This coming Sunday in the Virginia Beach Rock and Roll Half Marathon, two of Virginia Wesleyan College's most iconic distance runners will be competing for a great cause – to help end distracted driving. David Kidd and Shelby Bryceland will be representing enddd.org, a non-profit organization founded by Joel Feldman after his 21-year old daughter, Casey, was killed in a cross walk by a distracted driver. Travelers Insurance will donate $100 per mile ($1,300 total) for both David and Shelby completing the race, along with founder Joel Feldman, who is running his first half marathon in honor of his daughter.
However, for David and Shelby, both very accomplished runners, just finishing the race will hardly be the goal.
Shelby, who is VWC's school record holder in women's cross country, as well as the indoor and outdoor 5,000m run, is coming off a personal best of 1:23.16 at the Shamrock Half Marathon in March and a Fall 2014 season that saw her win the inaugural Harbor Lights Half Marathon in Norfolk, VA and finish higher than any female from Hampton Roads in last year's Rock & Roll Half Marathon.
After a career at VWC that saw her earn All-ODAC honors in both the indoor and outdoor 5,000m run, as well as cross country, to go with her school records in those events, she continues to run post-collegiately with the Bernard Distance Project (BDP), a local training group of elite runners who continue to train and compete at a high level. In her professional career, she works as the office manager at Resource 1 financial planning where she holds her Life and Health Insurance licenses and is working towards her Securities license.
"Shelby has been a perfect demonstration that running is a lifelong sport, and you can continue to be successful as a runner beyond college," said VWC Head Women's Coach Krista Littleton. "It has been great to see her passion for running grow, and to watch the continued success she has had in races, being among the best runners in the local area. Not only has she continued her success in running, but she is very motivated in her career as well. I am always so proud of watching my alumni achieve their dreams both personally, and in their careers. It is great to see Shelby running this race for such a good cause, to help raise awareness for distracted driving, which I feel is becoming an increasingly huge problem."
For David Kidd, he too followed up a stellar collegiate career with post-collegiate success. David graduated from VWC as the Norfolk Sports Club award-winner, meaning he was the top Senior athlete in his class out of all 19 intercollegiate sports, the highest honor a VWC student-athlete can receive from the college. He was a three-time All-ODAC honoree in cross country and two-time All-Region honoree. His senior cross country season culminated with a 9th place finish out of 156 runners in a 12-state region to earn a trip to the NCAA Div. III National Cross Country Championships. On the track, David anchored VWC's Distance Medley Relay to the school's first ever ODAC Championship in track and field and followed it up the next year with a runner-up finish in the Mile. He is the men's school record-holder at 5,000m indoors (15:17), and 1500m outdoors (4:01). His indoor 5,000m time was also the fastest in the 12-state South region that season. David also ran on the 4x800m Relay that owns both indoor and outdoor school records at VWC.
David's continued success after college has included a personal best of 1:10.06 at the 2014 Shamrock Half Marathon, and a 1st place finish out of 2,145 at the 2012 Susan G. Komen Race For the Cure 5K in Virginia Beach. In 2013, David was the 2nd finisher out of 9,579 runners in the Baltimore Half Marathon.
In his professional career, David works for the ACCESS Foundation at Bayside High School (his alma mater) as a college preparatory advisor and also coaches the Bayside cross country and track & field teams. As the distance coach for Bayside, he coached Tayvon Burress to back-to-back VHSL 6A State Championships in the 800m, including the State Record. David's 4x800m relay teams at Bayside have also earned All-State honors and trips to the Nike and New Balance high school national championships for indoor and outdoor track and field.
"David is one of the most successful distance runners in the history of our program," said VWC Head Men's Coach Mat Littleton. "It's always rewarding to see alumni continue to run after college. It's a lifelong sport that can be enjoyed throughout adulthood. David continues to train and compete at a high level and that sets a great example for our current student-athletes and other alumni. I'm very proud of the success that David is having as a coach and in his career. It's great to see him contribute to a good cause and help a non-profit spread the word about an issue like distracted driving, which is becoming more and more of a problem in our society."
To learn more about the work of End Distracted Driving, you can visit their website at www.enddd.org.