I am a runner, a cyclist, a swimmer, a triathlete, a marathoner, and an Ironman. I have MS.
Before I was 21, none of these were true. At the age of 21, I was diagnosed with MS. At the time, I knew little about the disease except that most of the people I knew with MS were in a wheelchair. I thought this was my fate and as a 21 year old with a full life ahead, this was hard to swallow. I began running and cycling, wanting to get the most out of my body while I still had the chance. What was first started out of what seems a necessity, has now turned into a passion. I no longer run for fear of losing my mobility, but rather for the enjoyment and challenge it provides. I continue to push my body, testing it both physically and mentally, wanting to grow stronger. Knowing I have the power to continue is what drives me.
I am running MS Run the US (www.msruntheus.org) for those that can’t. I am also running to provide hope and to inspire those that have been recently diagnosed or who are struggling. I want to show that a diagnosis of MS is not an end-all, but an opportunity to open new doors. The advancements in therapies over the past 20 years have gotten us closer and closer to ending MS, and I am hoping this opportunity will bring us closer to ending the disease.
Tobacco Road will be my 19th marathon, and this year will be the second time I have run this race. While I have hopes of running a fast marathon and possibly qualifying for Boston, I know that it is only a stepping stone leading up to MS Run the US. The event is a relay from LA to NY with 18 people. Each person runs for about a week before handing this baton over. This summer, I will be running 148 miles over a 6 day period in Pennsylvania. This will be an average of 24 miles a day, essentially a marathon a day for 6 consecutive days. While I know that completing this event and meeting my goal of raising $10,000 will be a challenge, I know that others struggling with Multiple Sclerosis face the challenge just as great on a day to day basis. If you’d like to follow along on my journey as I train, fundraise, and run MS Run the US, like my Facebook page, Run Through MS (https://www.facebook.com/RunThruMS/).
We knew there was something special about this year’s Allscripts Tobacco Road Marathon champion Bryan Morseman when we found out he had won two marathons two days in a row! We had no idea. Check out his amazing story in Runner’s World that speaks volumes about him as a human being. You just want to shake his hand!
Cary, NC – The Tobacco Road Half Marathon Association (TRM) announced today that Feetures!, a leader in performance running socks, is the title sponsor of its March 19th half marathon race. The race is the companion to the Allscripts Tobacco Road Marathon. Both start at 7 a.m. on the same day and share the Carolina pine-lined American Tobacco Trail course. Every runner in both races will receive a pair of Feetures! performance socks at the event’s expo held at the Embassy Suites in Cary, North Carolina March 17 and 18.
“We are thrilled to have Feetures! join us in our mission to give back to our community,” said TRM President, Founder and ten-time Boston Marathon Qualifier Kazem Yahyapour. “We know all our runners will appreciate receiving their outstanding running socks. I use them myself and can assure everyone they are the highest quality.”
This year the Feetures! Tobacco Road Half Marathon will be part of the USA Track & Field (USATF) North Carolina championship. The TRM weekend continues to enhance its reputation as a “must do” event for runners. TRM, a homegrown, all-volunteer community celebration, is on track to exceed one million dollars in charitable giving in 2019. It has already contributed $631,000 since its inaugural in 2010.
“As Feetures! has continued to expand over the last few years, we’ve worked hard to match those efforts by giving back to the NC racing community,” says Joe Gaither, Director of Marketing for Feetures! “With all the good TRM has done for the running community and our desire to be involved in races east of Charlotte, the partnership was a natural fit. We’re thrilled to be involved with a race that has grown so rapidly and led to such fast times.”
TRM, with its flat, fast course, qualifies 12 percent of runners for the Boston Marathon and in 2014 was named among the top nine best new marathons by Runner’s World Magazine. The USA Track & Field (USATF) certified courses follow the same path for two miles and then diverge. The first two and last two miles are on paved roads – the rest are on the ATT. The runners start from the USA Baseball & Thomas Brooks Park in Cary. The course is devoid of hills and the average high temperature for the date (51 degrees Fahrenheit) delivers an ideal performance environment.
All TRM proceeds go to these charities: JDRF, Hope For The Warriors, the The American Red Cross, and the Rails to Trails Conservancy as well as Wake County Parks and Recreation.
The Tobacco Road Marathon Association is a non-profit organization dedicated with its sponsors to providing financial assistance to its partner charities by channeling the passions of the North Carolina Triangle area’s running community into a powerful force for good.
Feetures! is a family owned and operated company located in North Carolina with the mission to inspire people to live a healthy, active lifestyle.
Running a marathon is no easy accomplishment, but now imagine carrying an extra 45lbs for those 26.2 miles, and then do that once a month for a year. James Leitner has been running a marathon a month while carrying 45lbs of water to raise awareness about the long journeys people take every day to find water. The weight of the jug is significant because 45lbs is equal to 5 gallons of water, enough for one person to use for their daily needs. Every race completed helps the Philadelphia-Serengeti Alliance, a nonprofit organization working to improve health, education, and gender equality by providing accessible clean water to rural communities in Tanzania.
James started this goal in May 2016 and plans on completing the Tobacco Road Marathon in Cary, NC as his 11th marathon. Completing each marathon has not been an easy task. Some marathons have been in winter and snowed 5in during the race. Others have had 3500ft of elevation gain. Still with dedication and the help from the running community, he has completed each race and is excited for the Tobacco Road Marathon.
Written by Andrea Moffat, mother of a Type 1 child.
In 2009, our three-year-old son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. His diagnosis was a huge shock and for many months we found ourselves just trying to tread water as we learned what it means to try to manage this disease. We didn’t know anything about Type 1 Diabetes and we were completely unprepared for the emotional and physical strain it put on our son and family.
Everything changes after your child is diagnosed. We were afraid to send him to school, to leave him with a babysitter, we were even afraid to sleep at night. From the beginning, JDRF was there for us. In the hospital, we received the JDRF Bag of Hope which included a stuffed animal named Rufus. Rufus gave our son someone with whom to share his diabetes experience; we gave him shots and pricked Rufus’s paw just like we did our son’s.
When we got home, JDRF connected us with another Type 1 family to serve as our mentor; sharing our fears with other parents after diagnosis is such a blessing because they help you see that there is hope, that you can create a new ’normal’ and live with this disease. JDRF even helped us find the training materials we needed to get Glen’s teachers and caregivers ready to take on his care when we couldn’t be there to do it ourselves.
Fast forward several years and now we have the privilege of mentoring newly – diagnosed families, we attend JDRF sponsored events that allow Glen to meet other kids living with Type 1 Diabetes, and we take advantage of many of the new treatment options that have become a reality in large part because of JDRF’s funding of the critical research needed to improve diabetes care.
This past year, thanks to a clinical trial sponsored by JDRF, we found out that our five-year-old son Blake has all five antibodies for Type 1 Diabetes. Again, our world was turned upside down as we tried to come to terms with the reality that someday, probably sooner than later, we will have two children with this disease. Right on the heels of hearing those words, our local JDRF office was there to offer their support to help us identify any prevention clinical trials currently underway in which Blake could possibly participate, and to reassure us that there is hope, that the research funded by JDRF is working on cutting edge new treatments that will change the way we manage diabetes in the future.
When your child has a life-threatening disease, it is easy to live in fear for them. It’s hard not to think about what could happen if their blood sugar dips too low at night or when they are driving a car, if the complications caused by many years of higher than normal blood sugars will plague their future, if they will be able to concentrate during their tests at school, if they will have a seizure on the playground from a low blood sugar, and the list goes on and on.
These are the fears that haunt parents of Type 1’s every day. The silver lining for our family has been JDRF’s ability to provide us with resources we need when we need them and to give us hope for a better tomorrow for our boys – you just can’t put a value on that. When we heard that the Tobacco Road Marathon supports JDRF, we knew we had to get involved. Running 13 miles is nothing compared to what our son and the other thousands of people living with this disease have to face every day. Running this race shows our boys how hard we are willing to work [or run] to find a cure and protect their future. We are humbled and thankful to live in a community like this where great organizations like JDRF flourish and community events like the Tobacco Road Marathon support our mission.