
unconscionable groups and their ridiculous actions."
If you accept Bob's challenge, you make your pledge on www.obpa.org
Visitors, island residents, and businesses are accepting the challenge
and issuing challenges of their own.
John Couch, owner of the Red Drum Shopping Center in Buxton
president of the OBPA has pledged $5 per mile and has challenged all of
the other service stations on the island to make the same
John also challenged his brother Stewart, president of Hatteras Realty,
to make a pledge. Stewart agreed and issued a challenge of
own to all of the realty companies on the island to make the $5
pledge. Frank Folb of Frank and Fran’s Tackle in Avon, not to
out done by the Couch brothers, jumped on the wagon, pledged $5 per
mile and challenged all the other tackle shops in Dare County to do
Bob Spangler, who will be 60 in October, has been an avid runner for
more than 12 years. If you've driven down Highway 12 at 6
in the morning, you've likely seen Bob making his way between Avon and
Buxton. A native West Virginian, Bob decided to "retire" to
Hatteras seven years ago, after visiting the island for 30
"Retire" to Bob means teaching chemistry and coaching the cross country
team at Cape Hatteras Secondary School.
Actually, Bob's first retirement was from the U.S.
was an infantry captain with combat experience in the Vietnam
War. After the military, Bob put his undergraduate
in forestry and science education and master’s degree in environmental
science to good use as a teacher for more than 20 years in public
schools and colleges.
This past winter, Bob's love of running was interrupted by rotator
cuff surgery. He was counting the days until the doctor gave
him a green light to resume his passion.
Over the past 12 years, Bob has run numerous races in the 5 kilometer
to 15-mile range. He's completed four marathons, and one 50
On the day of the run, you can follow Bob's progress online at the OBPA
website, or Frank and Fran's website – www.Hatteras-island.com.
The date of the run is subject to change, depending on the weather.
At the end of the run, you will be able to fulfill your pledge by
either mailing a check to the OBPA, or by Paypal at the OBPA donations
button on its website.
The OBPA is a 501(c)(3) not-for profit corporation. Donations
are tax deductible.
The Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation, also a non-profit, helps island
cancer patients pay for treatment and medications not covered by
insurance and also helps them pay for travel for treatment off the
The training for a run of this distance, almost twice as long as a
marathon, is extremely demanding, filled with potential injury, and
usually favors the road and not the runner.
"I'll do my best to complete the training and the run,” Spangler says.
“Will you please help fight those who wish to remove us from our
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