Fit For Hope Announces 2nd Annual Bear Claw Classic Trail Run for Freedom

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This summer, the Bear Claw Classic (BCC) Trail Run for Freedom returns on National Black Bear Day (June 1st) to unite our community in supporting the incredible individuals and organizations committed to sheltering, counseling, and empowering women impacted by gender violence and sexual abuse.

Now in its second year, the BCC is poised to triple both in size and impact in 2019—raising more support than ever for programs that help restore freedom and dignity to victims of abuse here locally, as one of the world’s most prominent human trafficking hubs.

“Last year we raised enough money to provide a month’s worth of shelter, counseling, and empowerment services for a survivor,” said 2018 organizer and Fit For Hope representative, Jake Vermillion. “This year,” he continued, “we would love to see the Bear Claw have even more impact! That’s why we’re accepting donations, giving a portion of sponsor contributions back to the cause, and ensuring at least 80% of the event’s proceeds directly benefit this year’s recipient organizations.”

With three different categories, registrants can earn their course-specific finisher’s shirt for tackling the Honeysuckle 6k (3.7 miles), Blackberry 9k (5.6 miles), or Sassafras 17k (10.6 miles). Finishers will also receive a complimentary swag bag featuring coupons, promo codes, and more from local businesses supporting the cause.

2018 featured Grayton Beach State Park’s Flatwoods Trail and the Western Lake Loop, this year the BCC will showcase Point Washington State Forest’s Eastern Lake Trail network, which spans some of South Walton’s best-preserved natural landscape.

2019 Race Director and Fit For Hope Ambassador, Aaron Haugan, explained, “Picking the Eastern Lake Trail was a simple decision because no matter what distance participants choose to run, everyone at this year’s Bear Claw will get to experience the EPIC single track,” before adding, “This is truly a beautiful area to run—I just know everyone’s expectations will be well met!”

Registration for the 2nd Annual Bear Claw Classic Trail Run For Freedom is open through May 28th but has been limited to 120 participants. For complete details or to register, visit

The Bear Claw Classic is an event organized by Fit For Hope, a community of active and aspiring athletes committed to leveraging their fitness for forces of good. With monthly challenges, virtual races, and in-person events like the Bear Claw Classic, there’s a way for everyone to use their fitness to give back. Learn more and get involved at

ABOUT FIT FOR HOPE: Founded in 2017 by three colleagues who challenged each other to raise money by getting in shape, Fit For Hope has grown to become a nationwide community of active and aspiring athletes leveraging their fitness for good! Learn more and get involved at

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