Kelli's 2016 Relay Page


MS Run the US - 2016 Relay

Los Angeles, California

Kelli's 2016 Relay Page

Relay Runner for the MS Run the US - 2016 Relay

What:  The MS Run the US - 2016 Relay is a 3,000 - mile relay across America to raise awareness and funds to help CURE Multiple Sclerosis (MS)!  The Relay begins in April 2016 in Los Angeles, CA and is completed in August 2016 in New York, NY.

Sixteen (16) runners have been selected to run on average 170-miles over six consecutive days during their individually assigned segment.  Each runner dedicates a week of running on the road with the Relay, while collectively the Relay spans a distance and duration of 3,000-miles in 4 months.

Bio Overview:

I am a mom of three amazing and energetic kids, Evan is 10, Faith is 8 and Alex "Bubba" is 6 and wife to a very supportive husband, Paul.  Paul and I moved out to the Plainfield/Joliet area in 1999 so I am very excited to be able to run Segment 13 of the relay "home" again. I now have to admit that I am a runner and there is nothing I wouldn't do to help find a cure for if running is what I have to do, then running it is!!

Grew up in: Lansing, IL

Lives in: Joliet, IL

Segment:  #13 Davenport, IA - Joliet, IL
July 5-9, 2016; 146 miles in five days

MS RUN THE US CHICAGO 5K Registration OPEN (click link)!

Runner Story:

There’s a quote by T.S. Eliot that I live by; “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”  I came across this quote while training for the 2014 MS Run the US Relay.  As most of you now know I was never a runner until this crazy idea what put into my head; being a relay runner.  Why in the world would someone want to run 150 miles in five days?  If you know me, you know why.  If you don’t know me I’ll tell you why…

I love to do crazy things, go outside my comfort zone, and challenge myself and my body.  But when you have something to fight for it makes it that much more important.  When that fight has been with you for 27 years all you want to do is win.  So what do you do?  You fight harder.  Then you realize the fight isn’t just about that one amazing individual that instilled the fighter in you.  You realize that it’s so much bigger than you ever thought and it touches more people than you knew.  During the 2015 relay I had an amazing opportunity to run for 84 incredible people that are afflicted by this debilitating disease.  Did I know them all?  No I didn’t but I wanted to let them all know that I run for them, I advocate for them, I want this disease to come to an end just like them…I want a cure!

My mom, Peggy, is my inspiration and my hero.  My mom was diagnosed with MS in 1989 and I have since walked, dedicated a triathlon season and have run over 300 miles to raise funds and awareness for MS. My mom's form of MS initially was relapsing/remitting and it had devastating effects on her physically and mentally.  She was a preschool teacher just having earned her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education, an avid dancer (point to say the least) and painter.  I saw firsthand what this disease can do whenever it wants.  It took so much from her but the one thing it didn't touch was her spirit and will to fight this disease. I run for her and the over 2.5 million individuals, both young and old, that have MS worldwide.

In 2014 I was the segment 13 relay runner for the MS Run the US Relay running from Davenport, IA to Joliet, Illinois where I live.  It was a huge accomplishment on my end as far as running went.  Each long run that was farther than 13.1 miles was the longest run I had ever done.  I cried each time I crushed my longest distance topping out at 30 miles.  The best feeling came when I crossed the finish line of the relay.  It wasn't just because I had just run 151 miles in six days; it was because I had raised over $12,500 in eight months for MS and brought so much awareness to the disease.  I crossed that finish line with my mom that year which was beyond fitting. I had my hero next to me the whole run in spirit and physically the last several feet.  I swore to never do the relay again because it took a lot of effort and time to train and fundraise.  It took me all of two months to eat my words and swear that I will continue to run segment 13 of the relay until my legs fall off or a cure is found. I again ran segment 13 again in 2015  This year I ran 146 miles in six days, three of those days were 30 mile days. I raised over $8,000 in 2015 for a total of over $20,000 in the two years I have run.   Each year I meet more people that have been diagnosed with MS which just solidifies the reason I continue my journey.  There was a man that I met while I was doing a “tag day” at Walmart in Plainfield.  I was the third person he had told about his diagnosis which was several years ago. He was so amazed at what I was going to do, what all of the relay runners were going to do, that he was speechless.  Each person I have met who has MS leaves an imprint on my heart that I can’t let go and for each of them I keep running.  Can’t' stop won't stop!!!!  Let’s find a cure NOW!  

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