Updated 09/25/2012 06:04 PM
Fireball Run comes to Watkins Glen
A cross country excursion by teams made up of top company executives, civic leaders and celebrities. Sounds like just another reality TV show waiting to happen. But as our Bill Mich found out, the Fireball Run has a much deeper purpose than winning a grand prize.
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WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. -- Greeted by students from the Watkins Glen School District, the competitors in this year's Fireball Run pulled into the Harbor Hotel Tuesday for a stop in the Finger Lakes.
"Fireball Run is an eight day, 15 city, 2,500 mile adventure rally. It is a rolling game of Trivial Pursuit where exotic vehicles are the pieces and America is the game board," said David Hickman, the Fireball Run Executive Vice President.
Fifty teams comprised of business leaders, community leaders and celebrities from across the country participate in the challenge. The process to make Watkins Glen a stop on the adventure began back in January and officials are hoping the hard work pays off.
"This is national exposure. They travel the country and it is live streaming video, so a lot of what is going on today is live nationwide and they are going to be making a movie into it. And it is going to be great national exposure for our area," said Watkins Glen Mayor Mark Swinnerton.
When a participant is driving around a DeLorean dressed like Doc Brown, it is clear the event has a lighter side, but the overall purpose of the Fireball Run is to promote the search for the nation's missing children. Each team distributes missing person posters at each stop, along with having a missing child's face right on their car.
"My idea was that if the Fireball Run could locate just one child, it would be worth it. And in 2007, they actually, across country from Orlando to West Hollywood and found 23 of America's missing children. Today, we are either at 38 or I believe, since we started three days ago, we may be at 39 right now," said Fireball Run Competitor, Paul "Doc" Nigh.
These teams are traveling across the country all competing for nothing more than a plastic sign that declares them the winners. Bringing these missing kids home is what the Fireball Run is all about.
For your chance to watch the Fireball Run competition while it happens, be sure to visit the adventure's official website at www.fireballrun.com.