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Staff Photo by Dan Henry / The Chattanooga Times Free Press- 8/18/16. Steve Bean, left, and his son Chris Bean speak to Alan Outlaw in front of Fast Break Athletics on Thursday, August 18, 2016 about next weekend's Cam Run honoring the late Cameron Bean.

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Cam Run honors memory of local hero

If you go

› What: The Cam Run: Cameron Bean Memorial 5K and Magnum Mile

› When: 5K - Saturday at 8 a.m. | Magnum Mile - Saturday at 8 p.m.

› Where: The parking lot for the 5K will be at 175 Hamm Road until 7:30 a.m. After 7:30, or after the lot is full, participants will be asked to park in the grass field at 10 Hamm Road. Runners will pass the spot on Moccasin Bend Road where Cameron Bean was struck by a motorist while running last September.

The Magnum Mile, reserved for top finishers in the 5K, will be held downtown during the Village Volkswagen River Gorge Omnnium bicycle race. The Magnum Mile starts at 1201 Market St. Spectators are encouraged to attend.

› Registration: Runners can register for the 5K at camrunchattanooga.com for $35. Registration for high school students is $15.

Cameron Bean's memory is alive at Fast Break Athletics, where his picture adorns the wall and the shoes he wore in his last race are enshrined in a glass display case with a pair of his signature sunglasses on top.

The city's oldest running store is helping ensure that Bean's legacy lives outside of its walls, too.

Fast Break is teaming up with Bean's family to put on the first-ever Cam Run on Saturday to honor the Baylor School graduate and former Samford University runner who was struck and killed by a motorist last year while running on Moccasin Bend Road.

It's a fitting tribute to the former Fast Break employee, who had only just returned to Chattanooga after rising to 10th nationally in the steeplechase event while training with Zap Fitness in North Carolina.

The Cameron Bean Memorial 5K and companion Magnum Mile are not new events on the crowded local running calendar, but are a rebranding of the final events Bean ran — and won — before his tragic death rocked the running community.

Last year, the events were known as the Fast Break 5K and Moon Pie Mile. Coming off a hernia injury, Bean placed first in each just a month before his death.

"Everybody wants to do a race for a cause, and we had a real unique situation here with already having an established race," Fast Break owner Alan Outlaw said. "So instead of just adding another race to the calendar, we wanted to take something that belonged to him already and make it special. It's our honor to give that spot to him."

The morning 5K course is being rerouted to take runners from the starting line on Hamm Road to Moccasin Bend Road, past the spot where Bean was struck.

The top 25 male and female finishers in the 5K earn a spot to compete in the evening mile run downtown, in front of hundreds of spectators at the Village Volkswagen River Gorge Omnium cycling event.

Outlaw and Bean's father, Steve Bean, are anticipating the 5K field could swell to more than 500 runners.

"We had to come up with something to make it special," said Steve Bean, who, just a week after his son's death, completed the Ironman Chattanooga that Cameron helped him train for. "Cameron would want the best athletes to run — the elite guys like him — and the fat guys like me, or people that have never run.

"He just wanted everybody to do something, to get off the couch. That was his life. He ran his whole life. That's what he loved to do."

Proceeds are going to the Cameron Bean Memorial Fund, which will support local youth running. Participants will be given a pair of sunglasses like the shades Bean always wore on runs.

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Cameron Bean, 28, died after being struck by a car while running along Moccasin Bend Road. He was struck on Sept. 19 and died on Sept. 20.

Outlaw said he will encourage runners to take their earbuds out, socialize with other runners and process the significance of the course they are running.

A cross marks the spot where 59-year-old Valerie Bray swerved into the far lane and struck Bean on Sept. 19, 2015. She is facing charges of vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an accident in Hamilton County Criminal Court. Her next court date is Nov. 11.

While there is an advocacy component of runner and biker safety to the Cam Run, Steve Bean and Outlaw hope the race is fun, too.

Cameron Bean, serious as he was about running, was a man with a big personality, wild sense of humor and infectious smile, according to those who knew him.

"Wherever he was, that's where he belonged," Outlaw said. "I wanted him to work more so I could be around him more, because he was that energetic. He brought that vibe to the store that we need, that we want. It was awesome."

Though his real middle name was Martin, introduced himself to others as Cameron "Magnum" Bean. It was his nickname and inspired the name of the training service he started, Magnum Running.

He was also in school to become a massage therapist and toying with the idea of pursuing a triathlon career.

Steve Bean recalled an Ironman training run that took him down Hixson Pike one day as his son was getting out of massage therapy class nearby.

The father yelled at his son as he walked outside. Wearing a backpack and loafers, Cameron crossed the street and came towards him. Steve expected a conversation. Instead he got a running buddy.

"He ran beside me with that backpack and the loafers on and just talked the whole time like it was nothing," Steve Bean said. "He did that with anybody. That's something I remember that's pretty special."

Cameron's brother, 33-year-old Chris Bean, is running the 5K. Dad plans to spend the morning shaking hands and thanking people for coming.

"Losing a child never gets easier," Steve Bean said through tears.

But, he said, good can come out of bad. Saturday, he said, will be a mixture of sadness, happiness, advocacy, and a fitting celebration of the man whose slogan was, "Just go for a run."

Contact staff writer David Cobb at dcobb@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6249.

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