In 2012 while away at summer camp, 12 year old Franklin resident Will NeSmith suffered a spontaneous brain hemorrhage — an event that occurs in less than .001% of the population.

Will spent 3 weeks in a coma and 2 months in the hospital -- emerging only to learn that he would spend years rehabilitating his brain and body to relearn everything from walking to talking. He also discovered that the long term physical, occupational and speech therapy he needed would not be covered by his health insurance.

Will founded the WillPower race to celebrate his survival, educate folks about stroke recovery and raise research money for Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT) -- the genetic condition that led to Will's brain bleed. Learn more at

Follow Will's story at



Where exactly is the WillPower 5K being held?

The race will start and end on the Square in downtown Franklin, Tennessee. If you are using a GPS, you can type in 317 Main Street, Franklin TN, to find the start/finish line.

Will I get a t-shirt if I wait to sign up on the day of the race?

We enourage early registration to get an idea of how many t-shirts to order. Registering early guarantees you a race t-shirt. We will bring extra shirts for walk-up registrations, but people that register on the day of the race are NOT guaranteed a t-shirt.

Where should I park in downtown Franklin?

There is plenty of on-street free parking available in and around downtown Franklin. There are also two free parking garages on Fourth Avenue South or Second Avenue South.

Can I push my child in a stroller?

Yes, strollers are allowed. Our advice is to just register yourself and do not register the child you will be pushing. Reason: Our timing chips are embedded into the runner's race bibs. If the stroller child is wearing a race bib (with a chip in it) and the child gets pushed by a fast walking parent, they may beat other children to the finish line in that age category -- children that ran the entire race.

Can I walk the race?

Yes! We expect a lot of walkers.

What if it rains, will the event be rescheduled?

A little rain can’t hurt WillPower runners! The race will start, rain or shine!

Can I pick up another runner's goody bag when I swing by the pre-race packet pickup on Friday?


Do you offer pre-race packet pickup?

Yes, on Friday April 10th, Nine Fruits Smoothies at 790 Jordan Road in Franklin will host pre-race pickup from 10:30am-7pm.

Can I expect to see Will out at the race?

Yes, "Survior Man" Will NeSmith will be at the event. He will start the race and be cheering the racers on. Feel free to introduce yourself!

Is this a certified 5K course?

We have not paid an outside company to "certify" the exact length of the course. We have worked hard though to measure the course length so that we can assure you a 5K run.

Is the WillPower chip timed?

Yes! Race Time Sports, owned by Will's uncle Brian, is one of the best race timing companies in the country and they provide this service for us. Your chip will be embedded into your race bib and is disposable.

Can't attend the race?

Register as a Phantom Runner and we will mail you an official race t-shirt!

Register as a Phantom Runner

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