Valerie Olberding's Page


MS Run the US - 2014 Relay

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Valerie Olberding's Page

 MS Run the US - 2014 Relay Runner

What: The MS Run the US – 2014 Relay is a 3,000-mile relay run across America to help raise awareness and funds to help CURE multiple sclerosis (MS)! The Relay begins April 13th, 2014 in Los Angeles, CA and is completed August 17th, 2014 in New York, NY.
Sixteen runners have been selected to individually run on average 170 miles over 6 consecutive days during their assigned segment. Each runner dedicates a week of running on the road with the Relay, while collectively the event spans a distance and duration of 3,000-miles run in 4 months.

Bio Overview:

Hometown/Current Location: Lakeville, MN/ Bozeman, MT
Segment #18: Sunbury, PA to Fort Lee, NJ

Runner Story: My story? My story begins with necessary curiosity and continues with the same. Growing up in the suburbs of Minneapolis, I was constantly surrounded by athletics from watching multiple professional sports teams to playing with many middle school teams to college sports teams, focusing on hockey and soccer. I love anything exciting, fast and challenging.
I’ve always had a heart for lending these hands! That’s why this relay is something that grabs my eyes and steals my heart. I truly believe that we are nothing unless each and every one of us can look beyond ourselves and reach out to others, whether it be re-building a family’s house devastated by a tornado in Kansas or simply picking up an elders jacket dropped on the floor of a coffee shop. Whatever it is, we all have the ability to help in some way. There’s no excuse. I’ve done a lot of work with helping elementary and middle school children learn to read, write and do math, both publicly and privately. I have also spent time researching poverty in Mobile, Alabama for the University of Alabama at Birmingham, among other things. These are the things that feed my soul and I cannot wait to pick up and start fundraising and running for an amazing cause.
I don’t have a lot of experience with MS, I know a few people who live with it and that’s about it. I don’t see it day in and day out, I don’t experience it, either. So, I can’t say that this is a huge passion of mine. My passion is for helping and athletics. However, I can say that the reason this cause is relevant is because of my Dad. Dad was a big teddy bear who loved nestling his grandchildren and whose laugh was extravagant and contagious, so much so that it would fill a room. It was almost exciting to get a hug from him because he would take you in and mumble in a low, comforting voice how much he missed you or that he’d be seeing you later, while holding you so close that it would warm you up because he was a big guy. He unfortunately passed away in March of 2011. He was a big guy who liked too much and didn’t do very much. Excessive eating and lack of exercise, along with smoking turns out to not be the best way to live a long life. This is why I’m going to run, I want my actions to help a friend and/or family member to simply get up. Help yourself, save yourself. We have the opportunity to take control over our lives, let’s not take it for granted anymore. People with MS have an even more difficult challenge over their lives, who didn’t choose it and who can’t do the same things we’re able to. I guarantee that person with MS stuck in a wheelchair would give anything to be you, able to be on your feet and walking. With that said, I can walk, I am able to run and have a voice to raise money for a cure. This is why I want to relay with MS Run the US. Because I can. Why not?


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