Doing something I love, for someone I love.
My Mother-in-law Diane was diagnosed with MS in 2002 after she had been in a car accident. She had to get an MRI and the tech asked her what she was doing for her MS. Diane had no clue she even had MS until that day.
MS claimed the life of her own Mother - Janis - in 1997 when she was only 62.
NOT applying to be a relay runner was not an option for me. I knew I had to do this.
Follow me on my journey! I will be blogging and updating about it here:
I saw some of the best people I know from my group of G.O.A.T.z - Greater Omaha Area Trail RunnerZ - training and fundraising and I kept thinking to myself, "I need to do this." I joined the treadmill challenge at the beginning of the year and ran 50 miles - ON.A.TREADMILL... never thought THAT would be possible.. I wrote Diane and Jan's name on the "Who We Run For" board... I texted Diane and sent her updates. It was so much fun, but I just didn't feel like I was doing enough, I wanted more. I completed some other big running/racing goals over the course of 2014 and after getting through my first 50k in the mountains of Wyoming, I just knew. I knew I could do anything I signed up for, trained for, put my heart into. I applied.
I knew I wanted to be a relay runner.
I want people to know about MS.
I want people to know that there is no known cause, and no known cure.
I want people to know it's not currently considered a reportable disease, which in turn - does not allow for accurate reporting, research, and development.
I want people to know - WE CAN ALL MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
I want to raise money.
I want to raise awareness.
I want to help find a cure.
I suffered from Rheumatic Fever as a kid and learned first hand what was like to not be able to move. Fortunately, I outgrew the disease and now I am a single dad of 3 who found my love of running on the trails in eastern Nebraska. I stay active running several ultramarathons a year, but my 310mile segment of the 2013 MS relay team was the highlight of my life. I am a proud veteran of the US Army who served in Desert Shield and Desert Storm and routinely rock the Team RWB Eagle. I am active member and ambassador of the Greater Omaha Trail Runners (GOATz) and grateful for all of their support they have given to the rely over the past couple of years.
Hometown: Rayland, OH
Location: Nevada, IA
Segment: #2 Barstow, CA - Las Vegas, NV
Motto: Running for those who can't
I have been active in raising awareness about MS for the past 10 years. Nearly everyone of us has a friend or family member with this horrible disease. I am an Application Systems Engineer at Wells Fargo and served as the WF bike captain for 8 years in Des Moines raising over $60,000 for MS research. This will be my 3rd year being a part of the relay and intend of running every year until a cure has been found. In 2013, I endured the heat in mid July to traverse the 310 miles of the entire state of Iowa. In 2014, I ran the 165 mile segment from Wray, CO to Holdrege, NE. And in 2015, I am looking forward to experiencing the Mojave Desert!
I grew up as an overweight child and teen. After I got married and had two children, my weight continued to rise. I reached a point in my life that I got tired of letting my weight and my body hold me back. I decided it was time to make changes in my life so that I could be around for my children and family. In the process of losing 100 pounds, I found my real passion in life. I found health and wellness and wanted to start sharing this with others. I worked to become certified as a personal trainer and went back to school for my associates degree in Human Health and Performance. Today I try to inspire others with my passion by leading by example.
Follow me here:
My blog: http://Myfitfocusedlife.com
My running story:
I began running in 2010 to try losing those final pounds. I had never been athletic or active as a kid or teen. In fact, I was unable to run the mile for our PE class. I started by training for a half marathon. I learned so much in the training process. After running the half marathon I knew I wanted to further my goals and run a marathon. It was around this time I started to run with the local running group. I met so many people; everyone was so helpful and encouraging. It was in this process I found that running was giving me more than I could have ever dreamed. I developed new friendships and connections, and I found a place to unwind from my hectic schedule. Since then, I have ran 14 marathons and several other distance races. Running has given so much to me. This is one reason why I applied to be a runner for the 2015 MS Run the U.S. Relay.
My father and his sister both live with MS. My hope is that I can help to raise awareness of MS through my efforts and help to raise money for research in finding a cure for the disease.
Relay segment: TBD
I am a person who keeps busy with working at a hospital, running, remodeling my house, and a mom to 2 children. My son, Brandt, is 17 and is a senior in High School and my daughter, Kayla, is a Senior in College. They are wonderful kids and one is already away in Chicago for college and my son will also be drifting away this next year to college. Since my children will unfortunately no longer be around, I am very excited to take on this exciting portion of my life and dedicate more of my time to helping others!
Hometown: Treynor, IA
Segment: Stay tuned for my segment of the race!!
My running actually started about 8 years ago when my marriage was dissolving, I needed a stress reliever so just started running, then discovered the wonderful people in the running community and how much I enjoyed running. I started taking on more challenges and races, then qualified for the Boston Marathon! My Boston experiences have not been great as the first year I fractured my hip at mile 14 and hobbled to the finish the last 12 miles. So the second one I had just recovered and was able to kind of run and it was 90 degrees, so again a horrible finish. Onto the 3rd Boston Marathon that changed my life - The Boston Bombing. I was at the finish and watched both bombs go off, I was in a daze watching everything happening around me and sights I will never forget for the rest of my life. Through this experience and watching and reading stories of survival and the injured staying strong and coming back to run the next year made it clear to me that I was so lucky to be alive and wanted to help people in any way I could, I just did not know how. So last year I followed fellow runners through their path to raise money and support a cure for MS. I was so inspired that I felt like this was someway I can contribute to those struggling with MS and fighting and staying strong every day of their life.
I have read other Relay runners stories and how this experience has opened their eyes and forever changed their lives and I am so happy to be a part of it and have a small part in helping others with this disease.
Please take the time to learn more about this disease:
Many thanks for your support -- and don't forget to forward this to anyone who you think might want to donate or have a fundraiser! (Also of course Tax Deductible - Please email if you need further info.)
24 Hour Treadmill Challenge: February 24-25
Tails 'n Trails: May 19
Gravel Classic: May 26
The Dizzy GOAT: June 23
What The Hill?!: August 26
G.O.A.T.z Trail Runs: October 21
Skyline Ranches Cross Country Runs: October 27
Feast and Feathers: November 22
The Hitchcock Experience Endurance Runs: December 8-9