Go big or go home might be Ryan Stiner’s motto. Next week, the local runner will go big and go home during a 200-mile solo run from San Francisco to Clovis to raise awareness for autism spectrum disorder.
This is the third year of Ryan’s Run, which has raised nearly $30,000 so far for individuals affected by autism spectrum disorder.
“In 2014 I made the decision that I wanted to do something big,” Stiner said. “I’m a runner, swimmer and I play water polo, and my mind instantly went to running from San Francisco to Fresno. I love driving that route, so I thought, ‘How can I make it last longer? Well, I can run it.’”
While the feat is impressive in itself — Stiner planned to run 20 miles a day for 10 days — he began to brainstorm how the run could benefit others.
“My aunt has autism, so my mind immediately went to that,” Stiner said. “Fresno State has an autism center, and they said of course I could raise money for them. Once First Lady (Mary) Castro caught wind of it, it had a lot more traction.”
In 2014, $14,360 was raised for the Autism Center at Fresno State.
Last year $14,600 was raised for the California Autism Center and Learning Group, which hosts autism seminars, sibling socials, parent education classes and quarterly night-out events for parents of children on the autism spectrum.
Stiner is glad to be able to help others affected by autism.
“My aunt is trapped in a 13-year-old mindset; she has Asperger syndrome,” Stiner said. “So I grew up around someone with special needs who needed to be taken care of. She is one the higher functioning side of things — she can’t live on her own, but is very close to being that way.”
This year, Stiner has had additional help spreading the word. A public relations class taught by Professor Betsy Hays at Fresno State is helping Stiner with social media and fundraising so that he has more time to physically train for the journey.
This year Stiner plans to cut the 10-day run to just nine days, beginning Thursday, Nov. 3 and finishing Saturday, Nov. 12 at Railroad Park in Clovis.
The public is invited to join Stiner for the final three miles of his journey at 10 a.m. at Selma Layne Memorial Park, 2065 E. Shepherd Ave., in Fresno. The group will walk and jog to Railroad Park.
“Bring the kids,” Stiner encouraged. “It’s not going to be fast at all, and we’ll meet rain or shine.”
Food trucks will be at the finish line at Railroad Park, 805 N. Peach Ave., Clovis, until 1 p.m.
Donations can be made through Stiner’s website, www.ryansrunforautism.com. Every cent donated will be given to the California Autism Center and Learning Group, Stiner said.
“I cover all of the administrative costs, so 100 percent of the dollars go there.”
Those who cannot donate cash but still want to help by donating their time and manpower are welcome to contact Stiner via the website.
Ryan’s Run for Autism
What: Run alongside Ryan Stiner for the final 2.5 to 3 miles of his 200-mile trek from San Francisco to Clovis.
When and where: 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 12 at Selma Layne Memorial Park, 2065 E. Shepherd Ave., Fresno to Railroad Park, 805 N. Peach Ave., Clovis, where food trucks will be available at the finish line until 1 p.m.