Strava Marathon (Bellingham, MA)
Finish Time: 3:58
Temp: 65 degrees
Run For: Penney
As I start to write this recap, I can’t help but think about how cool it was to run this marathon for Penney. To be able to run for her on her 50th birthday was really cool, but to find out the meaning behind that particular birthday and why it was so significant to her and her mom. I’m honored to be able to do this, run marathons and share stories, and it’s the stuff like this that add even more meaning behind each one.
I met Penney when she signed up to run her second half marathon with Team Challenge in Oregon last year. The training actually started around this time so I’ve known Penney for just one year. I’ve met so many inspiring people through Team Challenge and have made lifelong friends through this program. Right from the start you could see just how grateful Penney was to be a part of this team, this family of others who understand, who can sympathize, who get it. She was also willing to share some of her experiences during the team calls and then again at event weekend.
It was during one of the get togethers in Oregon where I was able to talk more with Penney where she shared with me more about her mom and herself. She also had brought up her experience at Camp Oasis that she had just attended as a counselor the month before her half marathon. It was such an impactful experience for her and I was so happy that she shared it in her story. Camp Oasis is such an amazing place and other’s stories have mentioned it and I’ve talked about it before in previous recaps. I wanted to share a post by Penney’s friend, and mine, Becky Johnson-Rescola made about it last summer.
Post by Becky (8-6-2022)
I’m still trying to find the words to describe the immense JOY and fulfillment I’ve felt this week as I had an opportunity to help staff Michigan Camp Oasis. Our entire camp program is exceptional but let’s be honest – Michigan camp will always be my first love. Seeing our kids back in a residential setting after two long years was enough to make my heart burst. We had so many new campers and watching them try things, be brave, and have fun is a gift I cannot fully articulate.
This camp CHANGES LIVES. If you’re a data person – we have the numbers to prove it! These kids find a safe space where having Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis is no longer an embarrassment or a barrier to fun. They meet friends, share with others, and just have a chance to be kids. This year, I had the privilege of seeing several of my youngest campers from my earliest camp years return as counselors – and wow was that an incredible sight to see! I love this program. I love this community.
And it’s not possible without the generosity of our donors. I know I often ask for donations for my fundraisers and if you want to know why, it’s because of this. It’s because your donation gave a little girl with chronic illness a chance to catch a frog (and lose a shoe). It allowed a boy afraid of heights to conquer his fears and try high ropes. It provided a community for kids who are struggling to fit in at home. It created a safe space for kids to share their worries and highest aspirations. And it offers a place where these kids learn from adults who deal with these diseases too, and who serve as the most amazing, compassionate, inspiring role models these kids will ever know. It also creates a space wrapped in the safety and support of some of the most incredible health care professionals you will ever meet, volunteering their time and talents to be part of the camp experience.
If you feel like you want to make a difference today – if you feel you want to support life changing mission work for the youngest of our patients – I encourage you to make a donation. In the meantime, I’m unpacking both my camp stuff and all the feels after another life changing week for ME. So incredibly grateful.
(P.S. Camp is also super fun for the adults and we had a decade’s theme – and I can’t resist any chance to dress in costume!)
Becky and Penney have been friends since Penney’s first event with TC back in Vegas a decade ago. The Michigan Camp Oasis group was so fortunate to have them both there last summer and I know the impact they made on those camper’s lives will leave a lasting impression.
This marathon was done entirely inside on the treadmill where I made a point to start off a little slower than usual. I wanted to ease into this marathon knowing I would be attending the Boston Marathon the next day where I would be on my feet for a long time. Ironically, I would spend that time running as well as standing and cheering but more to come on that in the next recap. Overall if went well and I felt great with just the normal soreness, but was feeling the excitement in the air all weekend knowing it was Boston Marathon race weekend.
Being able to run for Penney, share her story, and help play a role in making her 50th birthday one to remember in more ways than one was just great. I’m honored to be able to do this for you Penney and appreciate all you do for the TC family, including all the little campers you helped last summer. Thank you for everything and here is to celebrating your birthday and one year of being friends! I was humbled to do this for you this past weekend, this 26.2 was for you!