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Corvallis Knights coach Ed Knaggs to Embark on Special Opening Day Run

Sunday, April 28, Corvallis, Ore. – It will be an unusual spring training for Corvallis Knights associate head coach Ed Knaggs.

Instead of doing his usual planning and preparation for the upcoming West Coast League baseball season, Knaggs – the former head coach of the Wenatchee AppleSox and one of the most prominent figures in the WCL’s 20-year history – will embark on a marathon fundraising journey to raise donations and increase awareness for regional mental health organizations.

Knaggs will start running the 419 miles from Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium in Wenatchee, where he coached from 2001-14, on May 1. He plans to run 10 miles every morning and five in the afternoon for 28 days and arrive at the Children’s Farm Home on Highway 20 in Corvallis on May 28, in time to begin his sixth campaign with the Knights.

His brother, Steve, will handle the logistical details and accompany him in a motorhome that will serve as their home base every night. WCL Commissioner Roy Neyer will run with Knaggs on one day when he reaches Portland.

Numerous organizations will share the donations Knaggs plans to raise. One of those, Trillium Family Services of Corvallis, played a huge role in his life.

“My son Cory was fortunate enough to spend time” at a Trillium facility in Corvallis during a vulnerable stage of his life, Knaggs said. “His sophomore year in high school, his anxiety and depression had reached a peak and he desperately needed help.

“Cory made it through that difficult time. He is a much happier and married adult now and credits his time at the Farm Home in Corvallis with saving his life.”

Also benefitting will be Only7Seconds, a mental health suicide-prevention organization based in Chelan, Wash.

“Recently, an Eastern Washington family whose four sons I had the privilege to coach with the AppleSox experienced the unimaginable tragedy of losing an adolescent son to suicide,” Knaggs said.

Only7Seconds is an organization whose goal is a world without loneliness. Their programs and resources inspire intentional connections by empowering people and equipping partners.

“While there are many worthwhile mental health organizations, these two hit close to home.”

Knaggs has been a runner for many years and said it helps keep him mentally and physically happy. His 60th birthday in 2018 proved to be a watershed moment in his life and inspired him to find something that could make the world a better place.

“It marked the beginning of a new decade and an opportunity to evaluate where I was and where I could make a difference,” he said. “I have never had the ability to make a big donation financially to causes that I support but I kept searching for a way to make a more lasting impact.

“I often listen to my favorite podcast, Jon Gordon’s Positive U, on long runs. I was moved by one featuring Malachi O’Brien, who was in the process of running a marathon a day to set a new world record while raising awareness for adolescent mental health and adoption.

“While I was in awe of his accomplishment, I knew running 26.2 miles a day was a stretch for me. Then it hit me. ‘Why not run from Wenatchee, where I spent 14 years coaching the AppleSox, to Corvallis, where I now spend my summers coaching with the Knights?’

“It would be a great way to kick off the upcoming West Coast League season. More importantly, I could use the opportunity to raise awareness to the importance of Adolescent Mental Health.

“I am fortunate to have the health and ability to take on this cause.”

To donate, and to follow Knaggs’ progress on his sojourn across Washington and Oregon, click here.

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