‘Make a Difference Dash’ benefits Pearse Lyons ACE foundation

Alltech held a 5K through downtown Lexington on Sunday celebrating the life and legacy of founder Dr. Pearse Lyons

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Runners hit the roads in downtown Lexington Sunday morning as part of a weekend full of events to kick off the ‘One’ conference with Alltech. Alltech says the ‘Make a Difference Dash’ is one of only a handful of 5K’s allowed to be run through downtown, and says its course hasn’t been run before.

Dr. Pearse Lyons founded Alltech in 1980 with a mission to improve the health and performance of all living things through nutrition and scientific innovation. Dr. Lyons passed away in 2018 at the age of 73, but those who knew him say he thought life was about more than just birth and death.

“Dr. Lyons believed that what mattered was the dash between the day you were born and the day that you left this earth,” says Christina Schull, Alltech director of business engagement. “So, the ‘dash’ is really what was important and what you did with your life.”

Alltech says all of the proceeds from Sunday’s race are being given to the Pearse Lyons ACE Foundation, a nonprofit supporting the philanthropic endeavors of both Alltech and the Lyons’ family.

“All of us can make a difference in everybody’s lives, right?” says Schull. “So, it’s always good, especially in today’s times, to just really stop and think about what can you do to make a difference, not only for yourself and your own well-being but for your neighbors and the people in your community.”

One of the runners in Sunday’s race is 84-year-old Bernie Cornett. He says he gets out and runs a 5K every weekend, for many of the same reasons as Dr. Lyons.

“I’m running to live. I’m running for Him. And I enjoy it, I’m with family,” says Cornett. “All these runners are my family.”

Dr. Lyons left a lasting impact on those who worked with him and knew him.

“Throughout the day, you know he’d be full of energy and just inspiring us to be like him,” says Helen Fay, a runner from Ireland. “He’d say ‘why are my dreams bigger than your dreams- why are my dreams for you bigger than your dreams?’ and we’d kind of go ‘wow, I really should think like this man’ so he was very inspirational.”

Alltech says it hopes the ‘Make a Difference Dash’ will become an annual race.

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