Katara Simmons/News-Sun The 10th Annual Run to the Heartland event attracts a large crowd Saturday morning at the Circle in Sebring.
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published: Sunday, October 06, 2013
10th Run rolls out with tons of fun
By SAMANTHA GHOLAR
SEBRING - The sights and sounds of motorcycles had little ones wide-eyed and excited Saturday as the 10th annual Run to the Heartland got off to a great start. The mid-morning crowd gathered on North Ridgewood where stunt riders Jesse Toler and Bryan Marino wowed the audience with their impressive stunts.
Toler and Marino are world-renowned stunt riders who put on several shows Saturday. Riding with no hands, feet steering, wheelie popping, and all out fun could be seen at the show.
The Heartland Riders Association tent was busy selling commemorative T-shirts on Circle Park. Volunteers were thrilled about the large turnout so early in the day.
"It's a lot busier than it was last year," said one HRA member and volunteer.
Lots of leather was out and about, being worn, sold and swapped by thousands of motorcyclists on the second day of the event. Groups from all over the state gathered in downtown Sebring to relax and enjoy great weather and good company.
One of the many groups that visited RTTH this weekend was the Peace River Riders from Wauchula. Friends and neighbors for many years, the group descended on Sebring to enjoy each other's company and the company of other like-minded riders.
Bill Frenier, Leroy Sholtz, Sarah Sholtz, Winston Carlton, Lee David, Chuck Swisher, Dan Wineland and Sandra LaSelle were just a few members of the motorcycle club present Saturday morning enjoying the event.
"We're all friends and neighbors," Frenier said. "We've been coming here for many years, most of us anyway."
Carlton, who's been a member of the motorcycle club since 1986, was enjoying his time helping a fellow rider decide which outfit to purchase for his infant granddaughter.
One rider made it clear that his first time at the Run was a lot more than he bargained for.
"My biggest regret is that I didn't bring my camera down here with me. I'm going to want to remember this. This is my first time ever coming and after many years of mixed up days and scheduling I finally made it and I left my camera," Wineland said. "I'm having a great time any way."
The Fort Lauderdale chapter of Alternatives M.C. also had a heavy presence. The "clean and sober" club has approximately 200 members statewide and a small 12-member chapter here in Highlands County.
"We've come many years in a row. Every year we commemorate our brother who died out on (U.S.) 27, Miami Dave. He was a member in Fort Lauderdale before he moved up here," said "Scotty Wad".
More festivities continue through the weekend. The Run to the Heartland event will host a morning church service and more music, fun and motorcycles through today. Events can be found at www.hra-sebring/.
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